UTech bars law student from final exams
Barbara Gayle & Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writers
University of Technology (UTech) law student Duke St John-Paul Foote is accusing the institution of victimisation after he was blocked from sitting an examination today.
Foote says the disbarment came despite being informed by UTech that he was a student in good standing.
"I am extremely disappointed in the school and the people who run it. I exhausted all options to sort the situation out before going to court," said Foote.
Continuing: "This is what people would call high-handed mentally. Things now are unclear and we have to pursue this much further, if needs be, in court because I cannot let it end like this.”
The law student said when he turned up for his exam this afternoon he was blocked from entering the room.
He further said he was presented with blank exam card and was informed by an invigilator that he could not sit the exam.
Foote said he visited the office of the law faculty as well as the admissions office to ascertain what had happened but he did not receive any satisfactory answers.
According to him, after he discontinued his court action against the University last week, he received an email from the University which stated that he was fully registered, in good financial standing and was clear to obtain a student identification card and an exam card.
He says he was therefore surprised at today's events.
Foote says the situation has left him uncertain about what will happen for him for the remainder of the exam period as he still has four more exams to sit.
He has expressed confidence about his preparedness for his final exams saying he is disappointed that his hard work is being jeopardised.
The law student said he is now considering bringing another motion in court to challenge the action of UTech.
On November 19, Foote obtained a Supreme Court order barring UTech from de-registering him and from preventing him from using the facilities to prepare for his examination.
The university had argued that he did not pay his 80 per cent tuition fee at the specified time.
Foote, who brought the claim in person, produced documents to show that although he had paid the total fees of $245,000 a day before the October 31 deadline for the fees, he was delisted on November 1 as a student in arrears.
The defendants were UTech Registrar Elaine Wallace, the institution's chancellor, Edward Seaga, and acting president, Burchell Whiteman.
The law student later discontinued the legal action on the grounds that UTech had complied with the terms of the injunction.
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