THE National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has defended the ₦20,000 fee charged for remarking students’ examination scripts, saying the fee is payable by students who out of dissatisfaction with their scores in a course, file an appeal for remarking.
Director of Media and Publicity of NOUN, Ibrahim Sheme, who spoke with TribuneOnline on Tuesday in Abuja, however, insisted that no student’s result would be unduly withheld.
He said all final year students who are yet to get their results should not panic as the results would be released before convocation ceremony in January 2019.
He said all students in this category do not need to pay anything, stressing that the results were released in batches since the institution could not afford to wait for all the results to be ready at the same before they are released.
He was reacting to allegations of extortion by some students of the university who claimed that they were charged N20,000 per course to reassess them in the courses they had a problem of missing results.
One of the affected students in Abeokuta Study Centre of NOUN said he finished his programme in July 2018 and that two months after their results were released only for him to discover that three courses were missing in the result released including his Project.
The student said he finished his project as and when due but when the result was released, he wondered why three courses were missing including the project.
He said: “I approached the school and they asked me to put up a letter, including my friends that were affected. We were asked to write individual letters informing the school about the details of those courses that were missing.
“We did that hoping that they will get across to us or the next steps to be taken. But about three, four days ago, a memo was released telling us that we need to go and pay N20,000 per course so that our missing courses would be reassessed and remarked.
“What that means is that myself that is having three missing courses should pay N60,000. That has been the injustice and we are about 2,000 students that were affected and it is like that across the nation,” he said.
On whether the University management had told them exactly what was the problem, he said nobody deemed it fit to address the affected students on the issue apart from the memo I told you earlier.
The spokesperson of the university, however, clarified that the fee charged was for students who felt that the marks awarded were below their expectations and file an appeal to the university management requesting that their scripts be remarked.
He said in such a circumstance, the affected student is asked to pay the sum of N20,000 which would be used to pay the experts on the course sourced from other universities to remark the script.
Sheme, who noted that the University had issued a statement clarifying this, said, “when results of examinations are approved and released by the university, any student who feels that he or she ought to have scored higher grades may decide to apply to the university for the remarking of such courses.
“The procedure is that such papers will be forwarded to other experts in another university, who are paid together with courier service from the fee the affected student pays for the remarking that he or she has asked for.
“NOUN does not withhold the results of students in order to ask them to pay for marking their scripts. Any delay in releasing results may have been caused by a minor hitch in the procedure, but the said fee affects only the student who files an appeal for remarking with the hope that he or she will score a higher grade,” he said.
Sheme, however, said that experience has shown that some of the students who pay such money for remarks end up regretting, adding that there was a student who scored 45 in the examination and when he applied for remarking of his script, he ended up scoring 30 when his paper was remarked by another institution.
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