The Obafemi Awolowo University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has questioned the integrity of the examinations being conducted by the institution, as well as the certificates that will be awarded to its graduates.
The ASUU Chairman at OAU, Dr Adeola Egbedokun, in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos on Monday, said it was worrisome that the management of the university started conducting examinations for students despite the ongoing nationwide strike and unavailability of lecturers in many universities.
The two academic unions at the university are divided over the ongoing strike and while ASUU members are on strike, members of the Congress of University Academics have refused to join the strike.
Egbedokun said the examinations being conducted by the university would dent its reputation because the management ignored the regulations and requirements that could qualify students to sit for examination so as to hurriedly conduct the examinations and bring the semester to an end.
He said it was unthinkable that lectures were going on simultaneously with examinations in some cases and wondered how the school management wanted the affected students to perform in such a situation.
The ASUU chairman said, “It is worthy of note that ASUU OAU believes in both quality and integrity. Since the current semester was just five weeks-old when the strike was declared, it means we have an outstanding of seven weeks of lecture before examinations.
“Anytime that ASUU strike is either suspended or called off, the union will resume work and continue from the sixth week of lecture and then cover the seven weeks we were yet to do. One thing that must be made clear is that as much as the calendar is sacrosanct, so is the university regulation more sacrosanct.
“The final year examination questions did not undergo the mandatory moderation by an external moderator because such external moderators are fully on strike in their various universities. This calls to question the integrity of the examinations and the purported certificate the university is about to award to such unsuspecting students
“Part 4 courses are re-allocated to graduate assistants, who are not supposed to teach. We also have information that non-academic staff are being asked to supervise students’ long essays in some departments.
When contacted for his reaction, the Chairman of the Congress of Universities Academics at OAU, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, challenged ASUU to back its claims with proofs.
Describing ASUU’s claims as unfounded, Sunmonu said he was very sure that students at the Department of Physics were taught everything in the syllabus by qualified lecturers.
The Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju, could not be reached for his reaction to the claims. He had, however, said earlier in a statement issued before the commencement of the examination that effective teaching was done before the examination started.
The statement said, “To further set the record straight concerning ASUU’s lies, at a management meeting held on December 17, 2018, reports from provosts and deans indicated that effective and efficient teaching had been carried out in all faculties even though a few lecturers (less than 20 among an academic staff population of over 1300) had not completed the teaching of their assigned courses.
“Their teaching assignments have been reassigned to other academic members of staff who have gladly taken up the challenge to ensure that we have a smooth academic session.”