Thursday, 20 September 2007

Student victimization(R.I.P tomi)

(This post is long, but its very important so nobody should trouble me with how long it is..if u don’t want to read don’t read, it you want to read..please do..)

I didnt know tomi, dont think i've ever met him, but i can feel his pain.

Am sure by now most of you have heard the story about the boy who committed suicide in unilag. ‘TOMI’ shot himself in the head because he hadn’t graduated three years after he was supposed to because of a supervisor who was on his case. When my friend bubu sent a mail about this story to me I wanted to weep, not cry, weep (there’ a difference)..because it is a very sad story. And I don’t think he should have done that because it solves nothing, but u can imagine his frustrations, still it didn’t warrant him killing himself because the evil supervisor will still go on living, doing that to other people regardless.

I’ve been putting off talking about my school(unilag) and the way most staff and lecturers treat students cause I’ve found out that some lecturers now have blogs and its kind of like a way for students to submit assignments, who knows who can get to read my blog and kasala go burst. But I’ve been silent for too long..and the anger in me can no longer be squelched.

I don’t know if some lecturers, university staff derive joy in making the lives of students miserable, I don’t know if it makes them sleep better at night by making another persons child’s live hell. Things they probably wouldn’t want their own kids to go through.

Let me tell you of my own experience and this is why I say tomi shouldn’t have done it…no matter what. Everybody has their own time, the fact that your friends are working and you are still in school, is hard, its tough, believe me I understand but still…when there is life, there is hope.

I finished school in 2000 I was 15 then, I did jamb two times, felt like a failure but my parents never made me feel like that(parents encouragement helps a lot).Most times I just get 200 or 210 not enough for the law I wanted to study then oh..because of my mum.
I did Babcock exam in 2003, passed it, went for my interview, only for pupcy to change his mind about me going there. Said he heard some stuff bout the school and didn’t want me to even do the course I was eventually given –ENGLISH. So I didn’t go to babcock and I was quite sad cause I’d probably have finished this year. I did unilag diploma in 2004, I was 19 then, which course did I choose the same ENGLISH..because I found out it was what I wanted to do as it had a lot to do with my interests., most of my mates had already entered school, some where in there 2nd and 3rd year.I tried not to let that get to me cause in my life disappointments have always proved to be blessings and I thank God I didn’t go to Babcock cause I wouldn’t be half the person I am today.

I finished diploma, my first semester results were good, 2nd semester wasn’t..i wasn’t reading I was scoping boys in class and worrying about irrelevant rubbish. I didn’t meet the cut off point by less than a point..it was so close,yet so far..I was relegated to English education…now people think that faculty is like the bottom but I don’t. Anyways a friend was also relegated but she opted to do wuru wuru to get herself back to ENGLISH arts, why? Because she was ashamed..of what people would think..nothing worked out for her and someone who’s supposed to be in her 3rd year, wrote post-ume exam at the beginning of this month…she didn’t want people to know where she was and so she missed out…and she regrets it..

Me, I felt like no matter where they put me.I will be what it is I want to be. Devil is a liar..yes I messed up…and I accept that and its up to me to do better and make the best out of the situation. But I still had problems(too long to list-financial) which meant I had to leave school for a year….When the financial problems where over(thank God) I was back in school, but my name even wasn’t on the list for English education, it was as if I wasn’t a student. The battle to get my name back on the list took 6months….I saw all my former course mates who were now in year 3 I hadn’t even done my 2nd year, it felt bad at times, cause coupled with the years I stayed at home am losing a year. I felt sad, I was depressed, I will wander in school, going from office to office, if u saw me u’d know I had a problem, life seemed like it was going downhill for me. I went to our DVC’S office for 6months and was tossed about like a rag, from the little secretary to the madams in the office, no one would answer me, they’d send me on fruitless journeys, lecturers would treat me anyhow, unkindly, shout at me, for no reason. But I’d take it all in my stride, this is what I have to endure. My parents would say I am gallivanting in school instead of solving my problem, yet they wouldn’t follow me to school to try and help me. I thank God I did it on my own with his help and the help of people he sent like M.S, and also that man that prayed for me at chapel and the prayers my parents gave me to pray.

I thought I had it bad but M.S had spent 8yrs in school, here I was thinking I had all the problems…but he took it as it was. And even though he had passed out and was working he would come to school everytime I needed him to and would follow me to senate like my brother and help me the best way he could. Thank God for all my friends who I told about my situation and told me to hang on(u know urselves) and especially M.S- Sometimes I would ask, shebi I just met this boy like a month ago, on hi5 sef, why is he this nice, he could go about his business but he is going out of his way to help me. Are there still people like this?

People would ask me…Laide are you still in this school? I’d nod hoping that, that would be the case eventually.

My mum finally came to talk with one woman to help address my issue, this devil sent woman said nothing can be done. Finally I met one woman in the same office and under 3weeks this woman solved the whole issue. After much prayers, cause prayer is the key. After those prayers popcy told me to pray I had a dream like I’ve never had I was in school and it wasn’t like other times, I wasn’t sad, sitting by myself, wondering why life was unfair to me. I was with books in my hands, laughing smiling, my head held up high and everything seemed like it would be okay. I would never forget that dream and three weeks later my name was on the list…something that took 6months.Believe me there were times when id look out those huge windows in senate building and wondered if maybe I jumped or threatened to jump this people would attend to me, or maybe it would end all my worries.I must add that the supposed disappointment of being sent to education has been a blessing once again

These people in Unilag, staff and lecturers do they have no compassion,don’t they have kids? Wouldn’t they have kids? Or don’t they know that karma is a bitch….and u can’t do all this to someone’s child and expect your own child not to go through the same thing. One secretary kept misplacing my letters and kept lying that I didn’t give her any. Why are they so mean? They wont come for lectures, they would give tests and ask you to seat on the floor, a pregnant woman had to do that even…with her legs shooting out of the packed class..is that a university..there are bigger classes to contain us, but we have to write to the best of our abilities in these conditions..sitting on the floor, uncomfortable cant even think straight. We are made to do tests under five minutes, what sensible thing can we put down in that time frame? I once did a test in our arts theatre with no light, so dark I couldn’t see the person sitting next to me, the people that had phones used their fones, me that didn’t have one had to submit a test unfinished..and so did many people. Shouldn’t the test have been canceled? Lazy lecturers not coming for classes, but when u miss one class you don’t get to do their exam….I am just tired and fed up and when you talk people will say is it today…so? Does that make it right? Shouldn’t we keep talking till they listen….why do they treat us this way..will it take anything out of their bodies to be nice?

If they dont misplace ur letters, its ur test or exam script and most times they say they can't do anything about it.

See what happened to Tomi? It could have been avoided..but no the inherent wickedness in their hearts will not let them to be nice and considerate.

I just hope they know that the way this life is, you think you are getting away with the wickedness you are doling out to students, forgetting how this life is. One day the tables could be turned, it might not be you, it might be your child, cousin, sister, brother….but one day na one day when karma will show u how much of a bitch she is.

38 comments:

Anu Boy said...

Omo mehn, Tomi used to stay the next room away from me in high rise oh, for like maybe 2-3yrs, imagine, i never once thot he could take his own life, but mehn to be sincere, Lecturers can really push one to the edge and sometimes even at home, parents add to it, this issue is really a sad one, i can imagine what has happened to others.... May God change the hearts of the lecturers, the academic officers, and the top management level... they should help us build a better 2morrow, instead of killing us slowly...

exschoolnerd said...

well said anu...i just hope they can change.

36 INCHES OF BROWN LEGS said...

hmn, this is just sad, people who study abroad dont know how lucky they are. i hope God grants Tomis family/friends d fortitude to bear d loss. and like u rightly said omo karma is a bad ass bitch o!!

Anonymous said...

@35 inches, trust me I know just how lucky I am with the opportunities I've been given with my education. I thank my lucky stars and hard-working father everyday.

My lil sis went to unilag and always told me stories about lecturers bribing students or demanding sexual favours in order to pass them...exams being cancelled, results being witheld, strike after strike...total madness.

I feel depressed sometimes when I think of what she went through and what she stll has to endure with NYSC and job-seeking in the future.

Ex is right to challenge the system and I applaud her for opening up. Is petitioning to the president unrealistic? I don't know how things work over there.

Part of me thinks a lot of their despicable behaviour is down to low pay but it's still no excuse. As for that lying buffoon of a woman, perhaps she was just jealous. Maybe she couln't afford to send her own child to school. Again, no excuse.

LurLar said...

Hmmmmm i agree with 36,people studying abroad dnt know d value at all. Dnt dey have laws that restricts them? Sitting on d floor to take an exam? Lecturer not coming to class? Pregnant woman sitting on the floor? Writing exams in the dark? God where is this country heading to? Then the fucking govt nd school complain that there is secret cult? I am so pissed off right now..cos they gave the poor guy every reason to commit suicide even though it's not the right thing to do.

Ozymandias said...

yea, I know what exactly you mean. University education in Nigeria is one hell of a nightmare. Not only do u have to prepare for exams when they barely teach you anything, you have to pray that your scripts don't get missing, pray that they don't skip your name when compiling the results, pray that it gets to the senate, etc..man, it's just too much for education. I really sympathize with Tomi's family, but i don't believe that's the way out, cos although I was very fortunate not to go through spending more time than necessary at UNIBEN, I had a lot of friends that spent almost a life time there, but eventually made it out..well, barely..but all the same...OUT!!
Having had the opportunity to go through educational systems in two different places, I have come to realize that most of the lecturers in Nigeria are just plain retarded and make things unnecessary difficult for their students. I was denied a first class cos I wasn't native..lol..it doesn't hurt anymore cos I don't care anymore, but that goes to show how the attitude of people in the academia should change for growth.

Abeg, If I start on this subject, I'd write an encyclopedia...lol..so let's leave it at that. Good luck with Unilag o...and may that poor boy's soul rest in peace.

bighead said...

Mehn I haven't passed through a tenth of what you have though I have an elder sister who has seen an unfair share of time in the university. Nevertheless, I respect your ability to trudge through it all while maintaining a great sense of humour that keeps us all on blogsville laughing. I pray life shines brightly on you for the rest of your school days and even after graduation. Peace.

Anonymous said...

my dear if i was to tell my story it'll probably b similar to urs or even worse but i Thank God for my life n for d strenght to keep on goin.God alone knows y Tomi did wat he did but it might not ve been only from pressure from d lecturer. u said smtin,its good for our parents to b encouraging n b there for us...where his parents there for him? did they try to understand his fustrations? lots of questions no answers.........hmmmm

30+ said...

Went to uni in Nigeria and did my M.Sc here. It is a whole world of difference.

I remember in my 400 level, I was told they could not find some of my 200 and 300 level result just one month to graduation so i will have to stay back a year. I was crying like a mad woman in front of my supervisors office even my HOD could not believe when he saw me crying.

I will never forget that man in my life, he consoled me and told me he will help both he and the HOD.

Within 2 days the result showed up you can imagine, I had been going from one office to the other for nearly 2 weeks before then.

bimbylads said...

well done Ex for this. I spent just one year in Unilag before I came here.I had no chance to experience anything because I was given FRENCH to study in LAG, while I applied for law...( the similaries btwn french and law are veery plenty abi??- thats UNILAG for u).. I did not bother studying because I could not. Imagine being taught French by a man who can hardly speak French.. how??

thank God for his mercies that I was able to come to ENgland to finally study my law degree in record time.

Well done LAide, ur life and story via this blog is inspirational. Ur beautiful!! ( lol..)

princesa said...

I cant believe the situation you just described laide! Is it just Unilag or are the lecturers in Naija universities as terrible as this?!?!

I left school 5 years ago and though we had our own share of school wahala but writing exams in the dark??? My God! that's so so unfair!!

As for Tomi, whatever happened....i dont think it was worth taking his life. Life doesnt start and end with a degree. I pray he finds peace wherever he is now.

Arewa said...

I think u will find that this sort of thing is not just exclusive to Unilag but is practiced in most African Universities/ Colleges.

I say this becasue i schooled in Ghana up until S.S.S level(and have heard stories from friends in Uni's)and know that there is this lackluster attitude that exsists anomgs lectures/ teachers...
I bet your problem would not have gone on for that long if your parents had given ur lecturers some money.... i swswear that would have worked.
Its a shame that this is what educational institutions are also resulting to.
ITS A REAL SHAME!!

RIP Tomi....!

Afrobabe said...

This is really sad oh, looking back now I guess mine was easy...I was the one who never studied but always managed to scale through...and i mean scale..let my ppl go...He shouldn't have taken his life no matter what...its in places like the uk where i work with people who didnt finish sec school and earn the same salary that i begin to wonder why the presure in naija.

Zephi said...

na wa oh.....This is really sad...Nigeria...I dont ven know what to say.ts like we dont value life an people...
I heard about the tomi issue and it broke my heart...

Ex, I admire your courage and how relentless you handled your situation.

NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

when u live in a society that doesn't have respect for human lives, what do you expect of the educational system? the universities and lecturers in Naija are just educational dust bins and that's why everything you experience in Nigeria today are replicated in the universities; no lights, no chairs in da classrooms, lecturers are sadist, people can't study or pass exams, test are conducted in a dysfunctional manner, secret cults, educational suicides...sad, sad, sad.
I get flashback anytime I think of my Naija university days!!!

Jaja said...

It's sad and very very annoying... those wicked lecturers must die one by one.. me I ve said my own..

I cant begin to narrate my own Uni experience...

I d rather he had killed the supervisor than kill himself.. what a loss..

donadviser said...

Well, I'm a lecturer in the south south, with 1st degree from nija and 2nd & £rd UK. I understand that many university staff are unfair to students who are the singular reason they employed. Without the students, no uni. It's a pity he went that far! In UK the lecturers encourage and help u to pass. Thats my attitude to the job and I wish I will win many into this style of teaching and mentoring. My students are my friends and colleagues and they always wish me well. Let's keep praying for university staff and the education sector in nija and God will hear our cries.


I happy for ur determination and resolute. Your writings are loved by many, and without prejudice u are adjudge one of the prolific writer in the blogville. Use ur situation to encourage many and God will bless u.

Senator said...

Well, I'm a lecturer in the south south, with 1st degree from nija and 2nd & 3rd UK. I understand that many university staff are unfair to students who are the singular reason they are employed. Without the students, no uni. It's a pity he went that far! In UK the lecturers encourage and help u to pass. Thats my attitude to the job and I wish I will win many into this style of teaching and mentoring. My students are my friends and colleagues and they always wish me well. Let's keep praying for university staff and the education sector in nija and God will hear our cries.


I happy for ur determination and resolute. Your writings are loved by many, and without prejudice u are adjudge one of the prolific writer in the blogville. Use ur situation to encourage many and God will bless u.

Anonymous said...

y did u remove my comment?Abegi ma i didn't abuse u

Mrs Somebody said...

Well said ex-school nerd.Many of us can so relate to this post.Be focused and keep a cool head.You'll graduate in due course and your testimony will continue to inspire many.

TRAE said...

i feel you, went through the same ish. turning point for me was when my mum of blessed memory came to schol to talk to my lecturer. things turned up hill after that. i read an account of this guy death on another blog owned by one of the deceased classmates who's now doing his masters abroad and it seems Tomi brought it upon himself. the school system and lecturers are also at fault but the best any one can do for him-herself is to study and get their priorities (career) right. i hope i'm not sounding insesnsitive...RIP bro, Laide be safe.

יש (Yosh) said...

Fear...fear is a huge factor and problem over why these acts keep going unchecked. Those lecturers, wherever they can be found in Naija higher institutions need to be brought to book. One can't leave things to Karma cos time isn't on our side, nor of our kids who'd still be part of this shitty system (if they'd be in Naija, that is).

I am willing to do as much as I can to make sure people hear about this and perhaps some affirmative action be taken, starting from my next post. So help me God.

Nice post...and may Tomi rest in peace

Oh by the way, you could use your writing skills to make a difference on the Speak Up Nigeria campaign. This issue will be a good issue to present and thus make your voice heard. See my page for more info on how to participate or visit http://www.nigerianlighthouse.org/ivory/?p=23

All d best with your exams

Teediva said...

laide, i really feel u on that writing exams in the arts theatre in the dark thing. i'm telling u we had to rewrite two papers after they got cancelled cos the lights went off in the middle of the exams. i mean, is it not frustrating enough to write one exam, but to have to study for another set of questions for the same course is hell. and it happened over and over again when i was in unilag. at least, it was bad for people that were stuck in the theatre, but imagine how it felt for those that were in the classrooms whom the lights did not affect, but still had to rewrite them along with the rest of us. we then refused to take any exmas there in yr 4 and started using the main auditorium. life in unilag is frustrating, but i realised that if i could pass thru yr 3 in that school, then i could do anything in the world.

my heart goes out to your friend's family, especially as i believe there is no hope for ressurrection of those who take their own life. believe me, i know people who went through worse things in that school and didnt resort to suicide. a friend of mine had to withdraw voluntarily after he caught our exams office nacking one girl in his office n the guy refused to collect his course forms in yr 1. by year three, he still wasnt registered as a student. imagine 3 wasted years of his life. he eventually gave up trying to beg the guy and left. my cousin graduated, did her NYSC, and has now been told that she did not have enough units to have graduated, that she has to come back and take some courses. how much worse can her life get? this is someone who was already registering abroad for her masters, and now is told she doesnt even have a first degree

as students y do we condone these things? y dont we report evil lecturers? what happened to the days cultists used to brush them and leave them near death whenever they harrassed students? ok, that is not right either but doing something is better than nothing. the student union has been filled with voiceless puppets. it is time for the students to rise and start a struggle. let Tomi's death not be in vain.

catwalq said...

Most people in education neither have the desire to be there nor the capacity to do so. They are frustrated and they pass it on to others, most especially the professors. They are very underpaid, overworked and undercompensated for their field. Most of them do not know how to use the basic technological advancements in their fields whilst their counterparts on the other side of the world go for conferences, retreats, research to keep themselves up to date. Most of the best minds have fled the country.

I finished school in 2001. And got into the university in 2004. I am 23 in class with students just grazing the 21 mark. I wrote Jamb twice as well; the second time, I was not given my question papers because I refused to settle the invigilator. I wrote A levels and did not pass and that was a huge financial strain on my family and my failure was a huge disappointment especially for my mother who had been discouraged by many not to invest in it.

I feel old at times but I am so lucky. I know all about dreams affirming God's plan and how glorious it is when you realize that the delay was just a test of your faith.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to school abroad; even though it can be extremely frustrating at times. Nigerians here are also under pressure. I have heard of many who have turned to drugs and other illicit activities out of desperation. There is this illusion of a perfect life when you cross the borders; an illusion that can be an overwhelming burden for those of us who don't have it so easy.

Keep your head up. No one can make u great, happy or successful but yourself and the ONE who made u. It is such a shame that those who are responsible for maintaining and upgrading our standard of education really don't care as their offspring are all breezing through college abroad. We have to go to school with them and many people imagine that all Nigerians have disposable incomes when they see the way those people live.

It will all be well. Suicide is not the solution. The boy is gone and the cause of his unhappiness continues on, oblivious to the damage he has wreaked in the lives of others.

Atutupoyoyo said...

What a real tragedy. There must have been more reasons for this. See me talking as if there can be any good reason for ending your life. Sad

RIP

Afrobabe said...

ehmmmm this senator fellow and donadviser......are they the same person???

Abi one copy for school till date?

Anonymous said...

May God save our lecturers oooooooo

Nyemoni said...

Great post and how sad...I have no werds for these animals who call themselves humans...How very unfortunate! Why? WHY? Why did Tomi? One can never know the desperation that led to his decision to end his life...I just pray that God will give his family and friends the fortitude to bear the loss...Phew!

P.S
Tks for the birthday wishes..God blessxoxoxoxo

AN IBO DUDE'S CORNER said...

how sad!!

long but inspiring post
i really hope the school authorities would read your blog and do something about all those atrocities

R.I.P Tomi....

mypenmypaper said...

the worst thing about Suicide is that the person who kills himself or herself is the person who has lost.
One moment of Silence for Tomi.

Feeling you xSkulnerd, Nigerian education is hell on its own. And yet, those lecturers who dont come to class get paid their salaries, and yet the Univ. admin know about all their non-chalant attitudes.

I remember when I went to register for NYSC. One lady fainted, and started foaming in her mouth after hearing that her name was not in her Univ's list. This is someone who used 7-years to do a 4-year course, and it was the second time her name would be excluded from the list.....meaning like 5-years wasted altogether.

And yet our leaders know about all these things, and they would rather renovate their houses with 600 million naira.

God has cases to judge o.....

SCOMISS said...

i heard about the death of Tomi..may his soul RIP

bighead said...

I don't know why blogger doesn't allow photo comments. Blame them for my dropping this here. You look fab in the pics you posted on your blog.

Ugo Daniels said...

heard about this. It's sad, sadder still when it comes out of Africa. Goes to show there's enough injustice and wickedness in today's world.

Anybody wanna go to mars with me?

exschoolnerd said...

@bighead....thnx!!!

omohemi Benson said...

iHeard about tomi too,
its so sad,
are things ever going to change in Nigerian Universities

Nokturnal said...

I just heard about this Tomi guy's case today (or yesterday, since this is past 12). The System is crazy!

It's not just lecturers; it's local government officials, it's passport office lunatics, it's policemen, it's everyone in "The System".

ExSchoolNerd, whoever you are, I've followed your writing for a while now, but your story is pretty dramatic. Kudos for seeing it through, and thank God.

Two lessons from this, I guess.
1. Lance Armstrong once said that pain is either temporary or permanent. If you give up, the pain becomes permanent; if you keep at it, the pain gives way. If you're considering giving up, in any form, remember that God is bigger than anyone; lecturer/course adviser or resident sh**head.

2. Remember Point One - God is bigger than anybody. My school song has this line that always takes me thru difficult times:

Others went before you and attained the light Where they wait to cheer you, victors in the Fight!

'Nuff Said!

Anonymous said...

hi guys, I have a little different opinion after interacting with some current Unilag guys. I heard a whole different story that they impression given are totally wrong. Maybe one should know the truth more before making some quick conclusions. The way I heard it, the parents and the registrar of lag who is tomi's uncle knows better about the real thing that happen.

Just a caution though.

Anonymous said...

Ex-schoolnerd how bodi, I like your blog. It’s been nice reading all the previous comments and its pretty funny reading people’s comment on issues they know nothing about. Tomi’s case can best be described as an unfortunate incident. Let's look at this issue objectively. Is it possible for any lecturer to frustrate anybody to the point of committing suicide? Tough times don’t last but tough people do. Why don't we ask the people at the schl? I believe they have their own side of the story. Are they not humans? I’m sure many of you are taught by these people. I happen to pass through the same depart in unilag and I have a different opinion of these lecturers. They were really good to us. I guess some of them were misunderstood by some students who don’t see any good thing in the the lectueres bcos of their strictness and uncompromising stand. Our elders said it’s only a fool who hears one side of the story and then takes side instead of listening to both sides of the story. Please let us be absolutely careful of how we spread news like this so that you don't offend God and incur God's wrath by spreading lies. Please be careful in publishing any news you receive. Cross check your facts before you publish.