-By Titus Adeolu Adekunle
I am not so quick to judge the administration of the College for the outstandingly astonishing increment in fees schedule. The fact is, if one is to enjoy the standard of education in this distinguished college, one has to be able to spend his or her way through. The challenge however is convincing me to see the standard we are paying our way through. Technically, I see the increment as a facultative fundraising affair, in which the only alternative pathway is your way back home, with no degree. Or what could best explain a “preclinical professional fee” of 75,000 naira. It is a very brilliant invention, creativity at its peak. But as I said, I shall not be so quick to judge those that will examine me during Viva Voce and decide when I get to become the doctor I so direly desire to become.
An obvious flaw is not making us see the reason to this increment. It would have made more sense if we are made to see the groundbreaking solutions we are paying for and not the enormous challenges to be fixed with our money. In other words, facilities should be first put in place, then we would consider if it is worth paying 75,000 naira “professional” levy for as a Human Nutrition, Physiology or Biochemistry student. How broke or broken is this system that needs fixing? For the preclinical medical students that have Physiology, biochemistry then 4-in-1 Anatomy practical to pay 150,000 naira for (in 2 sessions), it still makes sense if they will have more cadavers and be given their personal microscopes for histology since they are paying for 2 years. Biochemistry practical was not so different from Chemistry 195 practical just that we were frying salt in Blue Band and making soap that was not foaming (they still gave us soap to wash the test tubes we used to make “soap”) In those number of months, we had only about 5 practical sessions which is quite cheap for 75,000 naira. Embryology practical has not had anything new to offer. The babies in store have been there before I was born.
The only way it will make sense is if we all get our personal microscopes with our names encrusted boldly on it. On my first week of resumption to Pathology and Pharmacology Block Posting II (I resumed a week late), the MICROBIOLOGY lecturer announced during practical session we had just ONE MICROSCOPE for the whole class and there were a number of slides to be viewed. As expected, the class reacted and the response was “I told you to bring your personal microscopes when coming today”. Of course, it was a joke so we laughed it off. A class of 197, and less, thanks to our dearest Emeritus Faffers were to use a single microscope. If one person spends a minute at the microscope, that means 197 minutes for a slide but the practical was to last about 160 minutes (2 hours) and there were about 5 slides to be viewed.
Fellow students, let us not take this matter the wrong way for the Administration means good concerning us. They are our loving parents and the only way they would have to decide to increase our fees is because the need is there, otherwise, it would make no sense. Or why would any one just decide accommodation in ABH should be 40,000 naira with just two functional taps. Brethren, every room will have its own tap in this 40,000 naira era. Do not look to Engelbert Beyer (Catholic) Hostel where they pay about 120,000 naira for fully furnished en-suite rooms; for our toilets in ABH are about to wear a new look. Slay Queens shall be about the seat by a mirror there in, strike that finicky pose and slay in your pictures. That is the only way this makes sense. Otherwise, picture ABH without the generous intervention of the Alumni. I mean remove the recent renovation, use Snap Chat filter and bring the old ABH to the picture. Is that your 40k hostel?
If only students can be reasonable to understand this measure is in our favour. It will make sense to pay 100,000 naira “professional fee” if the generator powering Paul Hendriscke Lecture Theatre will come on as soon as they take light during lectures. You see those Air Conditioners that only work when we have special guests in the theatre? Never shall they go off again! Every other lecture shall experience the divine feel of what a lecture is meant to be, serving as a pointer to other faculties. This is the only way it makes sense.
It is a very tangible excuse that the government is not sufficiently sponsoring the system. In fact, it is like Ibadan College of Medicine offended the Presidency such that it is only our school that is not getting something from the government. Maybe next time the Vice President visits, we will point his attention to the neglect. Because this is the only relevant explanation as to why it has to be only Ibadan Medical School that is witnessing this drastic increment. Let us put that million dollar question aside. With the School left to fend for itself, the compensatory mechanism is the fees of the students. But the students are not the only entities in the messed up system. Hence, if there would be compensation, the only way it would make sense is if different organs of the system are actively involved in the compensatory process. The only way this increment would make sense is if lecturers, administrators and other staffers of the college will take a pay-cut as the students seek to shoulder part of the government’s lapse. Otherwise, students are not superheroes to be used to save a system everyone benefits from. Paediatrics doctors save chidren lives (loosely), does not mean “student doctors” should say Education’s life.
Let it not be said that I am a rebel or wrote against the authority for the only way that would make sense is if I do not need my MBBS certificate after these few years of intense labour – I am barely surviving by the way. I am just a confused soul seeking what makes sense. Fellow students, if these are not the things in mind during the planning of the increment, I am still on the the side of the College, on same page with the College although we might be reading different books of different languages. Someday, we’d hope it all makes sense.
Titus Adeolu Adekunle is a member of the Union of Campus Journalist, a 300 level medical student, currently in his fourth year but has a ID card that reads 300L-600L. He hopes an ID card is not part of the fees he is paying for this year because it won’t make sense.