Fulani Herdsmen and Criminals Invade Rivers’ Nursing School at Will
RAMSHACKLE FACILITIES: Rivers nursing school students sleep in auditorium, sneak out at dawn
Aggrieved health students protest, fear school may lose accreditation in July By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—HUNDREDS of the students of the Rivers State School of Nursing, RIVSON, Port Harcourt, laid siege to the Government House, Port-Harcourt, last week, in protest over dilapidated condition of infrastructure in the institution and lack of security which they said have placed their school at the mercy of both Fulani herdsmen and criminals who invade their school to attack them.
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They said they fear such development may deny the school of accreditation by pertinent authorities in July, five months away. The students, who carried placards with different inscriptions, calling on the Rivers state government to immediately intervene in restoring the dignity of the school, lamented that two similar institutions at Bori in Khana Local Government Area and Ahoada Town in Ahoada East LGA, were closed down by the School of Nursing and Midwifery, having failed certification.
They noted that the School of Nursing, Port-Harcourt, has been comatose for over a period of two years, stressing that their efforts to make the government to act expeditiously were practically ignored. RIVSON students during the protest march over dilapidation of their school
President, Students’ Union Executive, RIVSON, Mrs. Ruth Benjamin-Toby, said: “Our grievances are the dilapidating condition of the institution. As the only school that produces nurses for the state, we expect that it should be put in a good shape for good learning activities, but all these things are not there. “It is as if the government has kept quiet for a long time.
When you come from outside here looks like an old primary school,” she said. According to Benjamin-Toby, “What forced the students out on the streets of Port Harcourt to register our challenges is the rainstorm that de-roofed the school hostels and classrooms, and rendered students of the institution homeless. “Now, students sleep in the auditorium, they enter the auditorium in the night and go out in the morning. This is not what should be said of a health institution that is important to the state.”
Lack of security:
The students also told the government during the protest that security has been one of the myriads of challenges confronting the students. Benjamin-Toby stated: “We do not have security. Part of the school fence is fallen. We have written series of letters to the government and nothing has been done. We expect the state government to come to our aid, hasten every plan they have for the school.
This should not go through bureaucratic procedure because already students are displaced, they do not have roof over their heads.” “This has affected the learning ability of the students because when you are not living well. You will lose balance psychologically. For one week now, students have not been reading and for two days, we have not gone to the classrooms because the rainstorm also affected the classrooms. “The school management has always promised that the government will come and do something about the school, but it is over four years that this health institution has been in this sorry state,” she asserted. Besides, she disclosed that Fulani herdsmen break into the campus at will through the collapsed section of the fence.
“We have also sent letters to the government telling them that Fulani herdsmen come into this school compound and when we try to stop them, they will use weapon to attack us. They come into the campus through part of the school fence that has fallen. Criminals also come into the school premises through the same part at will. Sometimes when criminals are being chased by the security operatives, they escape through there,” she said.
Our greatest fears:
Benjamin-Toby said the greatest fear of the student is the visit of the Accreditation Team, pointing out that it would be bad if things were not put in place in the institution. She said: “Again, Nursing and Midwifery School Accreditation Team will be coming to this school in July for accreditation, if they come and see this school in this shape, the school may lose accreditation and they may close it down.”
Deputy President, Student Executive, Mr. Emmanuel Odu, also said the students face challenge of flooding in the school premises whenever there was rainfall. Odu said: “Flooding is an understatement; this place turns into river when it rains. When it rains, nobody goes out for hours because flood takes over the entire compound.
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