Five Ebonyi varsity students collapse in overcrowded exam hall

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Students of the Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Abakaliki, on Thursday marched on the campus to protest the alleged death of five of their colleagues.

The protest kicked off on the permanent site of the institution, causing gridlock on the busy Enugu/Abakaliki Expressway.

Policemen and soldiers have been deployed last night to make sure the protest does not turn violent.

According to protest, 5 students slumped on Wednesday in a stampede at the school’s ICT centre slated as an examination hall.

I was stated the university had adopted the Computer Based Test (CBT) for some General Studies Program (GST) courses which are compulsory courses taken by all students, irrespective of the department or faculty.

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The source stated the hall was too small for the crowd of students that were to sit for the exam. It was also gathered that students from the four campuses were told to come to the ICT centre to take the exam.

The source said: “There was poor planning of the exams. The hall has about 500 computers and students to sit for the exams were over 1,000. The university administration should have staggered the exams so that the hall will not be crowded.

“Knowing well that a one-room apartment paraded as an ICT centre cannot accommodate all students to write GST 101 and 102, they should’ve typed out the questions and made photocopies. About 4:15 pm, the invigilators announced that the exam, which had been written midway, was cancelled.

“About five students collapsed. The worst part is that there was no medical centre to rush them to as they struggled for survival.

Students Union Government (SUG) President Abanni Samson regretted the incident and described it as avoidable

He stated: “We assure everybody that never again will EBSU college students, under our leadership, go through such horror in the name of writing any exam or undertaking any academic activity.

“The planning could have been better to prevent the mayhem. I’m personally sorry for all who got hurt.”

Samson implored the students to remain calm till a confirmation is made over the rumoured death but the students embarked on the protest yesterday.

Spokesman of the institution Patrick Itumo couldn’t be reached for feedback. His phone was switched off.

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