Student ‘commits suicide over academic performance’

Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

Kolapo Olowoporoku, a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, has reportedly committed suicide after repeatedly failing some courses.

Mr Olowoporoku was an ‘extra year’ Computer Science student who ought to have graduated two sessions ago but was delayed as a result of two outstanding courses.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that his mates graduated in the 2016/2017 academic session.

Our correspondent gathered that the deceased, who served as the general secretary of his departmental association in 2016, swallowed a poisonous substance, which led to his death on Sunday.

In 2017, a female student of the institution also took her life owing to poor performance in one of her courses.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how late Mercy Folaranmi, took poisonous substance because she had a grade ‘E’ in CHM101 (Chemistry for first year students), a reportedly dreaded course for year one students in the science and technology related faculties.

Speaking with this newspaper, his class representative, Ayo Oyewole, noted that the death of Mr Olowoporoku came as a rude shock. He added that the department was yet to get full details of the incident, as at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, when PREMIUM TIMES contacted on Monday, the school security officer, Babatunde Oyatokun, claimed ignorance of the issue.

“I also read it online. They said he killed himself because he failed some courses but I don’t have any information on that,” he said.

A very close friend of Mr Olowoporoku, who preferred to be identified as Mayowa, spoke of the possible connection of his death with the failure in some courses as rumoured by many.

“He is not the only one that had issues (with some courses). I also had but I have passed them.”

“He wrote the course as an extra student. That (was) first semester last session. The result came out late because of ASUU strike but was released in the second semester. (The one he told me about is CVE- technical report writing). So, when it was eventually released, he failed that one again,” he narrated.

“So, he said they were going to the department to beg the lecturers. Out of six of them who took the course as extra year students, only one passed. So I feel that contributed to his depression,” Mayowa continued.

Asked if the deceased ever confided in him about his frustrations, Mayowa replied; “He never showed it. But I could remember in Part Four, he told me that there’s pressure from home and that they (the parents) don’t know what he is facing in school. They want him to graduate with a first class or Second class upper.”

In a telephone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES, one of the students who visited the deceased residence in Lagos on Monday, Oludolapo Adepoju, confirmed Mr Olowoporoku’s death and spoke of the sad and gloomy state the team met the family.

When quizzed further about what led to the suicide, he explained that the family does not want any details published about the incident.

“What has happened has happened and the family is not happy. They don’t want any other information published. After all, his picture has been circulated on the internet,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.

Reactions

Usman Opeyemi, a final year student opined that although Mr Olowoporoku went through trying times, suicide should not have been an option.

“In as much as I understand his pains, I don’t believe suicide is worth it. Terminating one’s life is not the best.”

Another student and the acting coordinator, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Olowolafe Samuel, while blaming the system, said, “No one is talking of the poor academic arrangements that slowly but deeply contributes to failure. For example, the previous session was one that went with writing of examinations without completing the stipulated hours of lecture due to ASUU strike,” he cited.

“No one is talking about a calendar that doesn’t put into consideration the psychological stability of students.

“Drawing logical deductions, it may be correct to say that what we have is not a matter of the students failing but the system failing itself. The system is that which is not intelligent, not the students. A reason why Nigeria students easily make academic landmarks in foreign countries but it becomes an herculean task to get good grades in their own country.”

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