UB Suspends Convocation, Matriculation Ceremonies Due To COVID-19

The University of Buea has suspended this year’s convocation and matriculation ceremonies due to threats posed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the nation.

In a press release dated Friday, December 17, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Ngomo Horace Manga said graduation will not hold as planned. According to him, the decision to suspend this year’s matriculation and graduation ceremonies is initiated by hierarchies due to the pandemic.

“The University, guided by instructions from the Minister of State, Minister of Higher Education, prohibiting university ceremonies in compliance with the Prime Minister’s decision against mass gathering of persons has suspended the highly awaited traditional ceremonies of Matriculation and Convocation…These decisions were not conditioned on our abilities to respect the COVID-19 guidelines of physical distancing, hand-washing and wearing of masks, but in response to the firm instructions from hierarchy and our own fair judgement to avoid events that would impact on the health of our community” the release partly reads.

It further indicated that the end-of-course testimonials for students who graduated in March, July and September 2020 as approved by the Senate are being processed and shall be collected from the respective establishments.

Professor Ngmo Horace disclosed that the Registrar, Deans and Directors of Faculties, Schools and Colleges have been instructed to organise the process to issue individual Certificate of Completion of Studies or Attestations to students.

The VC has beckoned on the outgoing students to remain calm and undertake the necessary clearances to be issued either a Certificates of Completion of Studies or Attestation.

An outgoing MSc in Journalism student, Oscar Lingongo thanked the VC for settling the dust as to whether or not there would be graduation this year. He further tipped that many higher institutions of learning in and out of Buea have successfully organised their convocation ceremony while maintaining social distance and marvels why UB could not emulate the institutions. “The news is a kind of a disappointment to many. Notwithstanding, individuals should celebrate with their families while waiting for the official ceremony to be organised by UB,” He said.

Another student, Nkongho Bessem pits fire. She paradoxically asked why UB will allow students to sit in overcrowded lecture halls without maintaining social distancing but suspends graduation due to the novel coronavirus. “This communiqué does not mean anything as I am still going to celebrate with my family at home,” she said.

Brain Splendour says he received the news with mixed feelings. He disclosed that although he is sad, the suspension of graduation will enable him save some finances and free him of some expenditure.

Institutions such as Catholic University and Biaka University have had their convocation ceremonies. This week, the University of Bamenda will on Saturday December 19, organise a ceremony to handle over certificates to the outgoing final year students in the institutions

By Neville Mesumbe

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