“No way! Like seriously, this is not happening again! This had better be a big joke or something. Do they even consider us at all while making decisions? I’m almost hundred percent sure that they don’t. Like!
I can’t even believe they’ll do this to us again!!!”
Steve threw his phone, before walking dejectedly to join it on his ‘student bed’. No matter how angry or frustrated he gets, he’ll always make sure the phone lands on the bed whenever he throws it. After all, what Sapa cannot do does not exist; it will make even the most infuriated broke man alive calm enough to remember he dare not destroy any of his few possessions in anger.
Just like many other Uites, Steve can’t get himself to believe that the school is having another virtual semester. The last one was more or less of a huge disaster for him and now, his hope of making amends by being as serious as he can ever be this semester is about to be crushed if it is another virtual one. He wonders why the ‘powers that be’ can’t just understand the close kinship between virtual classes and poor performance. Perhaps they know but they just don’t care about how it affects students. He can’t blame them, anyway. Covid-19 heightened their liberty to do as they please.
He’s still dealing with the aftermath of the management’s decision as regards accommodation on campus due to the stupid virus. Should he think about how he ended up getting duped by agents (many of which are fellow Uites) before he could get a single room in a ‘face-me-I-slap-you’ building at almost thrice the usual rent? Or how he has to wake up as early as 5 a.m. to get water from other houses in the street since not even a well exists in the building; something he only got to know about after the rent had been paid? Or how the insecurity in the area escalates each day? Or how losing his phone and laptop to one of the incessant robberies in the area and having to work and save up before he could get a used, epileptic phone really took a toll on his studies in the just concluded semester?
Now, he’s expected to cope with another semester of online classes when he’s not even sure he won’t carry his faculty home in the name of carryovers when the first semester exams results are out.
“Hope no be say na to carry the whole of UI dey go house when this one end laidis? Make semester never even start and failure don dey romance person laidis. Na wa o! This virtual rubbish no gel at all. Na virtual punishment wey dey take coronavirus disguise.”
No matter how objective he tries to be, he can’t help but conclude that the powers that be don’t really consider the difficulties students are faced with as regards virtual lectures. That’s almost obvious from how the second semester commenced without even one week’s break after the first semester exams. They probably think every student has necessary gadgets to enjoy a hitch-free virtual semester, or they are aware there are students like him with epileptic phones – or even without any gadget at all – but they believe that’s their own bottle of aloe vera. Hence, they should find a straw and enjoy it. How is he expected to cope with online lectures and continuous assessments with a phone that shuts down whenever it deems fit, even if the battery is fully charged?
But lecturers should be affected by how there was no break at all, shouldn’t they? Is the management inconsiderate even towards lecturers? Maybe that is why some lecturers even give the online lectures with so much indifference and bitterness as though they derive maximum satisfaction and pleasure in seeing students fail. Or how can a lecturer drop 40 slides on a single topic, only to explain it all within thirty minutes? Is that even supposed to be an explanation or premium confusion? Is education supposed to be that stressful or the lecturers are just bent on frustrating students? One can never really get answers to these questions.
“School no hard, na me see other schools for ground come pick fes and bes. Na me even see better countries from heaven come land for Nigeria.”
Steve can’t help but think about how the school is only a microcosm of Nigeria at large. Nothing really works in this country, everything is all about stress. He might have never been to another country, but he’s heard Nigerians in other countries talk about how things are different over there. He’s heard lots of them talk about how education is really easy over there, how students who think they’re average in Nigeria end up graduating with first-class grades and some even top their class. The system makes the difference and he is just one of the victims of the wicked system.
“Nigeria na country wey just dey serve him citizens hot breakfast steady, and we no get choice but to chop am.”
Steve is only bothered about how he’s expected to deal with this “breakfast” of his that came in the tray of virtual semester.