by Isi Esene
A visitation panel to the University of Abuja has lamented the lack of academic culture in the institution since it was established.
The special presidential visitation panel accused the university of graduating students with multiple carry-overs in its 2003/04 session.
The panel, led by Dr. T. C Osanakpo, said it took into cognizance the general environment, conduct and the host community as the major concepts in the term of reference addressed under the focus area of conduct of academic and non-academic staff.
As reported by the Punch Newspapers;
The panel noted that the graduation of 31 students of the English Department who had varying numbers of carry-over courses in the 2003/2004 session, “indicates the highest degree of carelessness, incompetence, and insensitivity.’’
It added, “We have every reason to believe that there could be more of such cases. The Senate should be directed to revisit these cases and take appropriate action.”
The panel examined the general atmosphere in the university under different administrations from the first (Prof. Isa Mohammed) to the fifth and current (Prof. JSA Adelabu), and the conduct of academic and non-academic staff before reaching its conclusions.
It noted among other things, that “In terms of management of academic matters, the Panel noted that it is characterised by non-existence/lack of examination and student record office/unit (s) at the university, and management’s/vice chancellor’s reluctance to deal/dispense with proven cases of examination misconduct and malpractices (e.g. the case of graduation of unqualified students (31 No. 2003/2004 session) by Dr. Nnadi of English Department.
“There is also evidence of confirmation of results administratively on behalf of Senate by the Vice Chancellor without due diligence and authorisation ( the case of 31 No. unqualified graduates from English Department);
“Over-admission of students in all programmes of the university resulting in over-stressing, over crowding and over-use of available university physical and manpower resources, and ineffective performance of personnel in carrying out examination administration functions.’’
The panel indicted the university administration for poor record keeping and computation of students Grade Point Average
“It was characterised, in the case of academic staff, by absence from examination invigilation without approval, lack of diligent supervision of postgraduate students, delays in the marking of examination scripts, grading and release of results as well as in the conduct of postgraduate examinations.
“In the case of non-academic staff, they participate in examination invigilation, particularly the junior non-academic staff cadres, too low by training, rank and experience to be part of academic affairs of the university, overstay (surprisingly, in the examinations of the regular programmes of the University).”
The Panel also found out that N98m was expended on ICT from 1999 to date out of which N18. 52m was expended on networking at the Mini Campus aside from the many special grants received from agencies like TETFUND and the National Communications Commission.
It, however, noted that, “Despite the various huge investments, there is no functional e-library on the campuses of the university in a Federal Capital Territory.”
This is a sad commentary not only on the said institution but on the state of education in the country.