Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) students have urged the authorities to resolve the problem of missing results and wrong grades, ABDULRASHEED HAMMAD, a 300-Level Law student, reports.
He thought his heart would pop out when it beat uncontrollably after being told that GST results were out. He had no reason to be scared, he assured himself, because the examination had gone fine. But, somehow, the way he perspired overwhelmed the certainty. Opening the result portal, Hassan Adigu, a 200-Level student, saw he got “F9” in GST 106? How! He screamed.
Hassan is not alone. Adam Olowonuora, a student of Literature, also had to endure a C, instead of the A or B grade he believed he deserved in a particular course.
Adam said he scored 26 out of 30 in the CA of the course. But the A or B grade never materialised. He had a C because his scores were not complete.
Issa Ridwanullahi, a 200-Level student of Public Administration, explained that when the GST 103 result was released, himelf and other classmates did not see their result on their individual portal. They complained but when it was uploaded, it was F9 – because only his test score was uploaded.
He said: “When GST 103 was released, I decided to check it but to my surprise, I did not see any grade. I later discovered that I was not the only one. We went to complain and they said they would only include the score for the test for us. I was shocked to hear about this and we later accepted. Some days after, we met F9 in our result.”
Still embittered by the ‘imposed failure’ when he spoke to CAMPUSLIFE, Hassan urged the university authorities for transparency in processing results this session by ensuring that the score of the Continuous Assessment (CA) and exams are uploaded on the students’ portal.
“Transparency becomes assured if done that way” he said.
Reasons for poor results in UDUS
Poor academic performance seems endemic at UDUS. Students however have given various reasons for their poor performance in the university. While missing scripts and incomplete results form part of the reasons, which they blamed on lecturers, others believe the students are culpable.
Aliyu Idris, a 400-Level student of Primary Education, blamed students, not lecturers. He, however, noted that better understanding by lecturers was necessary to curb mass failure in UDUS.
“The only solution that will solve the problem of mass failure is that the students should read. Some students are blaming lecturers about failing some courses. That is actually unfair. To get good grades in some courses, you must cram. Better understanding of our lecturers’ nature is an important factor to be considered by students,” he said.
Azeez Ridwan, a 400-Level Law student, has a contrary opinion. He blamed lecturers and the system.
“Mass failure in UDUS cannot be said to have arisen from students angle, as a result of the fact that we have students of this great university who have excelled in academic expedition from other schools. We heard of a law student of this great university last year who is among the overall best students at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos. Also of recent, we heard about another student who was the overall best student in India. They both graduated from this university with upper credit,” he said.
He, however, said the reasons the system was faulty were numerous.
“What this actually mean is that the system is faulty not the students. The system has been faulty on issues ranging from zero punctuality of lecturers, lost script, missing grades and even some other irregularities. The lecturers are at fault in most cases,” he said.
How to ensure transparency
To ensure transparency, some students said the exact scores of students in their CAs and exams should be published on the result portal alongside the symbolised grades.
Habeeb Gobir is one of these students. He is a 300 level Law student. He suggested to the management to include a column that would display both CA and examination scores.
He said: “This is the problem of the system and only the system can solve it. The new system adopted by the school by including the students’ Cumulative Grade Point Average on students’ portal is a commendable step by the school management. If the management can substantiate it with the creation of column which will display students’ scores in the CA and examination, this can go a long way by improving the level of transparency in UDUS examination policy.”
Promise Eze, a 200-Level student of Education Economics, said to curb the malady of mass failure, the tradition of placing students’ scores in tests and exams on departmental boards should be brought back.
“UDUS can solve the problem of mass failure by being transparent. By being transparent I mean placing all the scores of the students on their departmental boards and online so that the students will be certain about what they scored. If this is done, I believe that the problem of mass failure will soon fade away.”
Solutions to mass failure
The students have proffered solution to the problem of mass failure. Some are of the opinion that while students needed to be more committed and hardworking, lecturers should also be lenient and ensure ultimate justice while marking students’ scripts; while those uploading results should be very careful and avoid any mistake because they are dealing with the lives of students.
Humar Adam, a 100-Level student, suggested that the school authorities should set up a body for students in case if they have complaints about a particular result while ensuring that lecturers mark the students’ script with credibility and without bias.
“I would say it will be very good if the school management would set up a body to which any student who feel unsatisfied with his/her grade would resort. The body would do all to make sure the needs of the student is fully addressed. The Management should make it compulsory for every lecturer to mark creditably and always strictly keep the marked script for a number of days after which if no student comes to tender complaint, they can dispose it off,” he said.
He added that there should be punishment for any lecturer who intentionally gives unjustified grade to students.
“Punishment should be set aside for any lecturer who intentionally accrue an unjustified grade score for students. Because I see no reason why I would leave my hostel by 12am in the midnight and come back to hostel by 6am and at the end I won’t see the value of my sleepless night in my result,” he said.
Ghazali Rabiu thinks that if lecturers were to distribute CA scores to students to know the defects, they would be better prepared for examinations.
“The Continuous Assessment if done should be released before exams so that everybody will see his score. This will encourage the students to add more effort for better performance in their exams, ” he said.
Muhammad Adamu, a 200-Level student of Mathematics, thinks students should not only see their tests scripts but be given access to their examination scripts as well. By so doing, he said they would correct their mistakes in subsequent examinations.
“The management needs to issue out marked scripts of both exams and tests to students. What are they keeping it for? By giving me my scripts I can know my mistakes and then I will know if truly the grade displayed is what I deserve. If not, I can file a report having my evidence at hand,” he said.
In an exclusive interview with the chairman of Examination Monitoring Committe of UDUS, Prof. Babikir explained that one of the factors that precipitated mass failure in UDUS was the blame-shifting by students not owning up to their failures and blaming lecturers instead.
He also identified the misconduct of students during exams, malpractice, unseriousness as factors behind mass failure.
He, however, stated that the fault that comes from the lecturers’ side was their inability to attend lectures regularly yet want to cover the syllabus within three weeks to examination, thereby rushing the lectures.
On suggestions by students to publicise test and exam scores on the result portal, Babikir suggested that the UDUS Students’ Union (SU) should take up the matter with the Dean of Students’ Affairs.