Stemming the rot in our tertiary institutions

April 19th, 2018

The not-too-complimentary viral video of a lecturer of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, who was caught pants-down in an attempt to have sexual intercourse with a female student before he could give her pass mark, is disturbing. It is not the first time such a disgusting act is being committed in our academic institutions.
As a matter of fact, such despicable acts had assumed different dimensions in the past and almost became an entrenched negative culture. In spite of dismissal of parties hitherto involved in similar despicable acts in the past, it did not served as permanent deterrent.
In the past, such allegations were easily swept under the carpet because the evidence needed to prove such acts of misdemeanor had remained on the speculative realm or at best tied to circumstantial evidence and perpetrators of such ignoble acts escaped unpunished. Fortunately, nowadays, advancements in technology have reversed such cover-ups and made it easier to nail such pimps in their very dastardly act.
And therefore, it has brought to the fore the urgent need to carry out a thorough investigate goings-on in our tertiary institutions. In particular, Visitation Panels should be set up in all the tertiary institutions to unravel acts of infamy in our ivory towers. Government should be ready to substantially and urgently implement such recommendations, particularly those aspects that touch on the moral fabric of the society
Investigations by The AUTHORITY have revealed that apart from strict moral issues, which affects both the staff and students, there are several other acts of malfeasance being perpetrated at the tertiary institutions, which negatively affect the quality of our educational system.
Such acts have over the years, progressively turned the tertiary institutions to breeding ground for cultism, armed robbery and other social vices which calls for serious concern. It is disheartening that rather than focus on the primary essence for establishing tertiary institutions which is to train young men and women who take up the realms of leadership, our institutions unfortunately are breeding social misfits who distort and pollute our social fabric.
For instance, parents are now forced to spend large amounts of money before their children or wards, who had even obtained good grades in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) to secure admission in the tertiary institutions. Unscrupulous elements, who are often proxy to top management and administrative staff of the institutions, openly engage in money-foradmission, or the institution concerned would adopt chains of difficult-to-verify procedures for admission, which in the end, promote such dastardly acts.
Another negative vice is the sale of handouts and other unwholesome literature materials by lecturers before the academic work of students and even examination scripts could be graded. It is gradually becoming common scenario for lecturers to coerce their students to purchase certain items as pre-condition for the performance of statutory duty by their lecturers.
Also, some lecturers were alleged to have deliberately refused to submit the complete academic record of some students as a decoy for such students to part with gratification. Such unwholesome developments largely give vent to rising incidences of missing examination, Term Paper, practical or other assessment scripts.
No wonder it is gradually becoming a norm, unlike in the past, that a lot of lecturers refuse without cogent and verifiable reason, to submit studentsa�� scores for approval by the Departmental Academic Board and the University Senate, weeks or months after examination had been conducted. It is equally no longer an issue that in some tertiary institution, degree results are released at the whims and fancy of some lecturers. No wonder then, such tertiary institutions are always in arrears processing the list of their graduates for the National Youth Service Corps scheme except after another academic year. These forced graduates of such institutions to remain at home for no less than 12 months before they could qualify to go for the mandatory NYSC programme.
At the other end of the macabre chess board, some students also precipitate these vices. For instance, it was the bizarre attitude of some unscrupulous female students who attend lectures almost in nudity that precipitated enthronement of dress code in all the institutions of higher learning in the country. Rather than conduct themselves in civility, these partially depraved students adopt every tactic to arouse the erotic sensibilities of their lecturers, leading to consequential vices.
There have also been reports of students who openly solicit for sex from lecturers or who engage pimps on their behalf so they can have their way. In addition, some other students engage in cult activities to either subdue or obtain undue influence. Such nefarious activities hit at core of the decay in our educational quality. Our institutions have invariably become a Gestapo of sorts instead of citadels of learning.
There is therefore the urgency for our curriculum managers to quickly reverse the ugly trend. Doing so will not only reinvigorate our institutions, but in the end extricate Nigeria from being global dumping ground for technological and manufactured items. The time to do so is now; tomorrow might be too late.

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