As the country groans in silence under the epileptic power supply experienced all year round across every state, every community; students of University of Ibadan, Oyo state have decided not to follow the same path.
The students took to the streets of Ibadan yesterday, protesting the epileptic power supply from both the PHCN and the University maintenance section.
Here’s how Vanguard News reported it:
Pandemonium this morning erupted at the Nigeria’s premier university – the University of Ibadan, as students took to the streets within the university to register their grievances and dissatisfaction over the epileptic power supply both from the PHCN and the university maintenance section.
The protest led by the newly inducted Students’ Union Executives started around 7am resulting to the closure of the institution’s main gate and lecture halls.
The protesters also barricaded the Sango-Ojoo road opposite the varsity main gate.
Motorists and other road users had to take alternative routes along Agbowo and Bodija road to their different destinations.
Meanwhile, anti-riot policemen and soldiers have been deployed outside the varsity main gate and on the Sango-Ojoo road to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
Notice how the news report said ‘Pandemonium’. For the students to have resorted to this action, it must have been really, really bad.
I remember reading in the news some time ago that students of Lagos University Teaching Hospital were planning a similar action to protest poor water supply in their hostels. Sad.
If as University students, basic amenities such as electricity and water is lacking, then how will the students study properly and give a good account of themselves during tests and examinations?
It is no news that students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria study under the worst of conditions. Some students still stand to recieve lectures for lack of seats in their lecture halls; and for others – leaking roofs, broken furniture, dirty surroundings is the order of the day.
Most government-owned Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education are fraught with poor infrastructure and little or no maintenance of existing amenties. Hostel conditions are poor and completely non-existent in some institutions, forcing students to search for alternative and often expensive accomodation.
In another recent development, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that the Federal Government implemented only 10% of the agreement both parties entered into in 2009. While the union hasn’t said anything about a strike action yet, this has already brought some anxiety to the students.
It is about time the Federal Government pays more attention to improving the quality of education in Nigeria. The standard of facilities at the higher institutions no doubt has a direct impact on the outcome of the students academically and morally, and if they are going to be the leaders of tomorrow, more should be done to get them prepared to take up leadership with diligence. Strike actions, epileptic power supply, poor maintenance of basic amenities, insufficient lecture halls, lack of new technology, poor hostel conditions…… is definitely not the way forward.