• Friday, March 01, 2024
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Year 2014: Undergraduates, strikes and examinations


It is no longer news that the 2013 ASUU “Annual Ritual of strikes” has been called off, but what could be said of this strike was that it will remain as one of the most embarrassing not only to the Federal Government, but also to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Both parties witnessed all sorts of condemnation from different quarters, that one can hardly articulate in this publication due to space constraints.

Moreover, this article is targeted towards the “grasses” that endured the impasse while the two elephants were showing supremacy of interest. This is no other than the undergraduates of all Nigerian public universities, who were adversely affected and to a very large extent, will still continue to bare the brunt of the strike aftermath.

It could be recalled that the strike action commenced when virtually all universities were rounding off their academic calendars; invariably, students were already looking forward to their promotional and final examinations as in the case of final year students.

There is no gainsaying the fact that virtually everyone that passed through Nigerian public universities did experience such situation during the course of their learning, especially in the 21st century; but our responses and adaptation to resumption activities more often than not determined our final grades out of school.

This brings me to the crux of the matter – How do the present “rusty” undergraduates (after six months of academic redundancy) respond to the resumption and strategically prepare for their examinations to obtain the best results?

I will present one of the most successful management strategies in recent times, the SWOT Analysis- an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

 Strengths: It is believe that an average student knows the various courses that he/she has a favourable edge over. These are courses that you have core competence in and can easily assimilate with a fuss. These areas of strength should be given utmost priority in expectation of the best grades obtainable; precisely an A.

Weaknesses: Arguably, there are some courses that tend to be a “pain in the neck” for the average student. This is not really strange and no amount of weariness or pressure should make one misplace priorities. Just make sure to keep abreast of the major topics in these courses, using past questions as references. Do aim for a Credit in these types of courses.

Opportunities: A serious-minded student should take cognisance of opportunities that appear during such a time as this. There will be lecturers that will assist with genuine ‘area of concentrations’; though also prepare for surprises. Initiate and make maximum use of group discussions, most especially assembling like-minds and favourably the top ranked classmates.

This can help in boosting your speedy revision and also presents easier methods of solving examination questions.

Threats: The university environment can be referred to as the most threatening of all. Despite, the “make-up” situation students have found themselves; there will still be a section of them who are keen in actualising their political dreams.

Various campaign activities will trend all over campuses for election into students’ union and departmental/faculty associations. This will most likely disrupt some make-up lectures, but a serious-minded student has to strategically manage his/her schedules to avoid such distractions.

In all, a right mindset is crucial, despite my openness to extracurricular activities, I still uphold “good grades” as priority. This should be an average student’s aim, while every other campus commitments are value-added.

Let me use this opportunity to wish all students in Nigerian public universities all the best in their forthcoming examinations.

Bolaji Junaid, is Business Administration graduate and social commentator, writes in from Lagos.