For Kabiru, the university is a breeding ground for young people to develop and explore their potential. Kabiru sees the university as a place where he can fulfil his dream of being a Journalist. There are other universities, but none could give him the academic quality he needed. He had heard of the University of Eba-Odan and its grandstanding achievements. It was this university or nothing for him. So, he applied for admission and was admitted into the foremost university. But the events that would later characterise his stay in the University sent him into thinking about whether or not his University and universities, in general, serve their purpose. Is the University a microcosm of society or a reflection of the putrescent society?
Kabiru, of course, is a fictional character. But Kabiru’s dilemma is what most students of federal universities face. Numerous questions begging for answers dance on the lips of the students. Are the universities serving their purpose? Are they providing a conducive environment for the students to develop their full potentials? The mindset most students have on admission into University is a place where they can utilize their knowledge. They see the lecturers as mentors, those who can guide them to unlocking their potential. But the reverse is what happens to be the case. Most universities lack the requirements to efficiently transfer knowledge to the students, and worse still the lecturers who should be mentors turn out to be tormentors. No federal university is left out in this rot that has characterized the nation’s tertiary education system.
Dictatorship which has been associated with the democracy of our country is what obtains in some federal universities. The students are treated as second-class citizens. Unfavourable policies are forced down the throat of the students. The students are not allowed to complain. When they do, they are dismissed dishonourably. When the students clamor for their rights, asking why infrastructures are not put in place, the government is always blamed. Yes, the government takes the larger blame for the rot that has dominated the nations’ tertiary education, but can the government still be blamed for stifling the opinions of the students by the university’s authorities? The university is not a cage, and the students are not birds. The university authorities must understand that the students must have a free spirit for them to unlock their potentials; thus, they should not appear as a bugaboo to the students.
It has always been evident that the quality of education the students acquire from the universities is nothing to write home about. One wonders if the universities are breeding future scholars or future bandits. Some of the lecturers that got teaching appointments in universities are just there to fill the vacuum, with no serious academic work. These are the lecturers that speak down on the students who ask leading questions and condemn them to failure. It is not strange to find young graduates raining hot curses on lecturers, who in their stories made their stay difficult during their undergraduates’ years. Even news reports narrate erring lecturers who ask students to sleep with them before they make good grades.
We think it is pertinent that there be a complete change in the universities, so the students can maximise their potential and make their education benefits society. The government as it has always been advocated should do more in terms of ensuring that the universities are not designed to fail. The lecturers especially, and university management, in general, should live to their purpose, and churn out the very best students. It is not too late to effect a change, we believe.