Mico misery

Postgraduate diploma teaching programme students at The Mico University College are accusing the school administration of incompetence as they have been unable to receive grades for two semesters.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer on Monday on request of anonymity due to fear of being further deprived of their grades, the students said that reaching out to the school administration on numerous occasions for an update has been unsuccessful.

The students were expected to receive all their grades at the end of the summer term this year in order to participate in the graduation ceremony in a few weeks.

Acting dean at The Mico University College Maxine Henry-Wilson told the Observer that the school is actively working to provide grades for students.

“We are aware of some of their issues and we have been addressing them on an ongoing basis, so we couldn’t respond in a general way because there are different reasons as to why some of it has not been addressed,” she said.

Asked when the issue will be resolved, she said, “As we get the grades, they are entered. Students need to ensure they are financially cleared because there is a case management system, and when I go in and enter grades there are several students’ names who are not there. So that means they may not have been financially cleared.”

One student described the programme as a “sham”, and claimed that she and her colleagues have been treated unfairly, despite paying school fee.

“Everybody in my cohort has an issue right now and we can’t get through to anybody. It’s almost $500,000. It’s not cheap, but we get cheap service. It is difficult to get through to anyone at the institution and at the moment, not even the acting dean,” she said.

“It is like I am close to pulling out my hair strands one by one. I would be graduating in November but honestly, based on my experience, and how much of a drag this was I just want my certificate and that’s it,” she said.

Another student said she will be teaching for almost a year without her qualifications, which has impacted her salary.

“I am very frustrated, I cannot even get my correct pay because I still can’t get my grades and I don’t think I will be able to graduate. I reached out a week ago, and I sent a follow-up e-mail today [Monday] but they still have not responded to any of my e-mails,” the student told the Observer.

Another student, who said it is a major setback for him, believes administrative issues concerning payment of lecturers are preventing grades from being published.

“I am not sure if that issue has been resolved — in terms of salary — so the lecturers are holding the grades. Now the Government is going through the compensation review. I would want my certificate from Mico, so that when the new salary adjustments are being made, I would get my right pay. We really want our certificates so we can move on,” he said.

However, he said he remains hopeful that he will receive his grades next week, after receiving that information from the administration on Monday.

A student with a similar concern added, “They are hindering us from progressing because this year we would have wanted the diploma so we could matriculate but we can’t get any grades. I owed school fee and I am not in any rush to pay any because I know what is happening. We just really want the paper. It is frustrating, it is annoying, nobody is responding.”

Another student who was obviously angry about the issue, said she regretted signing up for the 16-month programme.

“Here at Mico, you get 100 numbers and dem nah work. Mi neva experience nothing like this yet. Mi nuh know how mi a go forgive myself for going to Mico. Mi pay the whole a mi money. Mi pay over $400,000 and the service is so poor,” she said.

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