The rules in some private universities in Nigeria leave a sour taste in the mouth. For some people it's just plain ridiculous. Why should adults be treated like that; no phones, no gadgets, no make up, no trousers, no heavy jewelry, limited freedom of movement, limited freedom of association with members of the opposite sex, inability to come and go as you please, compulsion to attend religious gatherings on and on and on it goes. It's outrageous really. How's the individual supposed to grow under such circumstances? After all the University is really where one learns life's lessons. It's where most of us develop ourselves and our characters. How is an individual supposed to grow in an extension of high school. Actually, some high schools don't even have that many rules. We think about it and we scream "Never!". "I could never have attended a school like that". The picture above is for new rules in Covenant University, a school unpopular for it's very rigid rules.
You see I attended a federal university, where I had the freedom to do everything and anything I wanted. The ONLY thing the school required of me as a student of its institution was to pay my school fees. I could come and go as I pleased, attend lectures if and when I wanted to, have an orgy right in front of my hostel if I so pleased.... In my early years in school I remember how men came from outside and picked up girls for the night as though our hostel was a brothel. Generally university life was exciting.
But then to who's detriment? In an environment where you are given complete freedom there's the likelihood that you would abuse it. So is it any wonder that through most of my second year I attended lectures once or twice a week? Nobody questioned me and I was answerable to no one. Naturally when time to write my examinations came, I chewed my pen in the exam hall and more often than not submitted blank sheets. The school did not care. All that mattered was that I'd payed the fees, I was free to do whatever I wanted; my failure or success was of no consequence to them.
Fortunately I "gave myself brain" and sat up but fast forward to a few years later time came to graduate. The smart ones started visiting the Registry to ensure that all was in order (because you could not depend on the registry who's job it was to do that.). I followed suit and guess what I found out... I HAD NO FILE! None whatsoever. Fortunately we had three files; in the Registry, Exams and Records and Faculty. So I ran to Exams and Records to look for my file there; evidence that I was a student of the University of Nigeria, evidence that the last 5 years of my life had not been a joke. There I found my file but guess what? IT WAS EMPTY! Jehovah! Then I ran to the faculty and looked for my file, all I found was a few useless papers. Guess what people, the school that had admitted me and had collected my money yearly had failed me. I had to run from pillar to post. I had to go to JAMB office to get my result. I had to get copies of my WAEC result. I had to look for my admission letter in places I never knew existed. And I'm sure you know that each step of the way some serious money was spent.
Papers sorted... But remember I said my file was empty. My file was to have all my results from my 1st year to final year and it was empty! I ran to the faculty and started looking for results, paying whoever could help me. I'll have you know that this took about a year; to find my results. Some were not even found at all and I had to RE-TAKE THE EXAMS. Computer Science was a second year course and I had to go back and write it when some of my mates were already doing their registration in Law School. I also found that I had NO results for Natural Sciences, a first year course. I remembered clearly that I saw my results for that course in my first year. I made an A in the first semester and a B in the second. But in my faculty and in the lecturer's records what I saw in place of my result for the first semester was a blank space. They said I had no result and I had not taken the examination. It turned out that because I had not bought the lecturer's text book or something silly like that, regardless of the fact that I had made an A in the course, the lecturer gave me a blank space. I found this out over 5 years later.
Just when I thought the nightmare was over I realized that my Criminal Law result was missing. I was back to square 1. Thankfully after spending several thousands, praying and fasting, I was free.
Or was it those nights when I was walking peacefully and one cult boy or the other would stop me and harass me? I remember that night that one idiot I had never seen before started screaming my name and told his friends to "bring that stupid girl here" then he pulled out his belt and said he was going to flog me till he saw blood. The most memorable thing about that night was how everyone quietly moved away, pretending not to notice what was going on, leaving me in the hands of cult boys who threatened to strip me naked and flog me till they saw blood, right there in front to lady Ibiam Hostel as I was trying to buy fries. Eventually one of them begged for me to be let go. I ran to my hostel and broke down in tears when I got to my other room.
Or was it when *Steve and I went for a stroll at night and some mean looking cultists said "stop or we shoot" and asked him to leave me and go, them asked to me to get on my knees and crawl to Chitis with only words of "don't worry, we won't rape you" to console me. After a couple of hours and many threats they finally let us go.
Or when some cult boys put that girl inside a dustbin and covered it.... Or when they threatened to pour shit on my friend ... So many stories. Some people's stories are far worse.
I have friends that were admitted into my university years before me, a very close friend that was years ahead of me (2001) and is till today, 13 years later, still trying to graduate from that University.
So really, some private universities have some overly rigid, seemingly unnecessary rules that make some of us shudder. But I would give anything to have attended Covenant, Babcock etc and spent very boring and uneventful few years as opposed to the near hell I experienced in my extended stay in my lawless Federal Univerisity.
If abiding to those rules is what it takes to get into schools, make good grades, leave at the right time, not experience strikes, live in conditions decent for human beings, bathe in bathrooms that don't give you nightmares at night, poo in toilets and not daily be subjected to " shot put", study in conducive environments, have the necessary amenities, have all your records readily accessible.... all without constant harassment from blood thirsty young men, then I think it's a very small price to pay.