Walking or driving through the University of Lagos, one will naturally feel at home with the aura and physical planning of the institution. It has enough beautiful buildings and layouts. The authorities, for instance, tarred the major road from the main gate to the Senate Building, which is the “heart” of the citadel of learning. So also are the majority of the link roads in the institution.
At least, there are no potholes dotting the roads, a development that may tempt some exuberant motorists to overspeed. But do not worry, that temptation is not likely to take place. Reason: the authorities of the 53-year-old institution mounted enough speed breakers to check the ambition of such individuals.
The ambience of the institution also looks enchanting and delightful. The well-trimmed trees and flowers make the environment friendlier and attractive to any lover of nature.
The hood and monk scenario
This beautiful environment, however, does not hold so much fascination for many of the part-time postgraduate and distance learning students who are currently sitting for their examinations. As far as they are concerned, the idea of becoming a top class institution for the pursuit of excellence in knowledge, character and service to humanity, as espoused by the university’s vision, does not begin and end with these beautiful layouts and flowers. In their thinking, there is more to preparing them to be globally competitive than mere aesthetics.
“Have you gone round some of the hostels and classrooms to witness what we are experiencing here? Can you imagine what we encounter as we prepare for our examinations in terms of facilities in the hostels? Have you bothered to go to the main library to see how crowded and ill equipped the place is?
“Do you know how we defecate, especially at night, in the hostels? The posers are many. I wonder how regular students, who are more in population, manage these facilities when they are on campus. I would just advise you to go round to see things for yourself if you have the time,” a student of the Distance Learning Institute, who simply gave his name as Wale, said.
Indeed, a visit to the Faculty of Education, precisely the Department of Science & Technology Education, shows that all that glitters is not gold. For instance, in one of the lecture rooms that can accommodate between 30 and 40 students, while there are more than 13 long reading tables, there are just a few stools available for them. In fact, some DLI students preparing for their examinations, which started on Monday, sat on the tables to hold their group discussions.
A display of bedbug-infested mattresses at UNILAG