Categories Children Education

Nigerian University Where Students Defecate In The Open

Dr Ugoji Ebujo
Widespread anomie prevalent in Nigeria,
occasioned by a virtual dilapidation of the societal
ethical and moral framework, has literally
squelched any social appetite for comparative
sociological analysis of any segment of the
Nigerian society and a corresponding segment of
any foreign country even if that country is
Somalia .

Any such study invariably ends as an exercise in
rendition of woes, lamentations and pity. Our
country once mighty have fallen and is falling.
The decay is systemic and deep-seated and
widespread .

Our political system is heavily infected by
corruption and the educational system is
strangulated by poor funding. But our education
suffers from much more. Teachers groan and
moan, deride politicians and claim moral
indignation but they are equally culpable for the
rot that has beset us.

The university of Ghana and the University of
Nigeria have so much in common besides being
named after their respective countries. They were
both conceived during the colonial era and they
have main campuses located on hills, Legon and
Nsukka . Both have very large student population
of between 35000 and 38000. They have regional
reputations and have produced high quality
graduates who have played great roles in their
societies.

A brief stay in each university last year afforded
me an opportunity to reflect on the two societies
through those institutions . In Legon, it was an
experience of efficiency, culture and aesthetics. All
buildings were painted and all were white and all
had red roofs and all windows black.
Flowers and hedges were manicured and trees
added beauty to the environment. Order was
evident and everything showed agelessness
because the new and the old abided by a laid
down code. The library was quaint but noiseless,
lacked modern books but had good ambience.
The hostels showed they have not lacked care
and the newer ones were quite modern. But
whether old or new , modern or ancient the colour
codes were maintained and all the roofs were red.

The Guest house was sparsely furnished but
functional and had good landscaping . Order and
serenity were evident. The internet wifi system
was good. Nsukka was a different experience. A
multitude of Uncompleted projects littered
everywhere, grasses had Turned to bushes and hedges were untrammeled, free and wild. Many buildings were pale, washed and battered. Hostels were in shambles .

The Enugu campus that houses faculties of Law and Medicine has no pipe borne water. The state of the toilet facilities in Enugu campus can only be imagined. 

A chat with some female students of
that campus revealed that students have buckets
for defecating.

They defecate in the open, along the toilet
corridor, many at a time, facing themselves, into
buckets and hurl the contents afterward into the
toilet Bowls, leaving trails of feces for the
cleaners who come when they wish to effect as
much cleaning as they can. The buckets are
subsequently rinsed with scarce water ,which they have to buy , and kept in the rooms until when again needed. Those who cannot stand the
bucket idea defecate into polythene bags and fling them onto a heap behind the hostels.

That heap has survived generations . Its pathetic.
An Alumni exists but the atrocity has persisted.
The Vice chancellors residence is state of the art,
new. The vice chancellor has managed to
ensconce himself in five star comfort while
students are dehumanized . Dont ask me who is
being groomed there. Perhaps pit toilets , since
they cannot have water, may actually restore
some dignity.

Its that bad. Students learning early how to be
wild. The school’s internet network system
functions so abysmally slowly that I could not
use it . Lecturers and students can hardly do
meaningful online researches in that remote
location. A senior lecturer told me she sends
articles to foreign journals using her blackberry
phone. That is the story of Nigeria .

And ironically the school’s motto reads: To
restore the dignity of man. Ghanas 2015 budget
is 50 percent donor funded, Nigeria is rich and
lives on her own money. Legon is to a great
extent insulated from political and local
administrative changes because Legon has a
tradition.

A tradition that all must follow. That entrenched
tradition is the institution. So while projects in
Legon are completed before others are started,
and buildings are repainted yearly, Nsukka is a
picture of haphazardness and planlessness. An
environment of order and good tradition will
culture , nurture and instill order and virtue in
young minds but if you sow disorder , you will
reap disorder.

Often Nigerian academics sneer at the politicians
claiming they are superficial, flimsy, selfish,
shortsighted and wasteful. But Nsukka indicts Our
academics.

And Its not just about funding. And
Nsukka is not alone ,other public universities are
perhaps worse. Nsukka is a reflection of our
society .University of Ghana indicts all of us. And
we shamelessly now troop there in droves in
search of better tertiary education for our
children.

 

Vanguard

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