5th Week Experience: Students Lament Poor Learning Conditions

By: Peter Sonaike

The University of Ibadan is to run the academic lecture this semester within 11 weeks, unlike in the past when the academic lecture used to be 13 weeks. 

The shift to 11 weeks can be traced to the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 8-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which resulted in the disruption of academic activities for almost two years.

It is already the 5th week, and tests and exams are on the way. It is simply a reminder for the students to sit tight and manage their time in order not to have themselves to blame if they fail.

While classes are supposed to be in full swing for all faculties and departments, it isn’t the same for all. For some students, the idea of frequent classes is nothing but wishful thinking, as lectures have always been cancelled

Aside from this, is also the issue of the inconducive learning environment for students. All these may have great implications on the performances of the students.

The Perpetual Cancellation Of Some Classes

The cancellation of classes has been perpetual in some faculties. Sometimes, the classes are cancelled to entertain other events. A typical example was what happened in the faculty of Education two weeks ago.

A lecture was going on at the LLT, and the lecturer was told that that same venue had been slated for a freshers’ orientation program, resulting in the postponement of the presentation.

When things like this happen, students’ reactions tend to differ; while some feel indifferent or happy towards news like that, other students, like Funke, are left disappointed and distraught. The 200-level student of Education shared her experience with Indy Press.

“I am tired of classes being suspended over events. The presentation, which could have been done once and for all was suspended over an event,” Funke said.

“This is a university where academics should be made paramount than other activities, but it is pathetic that the reverse has been the case”

Complementing the preceding issue, another reason why classes have had to be canceled most times at the expense of students, is the unavailability of lecturers.

It is understandable that when a student misses classes, no harm is done to the whole class, and the lecture goes on. However, this is not the case in the absence of the lecturers.

Some lecturers fail to show up occasionally, and some of them who show up only give their students the course outlines without any attempt to teach them the contents.

This may go a long way in affecting the students’ performances. Adeniyi, a 200-level student of the Faculty of Social Sciences, expressed his displeasure over the fact that some  lecturers have not made themselves available.

“That some Lecturers are not available is a big issue that needs to be addressed because it is we, the students, that will suffer for it at the end of the day,” Adeniyi said.

“I cannot imagine sitting for the tests and exams set by Lecturers who have taught me. This is a serious case, and I hope it is rectified in time.”

Of Inconducive Learning Environment

There are so many things which affect the rate at which students learn and understand in class. And one of the most important factors, is the conduciveness of the learning environment.

There are some classes that are devoid of any iota of conduciveness. For example, some classes are held without a public address system, thereby making it difficult for the students to get a good grasp of whatever the lecturer is saying.

There is also the problem of ventilation. Actually, this is not for a lack of windows or poor structuring of the lecture theatres. Rather, it stems from over-population. Some lecture halls can not contain all the students taking that course, and this leads to the poor flow of air in the halls.

How many students can learn whilst wiping sweat off their faces with their handkerchiefs in one hand and then use the other hand to control a hand fan??

The Implications Of Such Hiccups

It is already the 5th week, and it is normal for CAs to start rolling in the form of tests and assignments. It is expected that students will be having their tests in the coming weeks, and there is the possibility of failure. For some, it would be due to their unserious and lazy nature, while for others, poor lecture delivery could be their problem.

Many might argue that it will be better if the academic calendar is extended. However, the extension of the calendar would not necessarily affect the issue on ground.

It is necessary that the students should not be rushed into writing tests and exams when the lecture delivery has not been adequate.

Also, the student executives of every faculty and department could make moves by liaising with their various HODs and Deans on ways to make the situation better.

Also, it is important to note that the University of Ibadan is a citadel of learning and not a citadel of social events. As such, utmost priority should be placed on lectures instead of social events.

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