• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Osun Varsity virtual matriculation, a scam says ASUU

Osun state governor-gboyega-oyetola

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday faulted the Virtual matriculation organised by the Vice- Chancellor, Osun State University, Labode Popoola, describing it as a scam.

Lashing out at Popoola, a professor, the union alleged that he was aiming to use the matriculation to get financial favour from the federal government.

A release signed by the Ibadan Zonal coordinator of ASUU, Ade Adejumo, a Professor stated that its strike was still on, to get Federal government commit funds to infrastructure, including Information Communication Technology which is central to online delivery mode.

The Ibadan Zone of ASUU comprise University of Ibadan, Ladoke Akintola University, University of Ilorin, Kwara State University, and Osun State University.

While describing  the virtual matriculation as a charade,  the union said the University had succeeded in exposing the hapless students whose parents are experiencing non-payment of salaries, amputated salaries, disengagement and rightsizing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world to be exploited by cybercafe operators.

According to ASUU, the poor students do not have the wherewithal to cope with financial demands of online learning saying this is why ASUU is on strike to make Government fund revitalisation of infrastructure including ICT.

The University of Osun had conducted virtual matriculation in a ceremony attended by only the principal officers of the institution led by the Vice Chancellor, Popoola who stated that the institution will strive to be a 21th- century university.

But ASUU stated that UNIOSUN cannot compete effectively as it lacks the infrastructure to execute e-learning delivery.

According to the Union, members of the Union are on strike adding that the students should not be scammed to expect virtual classroom.

ASUU maintained that many public varsities have weak to non-existence ICT infrastructure adding that government must fund ICT infrastructure if it is interested in delivery e-learning in Post COVID-19 era.

“In the UNIOSUN’s Vice-Chancellor’s heart of heart, can he honestly beat his chest that all the students of that University has wherewithal to key into his e-learning platform. Moreso, given the fact that majority of the students are from very humble backgrounds, is this policy not a ploy to shut out such students from accessing the teaching and learning interaction? Mr. Vice-Chancellor should come out clearly to tell the nation what his real motives are.

Adejumo said: “We suspect  the motivation here is financial rather than altruistic. Is this another antic to undermine ASUU that the VC knows is currently on strike? To this, we say anyone who works at cross-purposes with our Union’s patriotic struggle to improve funding of public universities, is an enemy of the people.

“Anyone, in the guise of being a Vice-Chancellor, who subverts the current struggle of the union, through organising of phony teaching arrangement, which the Nigerian public universities cannot effectively deliver, is living in self-deceit and a fools’ paradise.

“But for ASUU’s historic struggles, will characters like  Labo Popoola have any meaningful public university to preside over as Vice-Chancellors? For avoidance of doubt, this struggle will succeed like others before it to the eternal shame of characters in the mould of the Vice-Chancellor under reference here.” the union added.

But, in a swift reaction to ASUU’s allegations, the Management of Osun State University, Osogbo, insisted that its online matriculation was a success rather than being a scam as alleged by ASUU, adding that ASUU had no basis to define its virtual matriculation as a scam and therefore, the matriculation remains valid.

In a press release signed by the University’s Public Relations Officer, Ademola Adesoji, the Osun state-owned University said all  the requirements for a matriculation ceremony were met in the virtual ceremony that it conducted as 99% of matriculating students connected and participated in the exercise.

The statement reads: “The management of Osun State University hereby states that the virtual matriculation which is the first of its kind in the history of Nigerian University was a success. ASUU’s statement has no valid fact and evidence so we consider it as baseless.

“All the requirements of a matriculation ceremony were met in the virtual matriculation ceremony that we conducted and we had 99% of the matriculating students connected and participated in the matriculating exercise.

“We like to enlighten ASUU that our students do not need to go to cybercafé to attend a virtual matriculation ceremony. All they did was just to connect with their phones, tablets or personal computers.

“All our students including the fresh students have been using the same application that was used for the virtual matriculating ceremony for teaching before the matriculating ceremony which makes them to be familiar with it.

“As a matter of fact, one of the matriculating students, Kaothar Oyeyemi who spoke with Journalists online on that day said she was very happy with the online matriculation as she said the virtual matriculation saves them a lot of stress and time. If the students, staff of the University and the whole world find the virtual matriculating ceremony as success and a welcome development, we see no reason why ASSUU should be calling it a scam.”

Describing the claim by ASUU that UNIOSUN could not compete effectively as it lacks the infrastructure to execute e-learning delivery as false, the management said it started executing e-learning even before the advent of COVID-19.

“We have trained all our academic staff on e-learning and with the support of our ICT team, we have been able to deliver and execute e-learning effectively,” the statement further read.

It then advised ASUU to also use opportunity of gradual shift towards e teaching and learning to build capacities in online teaching programmes.