CHALLENGES BEFORE LASU
The Lagos State University (LASU) was established in 1983 by the enabling law of Lagos State of Nigeria for advancement of learning and establishment of academic excellence and the External system was created and approved by the University senate through the edit establishment to promote manpower and its commenced registration in 2002. LASU was one of the State Universities that was sought after in terms of academic excellence and discipline but the reverse is now the case.
LASU was one of the State Universities which tuition fees were subsidized on the indigenes while non indigenes were paying stipulated amount of money which enrolment of students were at geometrical progression with highly intelligent lecturers to the core It was a pride to attend Lagos State University especially University from the South West with dignified and reputable name. Thereafter, LASU as an institution was now identified with high profile infamous cult groups that torn the institution into two through sponsored protests and strikes that almost disrupted the academic calendar many years ago by LASU cabals who never wish the institution well in all ramifications. No day passes by without LASU not be aired on our electronic or print media for callous activities of some students in the institution. LASU started diminishing its academic activities to nefarious activities which glory was lost accidentally by powers that be
Over the years, LASU had strong altercation with the National Universities Commission (NUC) barely twice over some of the courses being run in the institution without approval or accreditation from the commission. NUC, many a time closed down LASU for not complying with the academic rules of setting of External system of the University. Though LASU problem is inimical to the so-called past and present Vice- Chancellors who abysmally failed to fix the academic system which veto power is being directed from the state government without considering the plight of the students in spite Of Student Union Government (SUG).
Come to think of LASU as a State University has totally decreased in terms of population in the Conventional and External system which prompted many students to withdraw their academic pursuits in the long for the unnecessary increment of tuition fees. It is all the Lagos State higher institutions that increased their tuition fees through the State government, It is unfortunate that Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State could suddenly increased the tuition fees to #250,000 above the reach of the poor and depends on the course each student registers for. The government never considered the plight of the suffering students whose parents cannot afford three square meal per day but decide to send their wards and children to school due to the need of education for advancement of progress in life. The governor wickedly responded to some of the students of the institution that challenged him for such exorbitant increment of tuition fees, he replied them that “It is not compulsory that everybody must attend University”. What a wicked servant leader? The governor never remembered that the same students he wickedly jettisoned where those that voted for him massively in 2007 and 2011 governorship elections respectively.
LASU as an institution has been tagged with one problem or the other. The operation of the External system of the institution is call for great apprehension that students that attend External campuses are living in the mercy of God. Since 2002 when the operation of LASU External system commenced full academic activities that only 2003/2004 and2007/2008 results and certificates were only released recently after much awaited convocation of the institution. Issuing of results and identity cards to students in this External system is cumbersome to the core. LASU has 10 External campuses while 8 are at the Mainland and 2 in Island. It is sad that most of lecturers that lecture at these campuses are mere junks to the core. Only few of these lecturers are qualified because some are from Conventional Universities while any lecturer that takes one course is being paid #38, 000 with reduction of #2000 as a tax. A lecturer is entitled to take two courses in a campus and a total of four courses in two campuses. The money is being paid at the end of the semester.
The fact that these External campuses generate huge revenue to LASU main campus then, LASU authorities should have taken these campuses seriously to monitor the academic activities and nothing else. Though the immediate past Vice- Chancellor. Prof. Lateef Hussein was allegedly took #3billion from the institution that almost disrupted the academic activities of the institution. The External system is known as School of Part Time Studies (PT) which courses are run for five years with high tuition fees. The institution used to collect installment payment from students but that has become history in the campuses. The operation of the External campuses is nothing to write home about. Students that graduated from the institution in 2009/2010 are yet to get their results and certificates. Even students getting their real results are not guaranteed because of the ineptitude of the institution. Most of these campuses cannot issue students identity cards to be identified as LASU students. Most of these LASU campuses are not properly managed in terms of academic development. LASU is only interested in tuition fees rather than the academic development of the students. For students to collect their results to be tendered in their place of work and exemption of NYSC certificate or to do their Masters degree to PhD level is at the mercy of God except few ones that decide to go to other higher institutions or professional institutions to acquire their certificates to argument the LASU stress. Studying in LASU is the beginning of absolute uncertainty of getting a certificate for the labor market if the need arises.
The newly appointed Vice- Chancellor Prof John Obafunwa that inherited multifaceted problems from the former VC of the institution is yet to fix the problem of the institution, since academic directives are taken from the State government. All the various meetings held with the Conventional and External system of the institution is yet to bring positive result to the students that are the victims of this satanic polices of the state government. The system of the academic operation of the External system needed to be changed to avoid producing graduates with no definition of purpose in their lives. The unnecessary delay of results of out-gone students of the institution needed to expedite action to curtain the situation by the new VC.LASU is presently freezing the future of its graduates with infamous policies. The normal Conventional or External system runs a course for 4years to 5 years but the reverse is the case where a student graduates at verge of retiring from the academic pursuit of life. Most of these staffers being employed by LASU authorities apart from the lecturers are mere market women and men who do not have the academic discipline to be in the institution. Even the process of being admitted into the External system is stressful and payment of tuition fees is not left out. The system needed to be fixed by the new VC to avoid the sledge hammer of NUC in the future. It is a clarion call for Prof. John Obafunwa to release the results of LASU students of the External system to avoid disruption of academic calendar for 2013 now.
BY GODDAY ODIDI. PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST.08058124798. 20 ORO STREET AJEGUNLE APAPA LAGOS.
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