At the University of Ibadan, the strike action by by Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which began Monday 1 July has generated some bad blood between ASUU and some sections of the university, with breaches being committed.
For instance, ASUU was at loggerheads with the Faculty of Law for organizing examination for their final year students in order to ensure that they do not miss going to Law School this year.
The examination which took place at Dominican Institute, Samonda area of Ibadan, outside the university campus was said to have been invigilated by some of the parents of the graduating students.
It was alleged that the faculty took the step because some of the candidates were said to be children of some deans in the university and prominent Nigerians, including Senator Iyiola Omisore. Getting wind of what was believed to have been an illegal examination, the magazine learnt that ASUU members went to the venue to challenge the conduct of the examination but were harassed and assaulted.
To prevent a breakdown of law and order, the ASUU members left with a promise that appropriate action would be taken once the strike is over.
A member of ASUU described the examination as illegal.
It was also learnt authoritatively that some faculties also held examinations for their post graduate students while projects supervisions never stopped.
In another development, the UI authorities also sidetracked the striking academic staff and conducted the post UTME examination for incoming candidates into the university on Saturday September 28 2013.
The exercise which was considered successful was lauded by parents of the affected candidates including Mr. Olaitan Oladepo, and Mrs. Olaoluwa Mary and the candidates have already seen their results.
But adversely affected are the students of Distance Learning Centre, DLC, of the university which has previously lost a session due to the 2009 strike action of the academic staff. Failure of the DLC students to write any examination this year would result into them losing two academic sessions: 2011/2012 and 2012/2013.
The students who had started writing their examination for 2011/2012 academic session were forced to stop. The centre that ought to have admitted new students for 2013/2014 session could not do so as a result of the strike.
“There is no facility for us. There are no classrooms for us. We have to wait for the regular students to finish their academic programmes before we can be attended to and that is why our interactive session and examination always hold when regular students are on holiday. When the strike is call off, they will neglect us and concentrate on the regular students and before you know it, they have regularized for them and who knows the numbers of years we will lose before we finish our programmes”, a DLC student said.
Reacting to the development, ASUU chairman, UI chapter, Dr. Segun Ajiboye said the Law Faculty ought to have waited for the end of the strike before conducting the examination.
“Why is the faculty in a hurry especially when ASUU is on strike? Our union has a position for punishing erring members and this will be appropriately applied at the end of this struggle. We take it as one of the skirmishes around during struggle and it will be dealt with appropriately when this struggle is over”.
On the post UTME, the union leader saw no sense in conducting the examination for prospective candidates when the system is yet to adequately take care of its current students.
“This is part of the anomalies we are talking about in Nigeria. JAMB gave directive to the VC, go and bring the list of admitted students or you forfeit admission. It is an anomaly and that is why we want the law that established JAMB to be reviewed so that it will just serve as clearing house and it will not be a body giving directives. You can’t take care of the students you have and you are bringing another one. What is this madness all about?”
Justifying the union’s position on DLC, he assured, “But let our students know that at the appropriate time when this strike is over, they will be taught their regular courses and they will graduate as at when due. We can assure them that our union is a responsible union, and we will make sure that their interest is adequately taken care of. DLC should not panic. Very soon the struggle will be over and we can guarantee our students, regular and DLC, that their interests will be well protected and they will graduate as at when due”.
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