Schools and delayed results

THIS week, some aggrieved students of the University of Abuja stormed the Senate building of the institution to protest the institution’s inability to provide them with their statements of results and mobilise them for the Batch C stream of the 2021 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. The students, who thronged the Senate building in large numbers, carried placards and sang songs expressing their displeasure with the state of affairs. Speaking with journalists, some of the protesters rued the fact that no one had found it necessary to respond to their demands and brief them on the efforts being made by the school authorities to provide the said results. They were particularly disturbed by the fact that their colleagues in other institutions had already been mobilised for the NYSC programme.

To be sure, the issue of delayed results is a problem that students in the country’s public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, whether owned by state governments or the Federal Government, have had to contend with over time.  To take just a few examples: in November 2016, some students of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, Plateau State, held members of the school management hostage for failing to release their results in time for their mobilisation for the NYSC programme. At the time, over 2,000 students said they were awaiting the results of the degree programme they had completed since 2014. In March 2018, students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State, staged a protest over their delayed results. They shut the school’s main gate and disrupted academic activities. A similar protest took place in the school in March this year.

And as if to emphasise the universality of the problem across educational levels, aggrieved parents and guardians in Delta State, in September 2016, protested the delay in the release of results of the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) and the First School Leaving Certificate Examination (FSLCE). The organisers of the peaceful rally in Asaba, the state capital, decried the non-release of the results of their children by the state Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education. If the foregoing establishes anything, it is the fact that the Nigerian society is not ready to join the league of developed countries. The country has a structure that does not have consequences for actions, and so people get away with all kinds of infractions, repeating their crime time and again. Surely, the situation in the country’s institutions of higher learning where students have to, as it were, become mendicants looking up to the management for mercy over the results they have legitimately earned, would have been significantly different.

Pray, why should people be looking for transcripts? Why should students be made to write exams if they cannot get results with ease? Why should they be held down unnecessarily? What really are the Exams and Records departments of the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education doing if they cannot guarantee the release of results? Just how can members of the Senate and Governing Councils of universities be proud members of an institution that typically delays students’ results? Of course, the fact is established that in most cases, only graduating students of these institutions can realistically stage protests over their delayed results. For other categories of students, mum is the word, because they can easily get into trouble if they make their displeasure over their delayed results public. In most cases, students are already mid-way into a new semester before they get last semester’s results. This can be particularly upsetting, especially for those who have just discovered that they need to retake some courses.

Higher institutions are supposed to be torchbearers for the larger society, but they are mired in the same maladies that have set the Nigerian society backward for decades. As we noted in previous editorials, it is a terrible thing to set up a society on the basis of exploitation and cheating. Students who do not get their results when they should experience a lot of mental agony, but the real tragedy is that those who enabled that agony are sitting pretty in their offices, pretending that all is well, and without any recompense. In case the institutions need any reminding, they cannot lay any claim to modernity when they are unable to perform such a basis task as the issuance of examination results at the appropriate time. It is indeed a crying shame.

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