By Olanrewaju-Smart Wasiu
“Now that Nigerian students are not guaranteed hitch-free education in their own country, why won’t they think of trying other countries?”
The Nigeria university system has never had it so bad like this before; we are now at the epicenter of a sectoral crisis as the only federal university in the Nigerian capital cannot boast of good facilities and has no other solution than the federal government transferring her students to other federal universities.
I do not support the transfer of blame to the Vice Chancellor alone. I think it’s a shared one between the Minister of Education, the National Universities Commission, NUC, and the university management because the university management could not have overseen the university alone without its Senate, Governing Council, Ministry of Education and perhaps the Visitor to the University (Mr. President).
In fact, as at the time of writing this piece, the social media has it that engineering students of University of Abuja were right in front of the National Assembly protesting against their transfer to other schools.
Some of the placards read, “It is embarrassing the only federal university in Abuja cannot offer engineering”; “we cannot be transferred to boko haram state”; “save our future”; “they are not discussing with us”; “after several years we cannot go anywhere”
My posers for the Minister of Education, NUC, and UniAbuja Vice Chancellor are:
*Why would the resultant effect of the inability of the federal government (proprietor) to put facilities at the engineering department be passed on the students by same government?
*Are the President (visitor), Minister and NUC not part of the process of running the university and ensuring its accreditation as at when due?
*Is it ethical to transfer students to other institutions to complete their course of study and still get the certificate of their former school?
*Why is it difficult for the management of the university and federal government to put the facilities in place since the university crisis started?
*Why is it that those who, under their watch, could not avoid the problem are the ones pursuing a personal vendetta?
*How did the intervention committee led by Prof. Mafiana resort to transferring the students and also insist that other students go on leave of absence ahead of next session when they are expected to resume at the other school?
*Are there no moves to rectify the accreditation problem before next academic session while the students would take their leave of absence?
From my little knowledge about the university system, you do not experience a deadlock without previous signals.
There is no denied accreditation status without previous failure which could have prompted NUC to give an interim accreditation or (as the case may be) alongside directives to put in place some facilities before the next accreditation exercise.
Since the problem is now compounded, I think there are better ways out of it than inflicting pains on innocent Nigerian students and their parents.
Now that Nigerian students are not guaranteed hitch-free education in their own country, why won’t they think of trying other countries? It’s unfortunate.
Wasiu Olanrewaju-Smart, Abuja; @ler_smart, email@example.com
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