By Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim
Recently, in December 2019, there was a statement I came across on social media ways. The statement was made by ASUU National President at News Agency of Nigeria Abuja Forum. He stated that Nigerian universities are not conducive for learning. This is true. But the question here is what makes Nigerian universities to be unconducive? This is what this piece attempts to answer. There are numerous reasons.
Most often, lecturers under the auspices of ASUU embark on a nationwide strike. This is no longer news in Nigeria. At times they embark on an indefinite strike. The recent strike they embarked upon was about a 4-month long. I could remember how often ASUU embark on a strike always for one reason and another.
Apart from the case of academic staffs under ASUU, even nonacademic staffs embark on strike in Nigerian universities. They contribute in one way or another to academic activities.
Also, the ASUU president stated that it is not a crime for lecturers to go on sabbatical in separate universities from their main employment. Even though the university standard provided for that as he said, some lecturers don’t do justice to students. They go on their sabbatical and leave students. I don’t want to deny that they borrow ideas from other universities and share as well.
The scandal of TETFUND projects in Nigerian universities too is no longer news. ICIR reports revealed how university management and TETFUND were involved in multi-million naira scandals. The investigations were carried out in several federal universities across Nigeria e.g. ATBU, ABU, FUD, and et cetera.
TETFUND projects scandal have left various students and their lecturers with inadequate and insufficient learning materials, facilities which aid the learning process.
Unconducive lecture halls, absence of enough practical equipment for some courses are the complaints of students across various institutions.
In many lecture halls, you will hardly see a functioning public address system where need be. There are classes with hundreds of students attending lectures. It becomes very difficult for a lecturer to speak to their hearing. And there are lecturers who don’t like stressing themselves. They think they are helping students, not discharging their duties.
In some halls, students don’t have enough sitting materials. When passing some lecture theatres in Nigerian universities, you will see students sitting on the bare floor.
Not too long to be forgotten, Nigerian lecturers demand sex for grade. Documentary and other reports revealed this in Nigeria. So how do we expect such institutions to be conducive for anything not only learning? The system needs to be restructured. Having been revealed, the government should take serious action on it.
Finally, students in Nigerian tertiary institutions are allowed to behave anyhow to the glaring of the management thinking that they are now matured and they have freedom. Freedom of what? Even if that works in the 1990s, it won’t now because there are children (under the age of 18) in universities today. Whenever a person is allowed to do what he wishes, he will misbehave. Therefore, when it comes to the issue of sex for grade, I blame the management for not enforcing good dress code in universities.