Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)

For struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

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Socialist Democracy

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Socialist Democracy Aug - Sept 2005


Sorry State Of Education

By Ayalollah, NAU

No doubt, the Nigerian education system, for decades, has been declining and Nnamdi Azikwe University (NAU), Awka has not been left out of this rot. Right from the temporary to the permanent site, the institution is more or less in a sorry state, ranging from structures to the quality of lecturers, the students, etc.

Admission into the institution is strictly for the highest bidder. Freshers have to path with between N28,000 to N40,000 for registration aside from other sundry dues (departmental, faculty, etc). Hence, for the children of the poor working people, the gates of NAU, though a Federal University, are automatically shot.

For the last semester (1st semester, 2004/2005 session), the admission lists for some students were released two weeks before the exams began, most of whom had to hurriedly go through the registration processes. For these students and many more, who had less or no time to settle down for serious academic works, it was a season of automatic carry-overs.

Even for those who had been earlier admitted, the situation was not all together different, as lecturers rarely came to teach. For instance, in a general studies course (GSS 104) which was compulsory for students in arts, social sciences and law faculties, there was no lecture even for once. On the part of the lecturers and members of staff, the issue is much the same. In some cases, lecturers have no offices, with about three to four lecturers pairing in one office in some cases. Lecturers are handicapped to the extent that in some occasions, there are no chalks or markers with which to write! There is the news of a department where students had to retake an exam in a course in the subsequent year, because the lecturer in charge of the course had traveled out of the country in search of greener pastures, another lecturer then took up the duty. After one year, the new lecturer also left for Europe without computing students' results.

Traditionally at NAU, results are released after one year of the exams. But there are instances where students in final year are yet to get some of their 100 level results. Hence, some of them decide to retake the exams. All these and many more are the lots of both staff and students at NAU.

Except the Nigerian students presurise the government through organised mass campaign, rallies and protests amongst others to positively change its attitudes to education by adequate funding, the quality of education in the entire public school, from primary to university, should be bided 'Goodbye'


In the face of the above-listed shortcomings of government and the authorities at NAU, one would expect that there would be a high level of opposition from NANS and ASUU in the school, but that is far from the case.

The presence of ASUU is almost non-existing. For Students' Union on its part, the incumbent president and a majority of the executives were handpicked and remain surrogates of the school authority hence the lack of any form of opposition against the anti-people policies and programmes of the school authority. The student activists who fought against the attempt by the authorities to impose student leaders on students have receded from the scene of activism probably for fear of victimization as the vice chancellor is renowned for victimizing genuine student leaders and even intimidates them with 'anti-cult' group outfit, who move freely with guns on campus. A positive situation availed itself in the last semester, when students attempted to demonstrate against the attempt by the authorities to stop students who had not paid their school fees from sitting for the semester exams (old students-stalites-pay about N20,000 per session). The struggle lacked focused leadership and unfortunately was not supported by the Students' Union.


In spite of the general atmosphere of fear which dominates the university community, there are layers of young students who are dissatisfied with the status quo and the presence of an ideologically based political organisation like the DSM can transform these change seeking students into politically active and revolutionary elements. Already a number of students have declared their intention to join the organisation. At present, Education Rights Campaign ERC has put down roots on the campus with regular meetings, issuance of public statements and intervention on the daily struggles of students, etc.



Socialist Democracy Aug - Sept 2005