Emelife Uc, 200l Literature In English (UDUS) Abiodun Jamiu, 200l Political Science (UDUS) report.
As the new Vice-Chancellor of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Prof L.S Bilbis assumes office today as the 9th VC of the University, students have urged him to consolidate the agenda of the previous VC, and to as well obliterate grey areas that were left untouched by his administration. Areas like the varsity’s results and security within campus, are the major recommendations made by these students.
Issues like tardiness in the release of results, missing results and misappropriation of students’ grades were the things that ridiculed the varisty’s result system. It turned a norm for students to wait forever for the release of their results, which cost numerous final year students that are now graduates opportunities to either be shortlisted for the NYSC early or enjoy a post graduate studies’ scholarship. Their fate was left at the convenience of the management, which at all was not favourable. The number of worried finalists skyrocketed. Undergraduates as well were not left out, a new semester was always met with uncertainty as their fate was unknown, and when these results were eventually released, a familiar sight in the previous administration was students trooping to exam offices morose and sad, to express dissatisfaction in their grades or complain that they didn’t see any at all. It moved from “I got an E” to “I was given an E” or “I didn’t see my result”.
Security as well was deeply in lack. Cases of thefts within campus and campus residence (hostel) were recorded several times than usual. Attacks on students walking back to their hostels from night classes by masked men threatened the reading culture of frail students, as they chose to remain in the hostel rather than go out at night, read and get attacked.
Students who spoke with PEN PRESS, said the new VC must eradicate these grey areas to improve quality learning, which is tantamount to a better society.
Ayobami Kayode Tijani, a 200l student of Literature In English hopes that the incoming administration would ensure that students’ results are released before the next semester.
Kayode believes that if that is done, it would make students know their weak spots and prepare ahead of the semester. According to him, when students are aware of their results before a new semester, they are given an opportunity to tighten their seatbelts, and prepare ahead of it which would result in better grades next time.
He suggested that the VC create deadlines for lecturers in their marking and eventual release of results, as such deadlines would eradicate tardiness.
His words: “Releasing of results before another semester comes is vital too – it prepares student very well… The vc should give out deadline to lecturers regarding this so the results would be timely hopefully.”
Emelife Dominica Chisom agrees. She is a 200l student in Education Chemistry and one of the students affected by the mass poor grading of a general studies course: GST 104. While she agrees that results be released early, she is of the opinion that when they do, they should be transparent and open for public scrutiny. She recounted an event she described as ‘painful’ of how she hurried to the General Studies division to complain of her grade but left disappointed, after beholding a circular pasted on the door that read: “Out Of Bounds To All Students”
She advised the incoming administration to further demolish the barrier between students and lecturers, especially in matters concerning results, and heed complains of student when they report that they were graded poorly.
She said: “The outgoing administration was able to bridge students and management, but there is still more to be done. We need to be heard as students, especially in matters regarding our results.”
She continued: “This will go a long way in ensuring the Varsity’s results are transparent.”
Complementing Dominica’s recommendations, Catherine Felix, 100l Literature In English proferred that CBT be adopted for faculties with large number of students. She cited faculty of education and faculty of science that have over hundred students per level. This according to her will improve the quality of the varsity’s result system and would also reduce the workload on lecturers.
Her words: “There are some faculties in UDUS that have over 100 students in just a level, students that will be assessed by say 10-15 lecturers. Faculties like Education and Sciences. It’s unrealistic that these 10-15 lecturers would be able to accurately assess 300 students, which is why I suggest that CBT be extended to these faculties. Instead of only General Studies courses, these faculties should also conduct CBT”
She continued: “CBT if properly test ran and conducted would better our result system. Not to talk of how that would ease the affairs of our lecturers that are humans too.”
On security, Taoheed Adegbite, 300l English appealed to the VC to prioritise security of lives and properties of students over every other thing. This in his opinion is what concerns every student and should form part of the new Vc’s top-notch concerns.
Consolidating his appeal, Kayode recommends that more security officers be employed and allocated to several sites of the university. He added that they (the officers) should be as well be a fresh orientation or re-orientation of the existing officers of their duties and major priority – the safety of students.
In his words, “Security is important – recruiting more securities capable of covering the nooks and crannies of the institution, and of course re-orientation and fresh orientation of what the securities are for on campus is vital, so we don’t have uniformed men who priortise other things over our safety as we’ve had in the past.”
Habibu Bawa, a graduate of Microbiology (UDUS), hopes the new VC would consolidate the legacy laid by the outgoing VC, Prof Abdullah Abdu Zuru, in the running of the University, adding that the professor of Biological Chemistry should intensify the conducts of research among students by providing an enabling atmosphere.
“He should continue to engage students and other stakeholders in decision making just like his predecessor. Notwithstanding, research should be encouraged by providing grants for students and an avenue like journal or magazine of the University to publish their findings”
Complementing Habibu Bawa, Hussein Abdulbasit, 100L student of political science, relayed that the cruxes of the development of universities in the world is the fervent conducts of academic research about global phenomenon. He noted that the dearth of tools to carryout research among students contributed to the university backwardness among her contemporaries.
“It is quite disheartening that our prestigious most peaceful university is still at the back of her 75’s mates despite the academic prowess of the lecturers. This backwardness I think is actually as a result of lack of academic research grounds for students of the university. I believe must of the top ranking Federal Universities have been rated because of this.”
On insecurity, Abdulbasit recommended the installation of streetlights across the nooks and crannies of the university community to curb the menace of insecurity. He added that the new VC should ensure the introduction of lanyard which has been tabled, but failed to see the light of the day.
“The issue of security on campus should be consider paramount. It is so disheartening that the most peaceful university students are always attacked and robbed inside the school premises in the forenoon while studying or going back to hostel. And if we want to tackle; I think street light should be provided to all surrounding of the university community.
Also, the school should have a customized school tag that students will use for identification. We have many people that are staying in the school hostel that are not students”
Abdulrahman Yahaya, an English finalist is hopeful that the new VC does something about lecturers. According to him, there are some lecturers who carry out their functions lackadaisically. He is urging that the VC be strict with regards early commencement of lectures.
“We have lecturers who go about their jobs as if they are doing the students a favour, rather than doing what they are being paid for. Some lecturers do not commence their classes until it is two weeks to exams. We expect that to change. I urge the new VC to be strict with regards early commencement of lectures.”
Faith Makama shares the same sentiment. She however adds that the incoming administration profer a lasting solution to the problem of insufficient lecturers. She cites her department as one of the departments that are greatly in lack of lecturers. Her department: Modern European Languages and Linguistics (MELL) according to her has lecturers that are in charge of more than two courses for different levels, sometimes all levels. Such in her opinion is too much workload for lecturers.
She said: “While I do not doubt the competence of our English and Literature lecturers, there is need for more lecturers. These people are humans too, when the work is cumbersome for them, it indirectly affects the students. I hope the incoming administration does something about this, and employ new lecturers that would maintain the academic standard of this great university.”
For Solihu Ridwan, 200L student of Public Administration, the paucity of halls of residence in the varsity should be addressed, noting that most of the rooms are congested which consequently make living agonizing for students. He therefore proposed the need for the new VC to partner with private investors in order to make shortage of hostels in the university a bygone.
“With due respect, the university community has really tried their best regarding the issue of accommodation. But, the available accommodation is not enough as UDUS as a federal university is concern. For instance, a room of eight would be occupied by almost 10-12 students. If I will personally submit a solution then I think UDUS needs to be strategic with this. How? All the business organizations like banks that are in the school have to be socially responsible though at the expense of making profit. Proposals can send to these business organizations to construct hostels with contract coupled with the duration.”