Open Letter to 100lvl students

Open Letter to 100lvl students

Dear 100 level students,

I had developed a second thought before I finally agreed to use “100 level students” to verbally represent you all, as I would love to believe that “freshmen” would have been succinct and better. However, I realised that there is nothing fresh about you anymore. Of course, not after the series of plights and strikes you have witnessed. Not after the complex puzzles you have faced and the passionate struggles you have participated in. Not after the marathon classes, the countless assignments, the numerous tests and “fine” examinations you wrote during the previous semester. In fact, you are far from being fresh, especially after the new ‘strictly confidential’ book of life revealed how 0.0.0ld majority of you are.

Let me apologize in advance for I may appear harsh, but I would only speak the truth based on conscious observation and evident facts. If you care to know, I already forecasted your failure before I met any of you. I had predicted that the standard of the great University of Ibadan will fall, with the admission of you all into this institution. I had prophesized that many of you will perform poorly by end of the semester, and it is unfortunate that you made my prediction as true as saying the night will surely follow the day. However, I must admit that your performance superseded what I had imagined. I mean, I predicted that many of you would perform badly, but not as woefully as several among you did.

In your mind, you may start referring to me as a prophet of doom, but that would only be a wrong conclusion. As a realist, I only make predictions based on reality. My prediction was not inspired by the air in the space but by the process which made you a part of this system. Only if Post-UTME was not terminated last year, many among you will not be here today. The average Nigerian is aware that the examinations conducted by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the grades accompanying such activities cannot be said to be enough to verify the competence or abilities of candidates who wrote these examinations. They are often the exclusive silver works of Esau and the mighty golden hands of Jacob.

The poor result which majority of you had resulted in the making of a “Special Release” from the office of the Vice Chancellor, just to address your woeful performance. This is the first time in several years that the Vice Chancellor would make such worrisome release. The statistics provided in the release further shows that there is need for urgent actions from you all and from other members of the University community. The release which was made on Friday, 20th October 2017 was titled “clarion call for more hard work during the second semester 2016/2017 session”. The release states partly that:

“The Senate of the University of Ibadan at its meeting held on Wednesday, 18 October, 2017, considered the results of the First Semester Examinations for the 2016/2017 Session. One major feature of the results was the noticeably poor performance of the 100 level students. From our records, 510 of the students out of the 2,961 posted a Cumulative Grade Point Average of less than 1.0. Kindly note that this is the minimum level of performance required to retain studentship here. In other words, 17.2% of the 100 level students would have to significantly improve their academic performance in order not to be advised to withdraw from the University at the end of the session…”

From the above message it is evident that several forces (both physical and divine) need to come into play in a bid to ensure that at least 17% of your total population are not “advised” to withdraw from the University at the end of the session. It is even more troubling in a moment like this, when the pass mark in any of your courses is now 45% as against 40% hitherto, when continuous assessment now accounts for 40 marks out of the maximum 100 marks and when the minimum number of units that you need to pass at the end of this session is 24 units, as against 20 units previously used. Indeed, there is a lot to be done.

Truth be told, aside from the means by which admission tickets were distributed to you, the failure of several among you was self inflicted. Many were admitted with the mentality of their secondary school days. You probably assumed that those techniques which worked for you in those days would work here. Oh No! You might have had the belief that preparation for exam could be done a night to the exam and still result in an “A” for you. So sorry! Several among you were deceived and carried away by the freedom which accompanied your admission. Many swam in the oceans of trivial fun which has led them to the face of this huge destructive storm. While some decided to bask in the euphoria of frivolities, which blindfolded them from advancing the real priority. What a loss!

Well, the deed has been done. The results have been released. The strictly confidential document has launched a strict painful strike on your confidence rate. All we need to do is to look for way forwards. By this, we must acknowledge that it is high time you became conscious in the face of this reality. It is high time you acted towards alleviating your current condition. It is time for you to focus more on the priority by studying hard, attending tutorials and practicing more questions.

Now is the moment you need to identify what study pattern works for you. It is time to attend classes regularly, pay little attention to frivolities and have a feasible personal timetable. It is the moment to ensure self discipline, set standards and goals and work towards achieving them. It is time for you to feel free to ask questions from lecturers, colleagues and seniors. Above all, it is high time you took a decision which will determine whether you shall take a step forward towards the next level or you take a step backwards, to where you came from. The decision is yours to make.

Yours consciously,
Haleem Olatunji.

Till next week… Stay Focused, Stay Conscious.

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