Students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (FUAM) in Benue State are of the view that a new policy of the Federal Government to abolish some courses may affect their education and the standing of the institution.
Specialised institutions such as universities of agriculture and technology were directed by the government to stop running programmes outside their mandates including law and accounting. They have also been asked to avoid changing the nomenclature of courses such as banking engineering to suit their needs.
Following the directive, there was a move at FUAM to scrap the college of management sciences, but management students as well as their counterparts in other universities have urged the Federal Government to halt the idea, describing it as untimely and not in the best interest of the nation.
The students in a peaceful protest said they were against the decision announced by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, which directed all specialised institutions to stick to their core mandate rather than delving into areas outside their main objective.
Spokesperson of the protesters, a 300-level student of Biochemistry, Comrade David Pine, who is also the vice president of the Student Union Government (SUG) said the Federal Government should rethink its decision because the college of management sciences was beneficial to the university in many ways.
He said that the claim by the government that other courses outside agriculture in the university would make the institution derail from its mandate was not true as the government did not put in place any specific plan to improving the institution.
He said the decision, had allegedly denied over 9,000 applicants an opportunity of a university education in management sciences and other related programmes in the universities of agriculture in Makurdi, Umudike and Abeokuta.
Responding, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, asked the students to remain calm as plans were underway to engage the Federal Government on the matter.
Kucha said he was dismayed over the proposed scrapping of management courses from the institution, adding that many lecturers would be affected in the process as well as students.