Some couple of months ago, the social media space was pervaded with a picture of a lecturer in the Department of Geography with caption depicting inhuman treatment of students in a classroom. The picture which was met with several criticisms and condemnation from all and sundry, was later disclaimed by the students of the departments, saying the picture is not a true representation of the caption, stressing that the whole scenario was a joke as the lecturer in question is a friendly lecturer to students and one of the best in the department. With the turn out of this event which brought disrepute to the University’s image, and disrepute to the lecturer too, one would have thought that the event would have sent a signal of warning to other lecturers and students alike, but in the opposite, it happened again, though different faculties, but in the same building.
Last week, the social media space was filled with another picture of a University of Lagos lecturer allegedly flogging students in his class. The lecturer in the said picture has been identified to be a Professor in the Department of English, Professor Daramola.
Just like the previous incident, after several reactions to the picture, the student association of the department also released a disclaimer, stating that the caption of the picture is not a true representation of what really occurred, according to the disclaimer, the cane was just used to demonstrate and not that the professor caned the students. The disclaimer also went further to state that the lecturer has a fatherly relationship with the students and that he is one of the best and finest lecturer in the department.
Though, contrary to the above disclaimer by the English student association, The Press Club can authoritatively report that the lecturer in question used cane on the students. However, through interviews with the students of the departments, especially those in the class where the incident occurred and even Alumni, our findings confirms that the lecturer is one that has a fatherly relationship with his students, while many had their reservations, majority consented to the fatherly attitude that he has with the students.
In respect to this, while we appreciate the level of father/children relationship and interaction by some lecturers, which in actual fact forms part of the mission statement of the University, we also want to caution against the use of unethical means to express this relationship. Having more of this kind of pictures springing up and circulated over the media space is a threat to the image of our dear University – the image of the University of Lagos should be jealously guided by us all.
In furtherance to the above, we want to implore all students to acquaint themselves with the various means and provisions by the University through which they can express their grievances. Starting from the Departmental Executives, the Faculty Executives, the Quality Assurance and the Student Affairs Division of the University. We acknowledge that the media is a great means to making your grievances known, we must however maintain our sanity by ensuring that things we release to the media are based on fact and true representation. Releasing false information will not correct any ills rather it will only create more imbalance to the system.