ASUU Strike: Confusion in OAU as some students write exams

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) was closed down by the Osun State Internal Revenue Service over tax debt
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) was closed down by the Osun State Internal Revenue Service over tax debt

Some students and lecturers at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Tuesday expressed displeasure over what they referred to as the anomalies in the ongoing rain semester examination for 2017/2018 session.

The examination clocked one week on Monday amidst the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Universities lecturers, who embarked on an indefinite strike on November 4, 2018, are demanding improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.

The lecturers have met with federal government at least seven times without the strike being called off.

Confusion

PREMIUM TIMES also reported that a parallel lecturers’ union, Congress of Nigerian Universities’ Academics (CONUA) in OAU refused to join the industrial action, thereby causing more confusion in the school’s academic terrain.

While some lecturers (mostly ASUU) stopped attending classes, others held classes and are now conducting examinations.

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Speaking with PREMIUM on Monday, a final year student of Zoology, who for the fear of victimisation did not want his name in print, said the university management has ”purposely given him extra year”.

“All my department lecturers are ASUU (members) and examination is a week today without doing anything. Is that not extra year? When some of your colleagues graduate and you still remain in school.

“Even a friend of mine in Philosophy where they are not on strike will also take part in the pain because he is retaking SER001,” he said.

SER001 is ‘Use of English’, a course mandatory for all first-year students. It is a prerequisite before graduation.

Over 8,000 students registered for the course, but the examination which was scheduled for Wednesday, January 16 was postponed without prior notice on the morning of the examination, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

A final year student of this course who simply identified himself as Adeola said: “The postponement is psychologically disturbing. The postpone exam indefinitely. This has not happened in OAU before.”

Our correspondent also gathered that examinations in some courses were cancelled especially at the Faculty of Law and Department of English among others.

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A student, Isreal Alao, told our correspondent that of eight lecturers taking EGL102 (a core cause for two hundred level students), only two conducted test and examinations for over 1,300 students who registered for the course.

“This is not limited to my class. It is happening from part one to part four,” he said.

Another student who preferred to be identified as Taoreed said two courses have been cancelled in Faculty of law.

PREMIUM TIMES also learnt the students in the Department of Foreign Languages are also facing the same challenges.

“Others are writing exams but we are doing nothing. Being at home with my parents would have been the best option. I see no reason why the institution should allow such a divison among its lecturers,” said Muiz Akanni.

“I am a victim of SES002 (a special elective)… The exam was supposed to hold last week Tuesday but when we got to exam Hall, the lecturer in charge said he did not set any question. He told us exam has been postponed till further notice after ASUU strike,” another student, Timothy Adebayo told PREMIUM TIMES

Troubled Lecturers

Some concerned lecturers also spoke with PREMIUM TIMES under the condition of anonymity.

One of them in Faculty of Arts said: “ASUU should be speaking to the press but as a father, I am pained and that’s why I am speaking with you,” he told our correspondent. “The university said ASUU lecturers are not up to 20 but only in English, we have 16. You can see their lies. The ongoing examination is unprofessional, illegal and unsafe.”

Another lecturer among those handling SER001 said the ongoing examination ”cannot stand the test of fairness”.

“The fire brigade approach adopted for tests and examination is short of expected standards and fairness to the students.

“It is a complete violation of a long-established practice for a single lecturer to supply 100 per cent of students’ scores in courses handled by four or more teachers. I cannot sign as a coordinator for examination I did not set,” he explained.

We Are On Top Of Situation – Management

When PREMIUM TIMES sought reaction from the university management on Tuesday morning, Isiaka Aransi, Dean of Students’ Affairs said ”the university is on top of the situation”.

“Let me advise all students to exercise a little bit patience. We had management meeting yesterday at which all these issues were discussed. We are doing everything that will ensure that all students are taken care of,” he said.

Explaining how the institution will tackle the fear of spending an extra year among some of the finalists, he said: “No students will be left out without writing exam. Let them continue writing the ones they are writing. Every exam will be written, I can assure you.”

He said students will write the exam before the next session begins.

“Some of the exams may he pushed a little towards the tail of the exam and it will be before the vacation of the session,” he assured.

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