The Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, is conducting examinations for its students despite the ongoing Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
The university commenced the second semester examination for the 2017/2018 session began on Monday – 71 days after the ASUU strike started.
However, some departments at OAU are carrying on with academic activities because their lecturers have renounced ASUU membership.
A parallel union, the Congress of Nigeria University Academics (CONUA), was born in OAU last March after lecturers broke away from ASUU following some disagreements. They claim the industrial action is not binding on them.
While lecturers loyal to ASUU have not been working, their CONUA counterparts have been attending classes. This has caused confusion among students who are now sitting for examinations in courses for which they were not well prepared.
A 400-Level Law student, who pleaded anonymity, said since the beginning of the semester, they only had an introductory class for a maritime law course he offered as most of his lecturers belonged to ASUU. He said students did not even have an outline for the course.
“I was shocked when the examination date for the course was fixed, which was released less than 48-hours to the exam day,” he said.
Another student, Dauda Nahimot, studying Botany, lamented that there was not enough time to study before the examinations were fixed, despite not having regular classes.
She said: “We should be given at least two weeks extension to cover up what we missed. Even two weeks won’t be enough; we cannot cover up for the practicals anymore. We missed more than five weeks of practicals which span three hours every week.”
Another student, simply called Tayo, faulted the organisation of examinations despite regular classes noy taking place.
“I am in my final year at Electrical and Electronics Department and we did not have the minimum of 12 weeks teaching and one compulsory lecture free week before we can proceed to examination as provided in the university regulations. The management should not in the name of stable calendar jeopardize the lives of students.
“Some departments have fixed lectures for Saturday and Sunday. Yet, students are expected to be in the examination hall the next day,” he said.
Chairman, CONUA, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, said the group was not on strike and would continue running the day-to-day activities in the school.
“We cannot generally be part of what we are not privy to. We were not taken into consideration; we were not approached on the issue. So, we can’t be part of the strike. Our members still respect statutory duties,” he said.
CONUA Secretary, Henri Oripeloye, added: “We are bound by the university rules. So if the university says exams will hold, so shall it be.”
Commenting on the allocation of some ASUU lecturers’ courses to CONUA lecturers, he said there was nothing wrong with it, so far it is the decision of the management.
ASUU OAU: exams null and void
ASUU on its part has declared the ongoing examination invalid.
The union called the attention of both parents and students to the criteria for conducting examinations.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Adeola Egbedokun, and the general secretary, Kayode Atilade, the union faulted the decision of the school management to coerce students to sit for examination in courses where the required minimum of 75 per cent attendance as stipulated in the school regulations had not been reached.
The release further stated that the school was operating against the university regulations by organising examination after barely five weeks of lectures instead of 12 followed by a lecture-free week, and two weeks for examinations, making a total of 15 weeks for the semester.
“The current rain semester of 2017/2018 session commenced 2nd October 2018 while ASUU strike commenced on the 4th of November.
“Consequently the semester was barely five weeks at the time lectures stopped, with the implication that courses have not been fully taught,” ASUU said.
The union described as illegal, the reallocation of courses by the management to lecturers with low expertise, stating that courses were allocated based on lecturers’ areas of specialization and experience.
The union said the Vice Chancellor, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede, as well as the Deans and Head of departments should be accountable for the implications of this action.
OAU Students’ Union Action Committee Petitions NUC
The Action Committee of OAU Students’ Union has petitioned the National Universities Commission (NUC) as regards the conduct of examinations, which has been kicked against by some students.
The Action Committee was set up after the suspension of the students’ union activities and its executives in 2017.
The petition, released by the committee and signed by the pro-tem chairman, Gbenga Oloniniran Von, said: “We wish to clearly state that upon resumption of the 2017/18 Rain semester in the university on the 2nd of October, lectures barely began at various faculties and departments until the third week of resumption.