Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

ERC Condemns UNILAG Authorities’ Unfair Treatment of 100 Level Medical Students

ERC Condemns UNILAG Authorities’ Unfair Treatment of 100 Level Medical Students

By Julius Samuel & Ilesanmi Samson, ERC Branch Coordinator and Mobilisation Officer

The Education Rights Campaign (ERC), University of Lagos (UNILAG) branch, condemns the undemocratic decision of the University administration to prevent 100 Level medical students from proceeding to the College of Medicine, Idi-Araba to continue their programme.

Two weeks to their final examination, the University administration, citing a fresh index system, changed the rule which now require first year medical students to obtain a minimum cumulative CGPA of 4.1 before they can cross over into the professional programmes in the College of Medicine. The University management claimed the number of students that passed exceeds the required number, hence their decision to coerce students to go and study courses they did not sign for.

Before the final examination, the university administration fraudulently admitted students beyond the school capacity because of the fat gains and profits they expected to make from students especially the Diploma students. If the University administration was fair and just, it would have admitted students it knows it had capacity to handle. Therefore the University administration has no genuine excuse whatsoever to coerce students to study courses they did not sign up for. Not only is the conduct of the University administration outrageous and reprehensible, it also betrays a complete disregard for students’ fundamental human rights as established under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic Nigeria (As Amended).

The university system is guided by laws, mores and traditions set decades back. Nowhere in the University system in the whole world are students allocated programmes and courses they did not sign up for. We call on staff unions (ASUU, SSANU, NASU and NAAT) to also condemn the action of the administration and demand that this decision be immediately reversed. This is crucial to prevent an embarrassing situation developing that could sully the image of UNILAG and the integrity of the University system.

Again, the public must be wary of being fooled. Quota for admission into faculties and programmes has long been set by the National University Commission (NUC) and other regulatory agencies. But because of profit-motive, Universities often admit beyond the set quotas hoping to make more money from the extra fees. Therefore if the University has admitted more medical students beyond its quota as prescribed by the NUC and other professional bodies, that is no fault of the students. Students should therefore not be made to suffer for a crisis they did not cause.

It is disheartening that up till this moment, the University administration has not mapped out any feasible solution to the problem. All they did was to express “regret” and coerce the students to go and study other courses they did not apply for. This is a breach of contract. The attempt to impose on them courses, other than medicine, must be resisted. We call on the Students Union, and staff unions to form a united front and resist this autocratic tendency of the University administration.