One year after, Law, Dentistry, other courses yet to be re-accredited in OAU

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

One year after the National University Commission (NUC) withdrew its accreditation for Law, Dentistry, Fine Arts, Botany and Family Nutrition at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, the institution is yet to get its accreditation back.

This was revealed on enquiries by PREMIUM TIMES.

This newspaper reported last August, how OAU and the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) advised prospective students to change their first choices.

In a text message to applicants last year, JAMB said “Your first choice course did not receive accreditation. Login to your profile and change course/institution.”

The spokesperson of the university, in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES at the time, said the university’s management “is working assiduously to address the issues raised by the NUC. It, therefore, has no doubt that the affected programmes will be restored hopefully in the forthcoming accreditation exercise slated for November 2018. We hereby use this medium to officially appreciate the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for the prompt release of funds to upgrade the existing structures and facilities in the University.”

No restoration

As many institutions begin admission processes for 2019/2020 academic year, the university is yet to get back all its dis-accredited courses.

Many students of the university who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES expressed their displeasure, saying OAU as one of the top institutions in the country should have put have done everything within its power to get those courses re-accredited.

When contacted, Isiaka Aransi, the Dean of Student Affairs in OAU told PREMIUM TIMES that the appropriate staff to brief the press on the matter is the university Public Relations Officer.

In his reaction, the spokesperson of the school, Abiodun Olanrewaju, simply told our correspondent in a telephone interview that: “Everything is in progress, that’s all I can tell you for now.”

Students React

A 300 level student of Dentistry, Abodunrin Dayo, told PREMIUM TIMES that the lapses denied students of their basic right.

“To me, it is like a slap on the university. Students couldn’t get admitted because of lapses on the part of the department. It is nothing to write home about.”

Another student, Kazeem Olalekan, put the blame on the federal government and the institution.

“For a department to lose accreditation, it means it has been found lacking in standards of what is expected of such department to be able to equip its standard with all necessary elements of knowledge needed to be able to contribute to the society and the universal body of knowledge.

“In a department where students use outdated laboratory equipment for practicals, how are they expected to cope when they find themselves in organisations where these analogue equipment are not available. When a Medicine student has to use cadaver as a laboratory specimen, what is he expected to learn?

“This could only be interpreted as the students not learning anything quite tangible and applicable to be able to compete with their contemporaries. So, who is to be blamed?

Mr Olalekan said the federal government had failed to fund the education sector.

”Should the dis-accreditation have occurred in the first instance? Our tertiary institutions are not up to the standard of what a higher institution is and this cannot be unconnected from the fact that those at the helm of affairs are hell-bent on destroying public education in promoting their capitalistic agenda.

“Let it be known that the dis-accreditation of some courses in Nigerian Universities only exposes the failure of the federal government to properly fund education as entrusted in them by the people. It is embarrassing that the government has, on many occasions, violated the social contract it willingly entered into with the people.

“The NUC has, with the dis-accreditation show to us that the Federal Government is inefficient and non-serving. Are Universities management expected to build lecture theatres for themselves? Rather than dis-accredit, the government should probe how the little sum being disbursed to our tertiary institutions are being spent,” the final year student said.

Another student, Dunsi Samuel, said, “The inability of the university to reaccredit the dis-accredited courses does not only speak volume about the university leadership but the state of the education sector as a whole and the hypocritical role of the federal government.

“Because, in the first place, Obafemi Awolowo University is an institution of the government that should be duly funded by the government, however, it is interesting to know that another institution of the government is responsible for dis-accreditation in Obafemi Awolowo University.

“While we cannot exclude the irresponsibility of the federal government on funding of the education sector, the supporting role of the university leadership in attacking Staff and students’ unions that demand proper funding, would lead one to believe that both the university authorities and the federal government are in a grand conspiracy to cripple public education.”

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