Parents' Forum Not Lobby Platform For Erring Students ~Lale By Otikor Samuel

Contrary to the misleading interpretation of the vision behind the establishment of the University of Port Harcourt Parents' Forum (UPHPF) by some parents and students, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, has sounded it loud and clear that Management's intention was to offer parents an opportunity to understand the operational structure of the University.

“I wish to make it abundantly clear that the Parents' Forum is not a platform for anybody to agitate for policy change or to serve as an alternative to the University administration. We will not allow the Forum to be used as an avenue to intercede on behalf of students who infringe on the University's extant policies. We will also not condone acts of gross misconduct by staff and students with the hope of lobbying for leniency through the Forum. Parents should trust us to make the right decisions in all administrative and academic matters—especially those relating to their wards,” the Vice-Chancellor told them. 

The clarifications were contained in his response to the welcome address read by the Chairman of the body, Dr. Tony Chuku at the 3rd General Meeting of the Forum held at the main auditorium of the School of Basic Studies on Tuesday, September 25, 2018.

Professor Lale restated his resolve to ensure that staff and students do the right thing at all times. The Vice-Chancellor averred that his administration would continue to ensure strict compliance to established rules and regulations by all staff and students. He also assured the parents that the administration was working to ensure quality service delivery that would lead to the accelerated growth of the University. 

“We expect the Parents' Forum to play the role of nurturing the students to be of good conduct in the University and leave as responsible members of society on graduation. Let me state that most of our students conduct themselves in a responsible manner and obey extant rules. This category of students understand why they are in the University and also know how to invest their time in productive endeavours. That means that most parents are doing what is expected of them and I congratulate them for discharging their parental responsibilities to their children and society.

“Sadly though, we leave in a time when a few misguided parents contract mercenaries to write examinations for their children at the foundational levels of their education. When they do that, it translates into such students performing poorly when they enter the University where we are expected to transform them into geniuses overnight. Someone once said that people pay for shortcuts in the long run,” Professor Lale stated. He advised parents to raise well-behaved students to save the Forum from transforming itself into a platform for lobbying to save unruly students from facing disciplinary actions prescribed by the Senate.

“We want you to be proud of the University that your children and grandchildren attend. It is sad to note that some students decide to join cult groups on their first day in this University. I want us to collectively build the University and not help to deepen social vices. Let me state here that students caught engaging in cult-related activities will be summarily expelled to stop them from polluting the law-abiding ones. We will not allow any staff or student to turn this University into an animal farm,” the Vice-Chancellor warned.

Earlier in his address, Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Tony Chuku, briefed members on some of the activities that the Executive engaged in after the last meeting. He disclosed that one of the major highlights of the gathering was the presentation of a draft constitution for consideration and possible ratification.

He also disclosed that a number of sub-committees had turned in their reports, some of which bordered on security, construction of hostels and classroom blocks to ease the difficulties faced by students, including a proposal to levy members to run the Forum's activities. Dr. Chuku pledged the commitment of the Executive to the implementation of the recommendations for the smooth-running of the Forum.  


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