Should students suffer before getting academic certificates? This is the question on the lips of students of the Kwara State Polytechnic (KWARA POLY) in Ilorin, Kwara State, given their daily struggle to attend lectures. Instead of walking quietly into the classroom, students are always in a rush for the classrooms, scrambling for seats.
At the end, many still stand to receive lectures. This is the reality of inadequate lecture rooms at the polytechnic. Many students wake up very early to arrive get convenient space to sit, but the early birds get choked when their colleagues arrive for the lectures.
An ND 1 student of Mass Communication has once complained to this writer that there was hardly a day he went to class at 7:30am without meeting a crowd of students already seated for lectures. Some will even occupy seats with their bags to create spaces for their friends, who are yet to come.
This has been the situation, for many years, with the management still planning to improve on the facilities on ground. Students are not happy with the situation and their academic pursuit may be under threat if the situation is left to continue.
As it stands, the polytechnic’s classrooms cannot occupy 60 per cent of admitted students. This problem explains why many students, during lectures, sit on the floor, while some stand by the wall in order to get lecturers’ messages.
In my discussion with a Science and Laboratory Technology (SLT) student, I got to know that the problem is general on the campus. In some departments, students are being taught with outdated equipments. How would they be conversant with the latest knowledge on their fields?
The school was established 41 years ago by Edict No.4 of 1972 of Kwara State, which has been successively overtaken by the Edict No.21 of 1984, Edict No.19 of 1987 and Edict No.7 of 1994. It was founded by the then Military Governor of the state, Colonel David Bamigboye (rtd).
The institution was established to train students in research and development of techniques in discipline such as Arts, Applied Sciences, Engineering, Management and Commerce, and Education, among others.
Students, despite the inconveniences, are still given overload of assignment, which give them little time to spend on research. Most lecture rooms and laboratories are ill-equipped with adequate facilities.
The Head of Mass Communication Department, Mr Muibi Lawal in one of his speeches to the students, said: “We are aware of the difficulties you (students) are encountering, but we implore you to bear with us until the management comes up with a better solution. We advise you to neglect the idea of putting up any act of laziness because some students have seen this as opportunity to take their studies with levity.”
Apart from inadequate lecture rooms, transportation is another challenge facing students of the institution. Many students living off-campus encounter hardship going to the campus for lectures. Every morning is a rush hour for students. Thanks to the commercial cab operators that ply the road. If not, many students would not have been able to cope with the challenge.
To solve these challenges, the management, which is led by Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu, must partner with private firms to build more structures for lectures. Bodies funding education such as Education Trust Fund (ETF) should also live up to the billing, by coming to the campus to take stock of the facilities and make improvement where necessary.
Although, the management has reiterated its plan to buy buses to ease the transportation crisis on campus, but the authorities must act fast before the situation makes many students to lose interest in going to school to acquire education.
Balikis, ND II Mass Comm., KWARA POLY
Source: The Nation