Monday, 10 July 2017

Blind Ph.D. student stages hunger strike at UB

By Boris Esono in Buea
Striking PhD student brandishes his thesis in front of UB
An act of resistance was in the early hours of Thursday, July 6, witnessed at the faculty of Education as a PhD student held the faculty hostage as he demanded equal right to be given to him as do those who can see.
                The strike was caused by several unsuccessful attempts to defend his Ph.D. thesis because he has not paid tuition fee which according to the striking party; he is not supposed to do that as it is free for visually impaired students.
                According to information gotten by this reporter, the said student, Charly Ringnyu, was asked by the Faculty of Education to bring the sum of FCFA six (6) hundred thousand prior to his defense. Unwilling to pay, the said student went on a hunger strike until something is done in response to his numerous plea made to the faculty.
                The striking student stormed the said faculty with his mat and a pillow with determination not to eat nor drink and to also sleep there if not attended to. He also wore a placard with him with signs on them such as “Cameroon national football team is a hero on the pitch and he is one of it” and…. the law is bigger than administrators”.
                This commotion attracted a number of onlookers who stood round him trying to listen to him and suggest possible solutions to his problem. According Charly Ringnyu, he is supposed to be the first visually impaired student to have defended his thesis but has lost this privilege due to the prolongation. He now stands the 5th or 6th position, because his fellow visually impaired colleagues have already defended in different parts of the country.

                ”I decided to stage this strike action because the new VC will be installed on Monday July 10 and I do not want him to inherit this problem“. ”I have already lost one year of studies as all my mates with whom I finished last year have already graduated. I am now seen as one of the laziest student but whereas I was finished since last year”. A strong warning was given to authorities of the said faculty to make sure he defends his for it not “a new fire awaits the University”.
                Mr. Ringnyu says he started his Ph.D. program in 2012 with an 8-program option. These are courses in UB were students are required to pay tuition fees. However according to him, “when he started this program I knew that the 2010 law exempts those who are visually impaired. So I did not pay but when I completed my theses last year and I was about to submit I was called upon to tuition fee”.
                This said strike comes as several students at the faculty of Education have been caught in the web of forceful presentation of practical reports which was impossible for them to do, due to the instability during the early stage of the academic year.
                Visually Impaired Assistant Lecturer with Thesis in Hand

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