Academic standards in Kogi State University have taken a deadly tumble following allegations that National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members have been recruited to teach in the institution following the mass sacking of over 100 teaching staff.
The crises rocking the institution has taken a dangerous dimension as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) said that the management of the institution has resorted to using NYSC members and non teaching staff to teach first degree courses and supervise students projects.
According to the union, this follows the mass sacking of one hundred and twenty members of the academic staff after the proscription of academic staff union of universities ASUU-KSU through a proclamation by the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello last July.
In a statement issued over the weekend by the Acting chairman of the proscribed union, Oluwagbemiga Aina, the union stated that it had became imperative to draw the attention of the public to the unethical practices being carried out in the institution where “Unqualified persons (Technologists, members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other non-teaching staff) are being co-opted to teach courses and supervise student projects.
According to him,”KSU, Anyigba has degenerated almost beyond the pre- 2005 era. Unethical practices are done with imminent colossal damage in an effort to create the impression that all is well within the system.”
Aina said that “in several departments, postgraduate programmes have folded up completely and where there seems to exist, they are being handled by unqualified persons; where a number of Ph.D and Masters Degree Students did their external defenses without the knowledge of their Major Supervisors.”
“Also, completed undergraduate projects hitherto supervised by the purportedly sacked lecturers were re-assigned and graded by lecturers who never took part in the supervision; in some instances, the names of the original supervisors were fraudulently removed and replaced with those who were not part of the supervision process. These are clear cases of plagiarism. There is a need to beware!!,” he said.
He alleged that allegations abound that fraudulent activities like sales of lecture materials are rife as a result of the current situation in the University.
“In some cases, some ‘lecturers’ reportedly instruct students to browse and download lecture materials without teaching in readiness for their end of semester examinations. There are so many courses still left untaught and this cuts across almost all the Departments with far reaching implications on the quality of the University degrees.
“Pitiable is the current state of our colleagues who decided to fall into irrelevance in our struggle to build the KSU, Anyigba of our dream at this point in time. Of course, this is apart from the demons, monsters and sycophants who are manipulating them for their selfish goals,” he said.
The Union stated that despite its efforts aimed at amicable resolution of the crisis, Kogi state government had instead resorted to intimidation.
“For the past three months, we were being pushed, pressed, oppressed and persecuted. We have prevailed to absorb all in our stride, hoping that the voice of reason, sanity and legalism will prevail across the strata of our tormentors.”
“It is common knowledge that proscription of a Trade Union is beyond the jurisprudence of an Executive Governor, adding that it had given time for this error to be corrected.”