I visited one of the oldest federal universities in Nigeria recently. To put things in context, this university was founded in the sixties. Once upon a time, when people studied at this university, they would be looked at like they went to one of the finest universities in Nigeria but I dare say that today, it lives on past glory, sadly.
I was curious about certain things and I spoke to two people whose opinions I believe would mirror that of many others. One, a student and another, a professor.
The student is studying Graphic Design/Arts. Being a second year student, I asked how school was going and what challenges this student might be facing. The student narrated different things to me but there was one incident that I think is worth mentioning. A classmate, who had done a diploma in the same field in another country joined them late in the semester, and knowing most universities, hard work is something that is not out of place. Anyway, there was an assignment which some of them had spent sleepless nights doing. In honesty, my friend mentioned that the new student’s final product was not particularly great. In any case, this new student was given a D for her work and challenged the lecturer. She thought she deserved better and her ‘hard work’ was not rewarded. That was the beginning of her problems in the department. Many Nigerians who studied in our universities know this all too well. She was made to apologise and beg the lecturer every day for the entire year as he had made it clear that she would fail his course. The lecturer in question told his colleagues about this student and that is usually not good. When a lecturer involves his colleagues, there is a tendency that the student might be ganged up against.