Concerned parents of students of University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) School of Midwifery, have raised the alarm over alleged “money for gift” indirectly imposition on the students.
They also complained that the School has always asked the students to contribute money for the feeding of external examiners whenever they write examinations.
The School management has however denied demanding for any money from the students outside their school fees.
According to the parents, it has become an annual ritual to demand for a parting gifts from the students, for which they have always levied themselves to buy the gifts for the School officials and external examiners.
It was reliably gathered that the school officials take turns to cart home such gifts, year after year.
A student who did not want to be named in print, disclosed that students of the last set bought a washing machine as gift, beside gifts and lunch meal provided for external examiners from the University of Benin (UNIBEN).
The source added that a student who questioned the rationale behind the ‘gifts’ was not allowed to graduate with other students.
One of the parents who spoke under anonymity for fear of victimising her daughter, said students of the current set were told to contribute N15,000 each, as they plan to buy a electric generating set as their parting gift.
“I wonder why they will still tactly ask the students to buy gifts for them [school officials] and their external examiners, after spending so much on school fees and other sundry expenses.
“We gathered on good authority that a student who spoke against the ‘gift money’ was made to repeat his final exams. That is why many of the students pay the money out of fear of being victimised.
“To me, it is an act of corruption; after all, they are paid to do whatever they do.
The Principal of the School, Mrs. Franca Esebame, in a swift reaction, denied asking the students to contribute money to buy gifts for them.
She insisted that apart from the annual fee of N241,000 for the entire academic session, no dime is collected from the students.
Mrs. Esebame who spoke in her office at UBTH, explained that the students do not pay cash to the school but to the Hospital’s bank account.
She said: “For the 18 months duration of the programme, the students do not pay any money to the school. The school fee is N241,000 which is either paid in three instalments or once to the Hospital. No student pays money to anybody through out the duration of the programme.”
The principal maintained that for 46 years since the school was founded, it had always insisted on high standards and discipline.
She however added that should the students on their own decide to voluntarily contribute money and buy gifts for any of the staff or external examiner, the authorities can not stop them.