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eduregard essay contest
11 Jan 2017




When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you suffer a lot; the prize of greatness comes with taking responsibility for your action.

Winston Churchill.


The world went agog in February 2016, when Ayodele Dada Daniels beat all odds to create an astounding record of graduating with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of a flawless immaculate 5.0 from the department of psychology, University of Lagos. How would we have known that the record will be matched in less than 365 days?

Few weeks ago, Miss Oyindamola Omutuyi, an elegant and exceptionally intelligent student of the Department of Systems engineering, University of Lagos graduated with sterling CGPA of 5.0, isn’t that amazing?

Coming back home, Mr Oni Babajide scooped about 7 awards at the 42nd Convocation of the Obafemi Awolowo University that took place last month after finishing his sojourn with a Captivating CGPA of 4.86. These are neither robots nor machines, they are humans whose blood is red, students who studied with tenacious pertinacity and they are just a few out of the numerous glistening stars that shine amidst their colleagues in the undergraduate world.

Saying Nigerian lecturers fail students intentionally isn’t just an empty assumption, but an armchair theorising, based on a jaundiced proposition and I will be backing up my submission with the following points.

An African Proverb says that “No rational farmer makes a hundred heaps with his hoe and scatters them with his feet”.

No rational lecturer would go through the stress of reading textbooks, preparing slides and leaving the comfort of their offices to give lectures to students and INTENTIONALLY fail the students after such straining stress.

To back this up, few months ago, while interviewing a lecturer, I asked him how he spent his three months leave, he replied that he spent #220, 000 importing about 13 textbooks and he finished studying them because he didn’t want any of his students to fail the course he would lecture that semester and was looking for different methods to teach them. Would a lecturer that has gone through such stress fail his students intentionally?

        To continue with, quite a remarkable percentage of lecturers exhibits what educationist have termed ‘’Marking under impression” .

The simple interpretation of this is that most lecturers, especially those in art and humanities award marks based on how convincing a student is and how well he or she can articulate and impress and we all know this is relative.

To illustrate with, in a discussion with a penultimate student of the Department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, she narrated a scintillating tale about the disparity between the quality of how she answered examination questions in her first year and how she answered them now. She added that, in her first year, she thought her lecturers were harsh but now, she realized they were actually gracious with marks.

We should take cognizance of the fact that some of these lecturers have been teaching the same course for about a decade or more thus have high expectations from the students as they have marked tonnes and thousands of scripts.

In additional to, most times, the reason for a student’s woeful performance is embedded in mammoth of mistakes like, not reading instructions, not understanding instructions, inability to interpret the questions and other related issues.

Take for instance, in the Department of Economics, if you are asked to “Discuss” , ”Compare and Contrast” or “Explain” , you are expected to write note, draw graphs and state mathematical equations if possible. Failing to do any of the three will reduce your marks drastically and if such student doesn’t have this pre-knowledge, won’t he blame his performance on the lecturer? What about those with illegible handwriting, those who display extreme rudeness, those who stab lectures for trivial reasons and other indescribable acts? Won’t they blame the lecturers too?

Drawing the curtain, there are some universal laws that are the same any and everywhere. For example, Boyle’s law is Boyle’s law anywhere and 60 seconds will always equal to one minutes. A lecturer once told me that it was possible for me to get 59 out of 60 in a mathematical course, despite scoring 18 out of 40 since I got all the six marks allocated to a question in the test. With this level of transparency, would the lecturer fail any student knowing his marking guide could be challenged by his or her senior colleagues?

Closing the stage, no rational lecturer, who has his or her own children or pray to have theirs, will INTENTIONALLY fail a student, knowing that what they sow is what they would reap. The champions mentioned at the opening paragraphs of this epistolary are students, Nigerian students whose scripts were marked by Nigerian lecturers therefore saying Nigeria students fail students intentionally is an empty assumption. The solution is to follow Winston Churchill’s advice of taking responsibilities for our thoughts and actions.

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