Unical Part-time students task the Vice Chancellor
In University of Calabar, students who are engaged in evening Programme otherwise known as CES students lament to Stanley Uchegbu a 400 level of Accounting their major plights and challenges encountered in their various departments and seek for the way forward from the Vice Chancellor.
PART- TIME STUDENTS TASK VC
There is no doubt that the Vice Chancellor Prof. James Epoke has spent barely two years in office and the University of Calabar has begun to witness changes. He has seen the thorny side of the office during the time students went wild and start destroying the school properties. At the moment, a wind of transformation is blowing throughout the university community. New structure undergoing construction while old ones are getting deserving facelift like Malabor dinning room, Unical Alumni Centre, Hall of residence, Faculty of law library, definitive library and to mention but a few.
As for all these developments, the mood is not cheery and bright for students engaged in part-time programme otherwise known as CES students because their academics is suffering seriously and most of them are scared to voice it out rather they put in a questionnaire form, WHO WILL TELL THE VICE CHANCELLOR?
My special adviser once told me that the world rankings are largely based on the evidence of quality that institutions are able to showcase on the internet and websites and how students are faring in their academics. The university is not ranked in terms of its physical structure, or its fortification and flamboyant environment.
When confronted by Campus life, Umoh Augustine a 300 level of Business Administration said that the Vice Chancellor has overlooked their program irrespective of the hike in their tuition fee stating that their lectures are always held in evening starting from 4pm to 6pm, at times 5pm-8pm but they don’t have light in their lecture venues.
The business vendors staying very close to our lecture venues keep disturbing our lectures with the incessant sound from their generator set and you know that gaseous emission from generator as substance are inimical to human health.
Moreover after our exams, our results always take some lecturers a session before they process it. If there is any problem you encounter you wont even know, given time lapses between when the problem occur and when it is discovered, we find it difficult tracing the problems so that our lecturers can remedy them.
At times, the lecturers are unwilling to help. Sometimes what they will tell you is that nothing can be done, that the senate has sat on the result so no amendment can be done. This highly unfortunate situation, especially as students, we are left with our fate to bear the brunt. Sometimes they will force you to accept a carry over and you must retake the course before graduating and nothing can be done about it especially if the lecturer is at fault, he fumed.
On her own part, a 200 level student of Education and Planning Ekang Veronica suggest that the only thing that can save them from the malady is that the management should mandate all lecturers to submit there result booklet before or after three weeks of making for endorsement by the Departmental heads, before it is now send to NUC database for publication that is putting on line where students can have access to it once you log in with your details. That is the essence of having database and they should make it in such a way it will be only those that paid their school fees will access it and I think with this, it will encourage students to pay their fees on time.
She stressed that sometimes, when the results are being pasted on walls or notice board before you got the information some stupid ones has torn it. And the class coordinator will not even have extra copy, so is now left for those affected to wait until they paste the Cumulative Grade Point Average. (CGPA).
As part time students, we are many in number, there is no doubt the lecturer will complain about the large number of scripts they have to mark but can they compare for a larger population than the examining body like Waec, Neco and Jamb, yet they still release results on time. I don’t think it is difficult for our lecturers to release results on time and use modern technology as platform to make them available to students, he said.
To Esther Asuquo (not real name) a 100 level student of Faculty of Education, the Vice Chancellor should establish a scholarship scheme for Part time students stating that it will imbibe the reading culture stressing that reading culture has been sacrificed on the altar of browsing, 2going, face booking and twitter. Readers are leaders, he said. When asked why did you enroll for part- time programme, she said, ‘I sat for UME, this is my forth time and I scored above average, which qualifies me to participate in post- UME exams of University of Calabar, but unfortunately I was unable to meet up with the cut off mark. Not that I have weak brains. I am intelligent and I am proud to say it. I have no choice than to join the part- time programme. The programme is good because we are exactly doing the same course with the regular students but the only thing wrong with that is after the struggles they wont go for NYSC programme because of the ban place by the NUC, I don’t think it is proper for one to spent five years in the university after undergoing Aluta struggles you won’t serve your fatherland, I was earlier told that after the programme they will issue a letter of exemption. I don’t think it is proper because am not even up to thirty years of age, I solicit with NUC board to reconsider the band and return the scheme. Even if we dont collect Alawi, I will still love to serve my country.
Still narrating her ordeal, she said that at times when lecturer came to class, they won’t lecture. They talked on politics, the banes of Nigeria and many others in fact they digress a lot lecturing outside the course. Am not actually against it but let them limit it. I supplicate to the Vice Chancellor deep its searchlight on CES programme and remove some bad eggs and as well revamp it, she said.
On the part of Johnson Ekande a 200 level of Political science, the Vice Chancellor should make provision of hostel accommodation because of the security and better electricity supply, adding that electricity is one of the major amenities students demand and students staying off campus cannot say they have had the best of it, besides; the amount paid for the allocation of a bed space is cheaper compare to the exorbitant amount they pay for accommodation off campus. Staying in the hostel save a whole lot of head ache due to its proximity to classrooms, library and department. The provision for hostels accommodation should not be made for regular students only; we deserve one if not for anything at least for paying the highest amount in tuition fees.
A 200 level student of Banking and Finance, Ayang Joseph told campuslife that staying in the school hostels saves time and encourage reading with friends than off campus. In his view, occasional setback in the hostel teaches one lessons such as group reading, and tolerance. “I never liked staying off campus because there are so many benefits one enjoys staying in the hostel. You are sure of adequate security, regular power supply, water and proximity to your lecture venues and exams”. When asked how do you know that all these things are available in the hostel he said, “I have stayed in the hostel when I was in 100 level but after the riot, the VC place a ban on buying of bed space from those allocated and those found selling, will be revoked from both the buyer and the seller, so some of them are afraid to sell. I plead with the VC to build a hostel for CES students, he said.
Recounting his ugly experience to campuslife, staying off campus especially in Calabar South is traumatic. He said; “one day I was returning from class one evening due to the status of our lecture that is always held in evening and ends lately. Two area boys accosted me with a heavy slap, asking me about my phone that I should summit or bear the consequences, I give them my phone and they search me thoroughly collecting all my valuables like my wallet, shoes, wrist watch and my necklace. My area is terrible and horrible, when such things happens nobody will help, rather everybody takes the opposite direction at the sight of the incident, and the worst part it is that there is no security mounted there, and this harassment by notorious students takes place often in the night and it keeps repeating itself.
The worst part of it is that the identity of these scoundrels remains a mystery. Some said that they are school drop outs, while some said that they are those who could no cope with the rigors of the university, other say that they are not students, but cultist of calabar south. The landlords are only after their annual rent at the expense of the tenant. They are not interested in the welfare and security of their tenants. To me I suggest the landlord should work together with the community association to strengthen the security. We are just left at the mercies of God, I will love to go back to hostel, where I will be fully assured of maximum security, he said
Campus life gathered that in the middle of June this year, there was a clash between the cult members in calabar south that claimed student’s lives while many students sustained severe injuries.
Speaking in deep laden voice, a student who opts to be called double zero due to the sensitivity of the issue said that some lectures needs to be shown way out of the institution because they contribute immensely to laziness of some students in the sense that they extort money from the students in other to pass them. They always use the class coordinator as an agent in extorting money from them.
Some of the departmental heads are nothing but a bundle of frustrators to students, they keep frustrating students. Some don’t even know their left from right says one of the students from Faculty of Management Science who pleaded anonymity.