Northern Nigerian Breaking News

REPORT: Applicants left in limbo as Bauchi College fails to commence degree program

By Babaji Usman

In 2022, the Adamu Tafawa Balewa College of Education (COE) Kangere in Bauchi state became the focal centre of over 1000 hopeful applicants vying for admission into its degree programmes, which were set to be conducted in affiliation with Bayero University Kano (BUK)

With aspirations of advancing their education, the prospective students anxiously anticipated the chance to begin their academic journey, having invested their hopes along with N5,000 for application fees and another N4,700 for Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) fees.

However, two years later, several applicants who eagerly purchased the forms in high hopes are now left in a state of uncertainty and frustration as the program is yet to commence.

Applicants left disappointed

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Among those affected who spoke with WikkiTimes is Maryam*, who had dreams of pursuing higher education to secure a better future for herself. “I applied and paid, believing that the program would start immediately,” she lamented. “But now, it feels like my dreams have been dashed, and I’m left with nothing but disappointment.”

Similarly, Yusuf*, another aspiring student, expressed his frustration, “We trusted them with our time, resources, and our aspirations for education,” he said. “But instead, we’ve been left in the dark, with no answers and no alternative.”

For Musa Abdullahi, a prospective student who had pegged his hopes on the advertised degree program at the college to pursue his passion for education, “I dedicated every time and resource I could to afford the admission, believing it would open doors to my educational dream,” he lamented. “But now, it feels like my dreams are slipping away with each passing day.”

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Abdullahi added that his story was not an isolated case. “Many others shared similar tales of frustration.”

After two years of silence, questions began to mount: Where is the degree program we applied for? What happened to the assurance of a timely start? Who is responsible for the delay?

The applicants said their hopes for a better future have been uncertain, hanging as the college failed to fulfill its promise of admitting them to run the programmes they had been hoping for decades.

According to Maryam, the initiative, which some already described as a mirage, began with high hopes as students from across the region, drawn by the promise of quality education, applied.

However, as weeks turned into years, their excitement faded and reality began to sink in, giving way to frustration and hopelessness as admission offers failed to materialize despite the applicants collectively paying huge amounts into the institution’s account. 

For many, the delay in securing admission has put their lives on hold, leaving them in a state of oblivion with uncertain futures.

“I hoped that securing the admission would be my ticket to a better future,” said Faith Jere, another applicant. “But now, I feel like my dreams are slipping away, and I don’t know what to do next.”

Parents demand answers

The plight of the prospects has meanwhile caused a mix of frustration and anger among parents and local leaders would continue to demand answers from the college authorities.

“It is unconscionable that the college would collect money from these applicants and then leave them hanging for years without any explanation,” said Mallam Ibrahim, a father to one of the applicants. “The future of our youth is at stake, and we demand accountability.”

Staff from the college management, who doesn’t want to be named, confided in WikkiTimes that the delay in launching the new degree programme was rooted in the college’s inability to meet some regulatory requirements..

While unable to provide an exact timeline for the start, the official assured that these requirements have since been fulfilled and the programme is poised to kick off soon. 

“There were some materials the college needed to have for the commencement of the programme, but they have them now.

“It was necessary for the college to acquire specific resources before gaining recognition for the degree program. Now that we have gotten them, we are awaiting the nod from our affiliate university, BUK. We had a plan of admitting 250 students, but the response was overwhelmed with around 2000 applicants.”

College Reacts

WikkiTimes reached out to the authorities of the college, seeking clarity on the reasons behind the delay, and if there is hope or a roadmap for moving forward. 

However, the inquiries were met with another set of promises, leaving more questions than answers.

Umar Chadi, a staff member in the Undergraduate Studies section in the college, disclosed that they are in the final stages of preparation for the start off. 

“We sought permission from the NUC (National Universities Commission) to commence proceedings while awaiting full accreditation. 

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“They asked for some paperwork, which we promptly provided. So, approval could come any moment,” he said, explaining that BUK has already given their approval.

Chadi acknowledged that there were over 800 applicants but could not give specific numbers. He hinted at the possibility of further advertising to accommodate any changes in applicants’ circumstances. “Some initial applicants may have reconsidered or secured admission elsewhere,” he said.

Bala Baban Kawu, the spokesperson for the college, assured WikkiTimes that he would reach out to the reporter for clarification on the matter. 

When contacted a few days later, he disclosed that he had relayed the inquiries to the Provost of the college and would prepare a press statement regarding the issue.

“The Provost told me that he had a letter from NUC which he wanted to read before commenting. In addition, the students (not undergraduates) in the college are currently writing exams, so after the exams, I will provide you with sufficient information,” he explained.

With each passing week devoid of updates, the stranded applicants were left in limbo, their hopes dwindling, but their grief for missed opportunities grew daily. 

NB: All names with (*) are NOT the real names of the sources who pleaded anonymity for fear of reprisal.

This report is produced with support from Civic Media Lab (CML)

This report was first published by WikkiTimes.


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