GOODWILL MESSAGE OF THE KOGI STATE HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE MRS. HANNAH O. ODIYO ON THE OCCASION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF REGISTRARS OF NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES (ARNU)'S 1ST WORKSHOP AND 73RD BUSINESS MEETING AT FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA
1. I am delighted for the opportunity to attend as a guest, the first workshop and 73 Business meeting of the Association of Registrars of Nigeria Universities at the Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State. I do appreciate your choice of Kogi State, Federal University Lokoja (FUL) in particular as the host of this event. It is an honour we cherish. I am sure that an important factor like security was put into consideration before the choice of venue. Kogi State is very safe because God is helping us, using our visionary Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, who has a programmatic approach to the issue of insecurity.
2. The theme of the workshop "Repositioning the Administrative Machinery of the Nigerian University System for Global Competitiveness: the Role of Registrars as Key Drivers" is absolutely apt and timely as it will go a long way to oil the Administrative machinery of Nigerian Universities.
3. It is common knowledge that Nigerian universities are plagued with many problems, some of which include: poor funding, inadequate infrastructure, strike actions, examination malpractice, Brain Drain of Lecturers, etc. I strongly believe this workshop would provide a platform through which these challenges would be extensively discussed and solutions proffered. This is based on the fact that the Registrars of Universities are pillars in the management and administration of the University system.
4. I am aware that some key duties of the Registrars in playing their role include the following:
A. Ensuring that academic performance meets graduating requirements in order to reach its institutional goals.
B. Effectively managing the maintenance and integrity of all academic records, approved curriculum, creation, and maintenance of course schedules.
5. Zeroing in on one of the challenges earlier mentioned, i.e strike actions, I wish to bear my mind on this issue that has bothered me and other parents so much. It is the aftermath of each strike action, particularly the attitude of some Lecturers. It is that of anger, frustration, and transfer of aggression on the students when their demands are not met in spite of the strike embarked upon. Many of the courses end up not being taught, students are extremely rushed and they have to sit for tests and exams to answer questions on courses that are untaught. The students are at the receiving end as they have to bear the brunt as they experience additional frustration, while some end up failing or having their grades lowered.
6. What is the way out? Going back to the duties highlighted above, the Registrars can bail the students out. At this forum, there is a need for the Association to brainstorm on how to curb this disturbing problem between Lecturers and Students after each strike action by finding answers to the following questions:
How can the Institutions meet their goals of high performance despite all odds? How can the Institutions maintain approved curriculum and course schedules despite all odds?
This is necessary so that hardworking students who have maintained high grades from the beginning are not suddenly brought down unnecessarily by angry staff. As much as it is not the fault of the Lecturers that strike action crop up, it is also not the fault of the students that they happen. In fact, no party, and nobody is happy about incessant strike actions in the Nation.
7. Members of this noble Association, please find a way of pleading with the Lecturers to have mercy on the students who are our children rather than doing otherwise.
8. I wish you all a fruitful deliberation and success in your endeavors.
9. Thank you.
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