By Esther Popoola, Precious Onajobi
The students of Federal University Oye-Ekiti have expressed their fears and complaints as the first-semester examination of the 2021/2022 academic session sets to start on Monday 27th March 2023.
The academic session commenced on 9th January 2023 but lectures kicked off fully on the 15th of January, 2023. The students lament the short semester, complaining that the semester has been full of worries for them and claiming that the pressure is too much for them.
Consequently, most students are tense as they believe that the inability to rest both in school and even during the break will cause fatigue which is detrimental to their studies.
The tertiary institutions were ordered to shut down all activities by the federal government on February 25 to allow students to return to their respective homes on a three (3) weeks break due to the presidential, senatorial, and gubernatorial elections.
The break was later extended by a week as the gubernatorial elections were postponed by a week. While the break is ongoing, the university’s management has decided to conduct classes virtually, allowing students to learn from the safety of their homes and meet up with the university’s curriculum.
As the virtual classes continue at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), students share their views over the short semester and the new normal of online classes.
In a conversation with some of the students, it was evident that the online classes have posed a significant challenge for some of them. While some have been able to adapt and embrace the new mode of learning, others are still struggling to adjust.
Students react to the virtual classes
Adeolu Ojo, a Sociology Student said, “The online classes have been an opportunity to explore new ways of learning. I have been able to attend more classes and participate in group discussions with my coursemates. It’s also been helpful to be able to review lectures at my own pace.”
Stephen Adepoju, a 300-level Mass communication student expresses his mixed feelings about the development.
He said: “On one hand, it has allowed me to learn from different lectures and interact with my coursemates from different parts of the country. On the other hand, it can be challenging because sometimes, the internet connection is poor, there can be impromptu classes and we mostly read PDFs like before,” he said.
Oluwatoyin Adeyemi, a 100-level Microbiology student said, “We have a WhatsApp group where we share notes and help each other out. It has been a lifesaver, especially during this election period when it’s hard to stay focused,” she said.
Abdul Mohammed, a student from the Faculty of Management Sciences said, “Online learning has been a blessing in disguise for me. I can attend classes from the comfort of my home, and this has helped me to save money. I’ve been coping with online classes and have been able to complete most of my assignments on time.”
Bukola Salami, a 200-level student, stated, “Online learning has been fantastic for me. I attend classes from the comfort of my room and interact with my coursemates. It has also allowed me to balance my academic work with other activities.”
Samuel Ayodeji, a 200-level student from the Faculty of Science, claimed he has found it challenging to balance online classes with his daily routine.
He said: “It’s been hard trying to keep up with classes. Sometimes a lecture can be fixed in the morning when I am still sleeping. Most times, I have to watch recordings of lectures. Another challenge I face is that it’s hard to concentrate, and I find myself getting distracted easily.”
Funke Adejumo, a 200-level student from the Faculty of Law, finds online learning frustrating.
“Law is a course that requires a lot of interaction, and this is not possible with online classes. However, I have been coping by reading extensively and attending online classes,” she said.
Despite these challenges, students have found ways to cope and stay motivated.
Funke Adekunle, a 400-level Mass Communication student while speaking with UCJ FUOYE said routine has been the key to her success.
“I wake up early every day and dress up as if I’m going to school. It helps me get into the right mindset and stay focused during classes.”
Students fear upcoming exams
Peace Seyi, a 400 Level student of the Mass Communication department expresses her fears.
She said: “I feel like the management is not considerate. And it is beginning to look selfish. They are determined to meet the calendar while being insensitive to the students. Network glitches have been making the classes not too favourable, but we have no other choice.
“The semester has been so hectic. My coursemates were on IT in January and February. We resumed and the election break commenced a week after giving us no time to get lectures.”
Ireti Esther, a student from the department of Peace and Conflict Studies said, “Writing exams in just one week is not done at all. Sincerely speaking, online classes have not been going smoothly with me even the lecturers are complaining too.
“I’m just 30% ready for the exam. The exam timetable should be amended again for the sake of the student’s success.”
Peter Ayandele, a student from the department of History and International Relations said:
“It’s disconcerting that exams will begin a week after the break, as decided by management. I’m even delighted that the initial resumption date was postponed due to INEC’s decision to reschedule the gubernatorial elections.”
“I’m not completely prepared for exams. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. I’d appreciate it if the school management could give us more time to prepare for the upcoming exams. This will enable us to give it our best efforts and aid our learning,” he added.
Lecturer Advises Students
Dr. Olúwáségun Osadola, a lecturer in the department of History and International Studies expressed his thoughts on the situation.
He said: “As humans evolve, so is time. Students should learn to adapt to the slight change in the trend of things. University decision-makers are also avoiding running at a loss as much as they want to maintain the standard of education.
“Students will only have to cut short their social activities and concentrate more on education to be able to meet and measure up”.
Amidst these controversies, the school management has maintained its stance on the commencement of the examination on 27th March, 2023.