Since 1948, the vision of the University of Ibadan has not left the lines on its palms. It has been its mirror and an every time hymn with its sonorous sound massaging the ears of every discipline. Beyond all odds, institutions in Nigeria has given it enough reverence to make it mother of it all. When we talk about its mission, it has been on a journey to be a world class University and in Africa; it houses more post graduate students than any other school making it obvious that it is preferred by many from home and from the Diaspora.
It may seem magical, but it isn’t strange when there has been a rise, fall and rebirth story of this institution of name. With whatever shortcomings, many would still want to be attached to it as their alma-mata. Today, the good and bad have been the wheat and chaff making them in a way easy to identify and separate.
The first University in Nigeria has become a doubt to many that it remains the best this time around. Before, many colleges, polytechnic and even big institutions are threading its path, but it seems it is left in its past to enjoy its old pride. Even though, it still maintains its rank in paper as the best University in Nigeria, its value within, from the motivation of students, workers and even some lecturer, has been devalued and many are struggling to give it a pleasing definition to reconcile it back.
Born in 1948, the year 2018 is a year of significance. The University will be 70 years old with so much achievement to talk about, but less than what is expected. The former President of the Students’ Union, Ojo Oluwanifemi had sometimes said the University is producing bad products to the public, but it seemed to many like he was drunk on intentional image savage or unnecessary activism, but after some months, the university agreed to the fact which made it to organize several master classes for, especially first class students. First class students are expected to have the better status quo, but it came to be that these are the very first chicks to be vaccinated before they die of the ignorance of mothering and independence. It isn’t a rue but a ghost’s open toe that the University is sandwiched with gifted students in memory and sound remembrance, but obviously, many of them are less of the ken if asked questions out of the textbooks before them.
Kudos to the University of Ibadan for its effort at solving the menace of accommodation on Campus. Since March of this year, it has opened floors for public private partnership and this has birthed hostels like CMF and A00. It has also solved the problem of accommodation for the Senior staffers who would love to stay on campus by telling those that have retired to leave to allow the new crops, Recently, the biggest renovation one could never think of in University of Ibadan took off and is ongoing in each hall of residence. This is enough for jubilation and justification of the decaying teeth but “undecaying” life style of its belly. The Central library now has enough visitors to greet and oil it feet every time. It has turned from being a fag to people’s way of reading, it is now the best place to fill your mind with books and allow your brain to think without being “cobweby”. Kenneth Dike Library is now on a 24-hour service lane. That deserves several rounds of applause.
But what about the student way of being taught? It has been a tiring clamor that the University has to sensitize its lecturers concerning the usage of old materials. Some materials that belong to the 20th century are still the one in use in this 21th century which much development is expected. The theoretical excellence of the University is second to none, and this is where students have been taught how to memorize chapters of books, whereas the practical home is nothing to talk about. Many of the good things have gone down the drain and they have become history. A student of Mechanical engineering only knows how to carry steel from place to place. A student of computer science of only knows how to put a personal computer on and off. Most importantly, the food basket of any nation – agriculture has been successful at having first class students who only know their own value because of their own ability to cram topics and codes.
Nowadays, what is not expected in class is done with pride. It is today that lecturers tell students to imagine being in a laboratory. During practical, it is either the microscope has lost focus or there is no light. Meanwhile, Nigeria has produced the best University and one of the best in the world.
With all these lamentations above, it should be apparent what students really want. Of what essence is a beautiful wife that has been deprived of her pride? What good will men who cannot produce good semen have been? Or a child that has always maintained his imbecilic trait, how will he defend his age? This is the state this institution is, and for problems to be well states, solutions are inevitably possible.
It is high time the University teaches its students sound judgment. For it to become the real soothing spring for all who learn, definitely its tower must be what we look up to. Beyond the surface, beyond the jubilation, beyond the ceremony, and beyond the constraints that the federal government has not done so well, the institution can still thrive if it real makes judicious use of what it has. Cutting down excesses would not be bad and giving importance and dedication to what matters like taking off outdated materials from the shelves of every library, and renovating laboratories in departments, improving students’ practical ability and alleviating imagination and abstractions, and providing adequate security measure on campus apart from just making the men in uniform on ground alone, will receive that a cut from the sky and ownership of the stars. At 70, it must not be heard that University of Ibadan is still wilting away from all these qualities