By Omolaoye Sodiq U12MM1058
Coming down from the Aluta dividend bus that took me from North gate to the New lecture Hall, the divided voice of my course mates echoed into my ear from afar. They were under the social sciences garden, already sweating to make their points pass through on a cold Tuesday morning. I moved toward them to know what could have caused that heated argument. Alas, it was a debate of whether academic project should be cancelled at undergraduate level or not. This also triggered another point of debate that who should be blame for the fallen standard of education in Nigeria, the students or the system? I took my time to listen to their various opinions before chipping in my views. Few minutes later, the lecturer we were waiting for arrived and we went into the class. However, I woke up the next morning perturbed with the point of discussion my fellow course mates raised. It’s indeed a great thing of concern as most of us are victims of the fallen standard of the academic secttor in our dear country.
To those who believedd that academic project should be cancelled at undergraduates level, their argument is that there is nothing new to study, everything has been studied (Quite laughable though).To further buttress their point, they opined that projects at undergraduate level is like a legal promotion of the copy and paste festival. Students go to the library and internet to just lift anything that commensurates with their work and submit to their supervisors without proper citations. In fact, they argued that to a certain extent, some students already have their complete and well structured project down even before their supervisor approve their topics. Hence, what is the need to continue with a failed system? they uttered! To them, the project system at undergraduates level is an higher level of academic wastage of both time and resources. It should be cancelled. This virtually means Academic project should start at post graduate level. At that stage, students are matured to follow the ethical considerations of writing a project.
At the other end is those who believed that academic project should still remain. They of the opinion that the basic foundation of writing a good academic report starts at the undergraduate level. To them, if students are deprived the practical knowledge of writing a project, how can they cope when they get to the higher level. To them, the issue of ethical considerations should be pushed aside as even students at the Master and Ph.d Level are guilty of the academic fraud so to say. Hence, writing of project should still be given immense concentration. We shouldn’t throw away the dirty bath water with the baby they concluded. This particular argument degenerated into blame game. Some of us believed that the lecturers-in-charge and the system we found ourselves should be blamed, while others pushed the blame game on the students. They believed the students are the architect of their own misfortune and are solely responsible for the fallen standard.
I want to open the floor to the house so as to enable us and our lecturers to contribute to this point of argument. Should writing of academic project continue at undergraduates level or not? Who is to be blamed for the inability of the students to do the right thing? Our supervisors? The students? or the management system? How and why? What are the solutions to this raging academic problem? The floor is open. Thank you as you contribute to this intellectual warr!