The campus of the University of Bamenda, UBa, has been agog with joy that has sprung from recent commencement of payment regarding FCFA 50,000 awarded to meritorious students by President Paul Biya as avenue for the emergence of geniuses in the country’s universities. It is now customary for long queues to be seen in front of one office and the other as lucky students take turns to receive the presidential package.
While it is common phenomenon for the unlucky to look at the activity from a distance, those who have been able to feature on the list consider such a gesture as total financial bail-out. To many, this money will either help them further their education or act as head-start in their different fields of work upon graduation.
According to Injoh Mbakwa of Building and Structural Engineering, it is tuition insurance. “I feel very happy because it’s going to help me, given that I am continuing with my studies and this money from the president will help pay my fees. I think the offer is very timely.” Although expected last academic year, Collins Mbutumum, of structural engineering HTTTC Bambili, says it’s never late. “I feel happy it is a good gesture from the President of the Republic which I really do appreciate. This money will help me to get some goods for myself, and why not, even give some to my mother. I can say it is not late because the year is gradually coming to an end and by this time there is a lot of financial hardship which people fight to tackle. So I think it is not late.”
In actual celebration, some students like Quiniver Wallang, Administrative technique, HTTC think the financial aid should be paid in October. “I have already graduated from school and I am teaching already. This money has come at a time when we need finances for transportation and solving difficulties at home, and even buying text books to build our notes and impact students. Although I expected this money before now, it is still useful.”
At the moment, the Universities of Buea, Dschang, Douala, Yaounde 1 and 2, Maroua, Ngaoundere have already tapped from this presidential largesse. The general cry of the students of UBa is that this money as from next year should come on time. Nevertheless, some final year students of UBa lament that this presidential offer should first be given to those in the faculties, given that those in HTTC and HTTTC automatically become civil servants upon graduation.
By *Kisack Princely
*UB Journalism student on internship