UNIJOS Dental Students Protest Delayed Accreditation, Lecturer Shortage

Students from the Faculty of Dental Science at the University of Jos (UNIJOS) took to the streets on Monday, protesting the delayed accreditation of their programmes by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.

The root cause, according to the students, was the shortage of lecturers in the faculty.

Bearing placards with messages like “Unijos is careless over students’ future,” “We deserve better, merge Unijos Dental students,” and “Depression wan kill us, save us please,” the students stormed the university’s permanent site at the Naraguta campus.

“We are tired of paying school fees without progress,” read another placard, reflecting the frustration of students who claim that in the faculty’s nine years of existence, not a single graduating set has been produced.

The protesters are demanding that the university merge dental students with medical students (MBBS) to prevent further disruption to their studies due to the delayed accreditation. “We are tired of the repetition of courses and non-standard teaching methods,” a student of the protesting faculty stated anonymously.

According to the students, the shortage of required manpower in the faculty was the reason their programmes have not been accredited, despite several promises from the university management.

“The sets we have are up to seven. Students of dental surgery and dentistry are under one faculty, the first set of dental students have spent nine years due to strike, but they are in their sixth year. They have not taken one dental course; they ought to have graduated by now, but they are stagnant,” one of the protesters said.

However, in a voice recording, Vice Chancellor Ishayo Tanko apologised to the students and acknowledged the university’s efforts to resolve the issue. “We understand your pain dental students have stayed in the university, more than necessary. We apologise on behalf of the university; we have told you the steps we have taken to address this.”

Tanko revealed that the management was making frequent trips to Abuja to secure approval for more lecturers, but has not received it yet. He assured that a meeting would be scheduled with student leaders, the first set of the dental college, and the college’s management to find a way forward.

“As of this morning, the deputy provost and your dean have met with some of your leaders to show them evidence of what the management has done and is doing.

“The protest is not going to resolve the issue, I have already told the provost and the dean that we are going to have a meeting with all the first-year students to identify the issues, to have a way forward.

“We had meetings with students and your parents to identify the challenges and ways to solve them. We are already solving those challenges.

“I understand that this morning, the dean and deputy provost had a meeting, and your president was there. We showed what the management has done and is doing to address the issue of dental students,” Tanko said.


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