Campusaga snooped about in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria on April 19, 2019, and this time the furtive search picked up a sad story from the Department of Computer Science. Staff and students of the department looked sad. Kolapo Olowoporoku, an extra year student of the department died the same day. Campusaga gathered he gave himself poison on Monday, April 15, 2019. He supposed to have graduated in 2016/2017 academic session but for his two outstanding courses. When he registered and took the outstanding courses in 2017/2018 academic session, he was not able to get the pass marks. Probably he saw it a stigma but failed to understand that it isn’t right for one to take one’s life.
Failing a course or more in the University is not unheard of and a number of students who have graduated were victims. A strong will and determination to push through had been the key. Failure is not the end itself, but an experience to do better. Though it is quite obvious in the University that failure in registered courses affects the student’s CGPA. The ultimate thing is to graduate, even though it is quite important to graduate well. Students study hard, especially close to exams, but often they fail to realize that the aim of being in the University is not only to pass exams and courses but to develop the knowledge and skills that can make them employable. The ability to transfer the knowledge and developed skills from the classroom to the boardroom make one employable after graduation.
Academic advising and counselling in schools should be taken more seriously. The councillors or academic adviser should rise to the challenges of their job to avoid students taking wrong decision as Kolapo did. Academic advisers and councillors should be able to advise the department on how to help a student out of such predicaments in course failures. Many gaps shouldn’t exist between lecturers, academic advisers and students as obtainable in some universities, especially in Africa. Lecturers see themselves as lord over the students. That is not why they are in the field but for all-round development of the students in knowledge and skills. This can’t be achieved without that friendly co-existence between lecturers, academic adviser and students. Maybe Kolapo could have not died if this synergy exists in the University and department.
Cases had been abounding where students abandon their programs as they couldn’t pass their courses to graduate. Some Universities care less to know why and give them good guidance and help not to do so. Sometimes students are placed on probation due to poor performance, and during such probation, what had been the effort of the universities to make them improve their performance. These should be part of university curricular if none exists.
Students should as well adopt good strategies for themselves to enable them to graduate without hitches. They should know it is good to study hard all through, not just for exams. Studying a little at a time and often had been advised. Active and passive studies should also be adopted. Some students study from dusk to dawn, sleep shouldn’t be sacrificed in any way. While procrastination is to be avoided, a student should develop the right attitude to learning.
It is indeed sad that Kolapo took his life because of outstanding courses, Adieu.