IT IS HIGHLY ADVANTAGEOUS!
“I know that’s a secret, for it is whispered everywhere”- William Congreve
None of the days of my four years contact with the intellectual factories of Nigeria, has been short of excitement. Even without involving the regular faces from the theatre of absurdity called Aso Rock and its “boys’-quarters”, there is a part of the ivory towers that constantly seeks to adapt the comedy series that characterize our daily engagement with the Lurgadian puzzle we call Nigeria; Ever heard of Zikites’ intellectual Aroism? Now, that is intellectual comedy!
My lords, like the case of the wordsmith, Robert Frost, in the poem “The Road Not Taken”, there are two roads before me; here, I choose the “advantageous” lane, I support the notion that the leakage of the students’ results is highly advantageous. While the effects of this decision are not yet obvious, I remain optimistic.
In line with my earlier assertions, I say, for the students and those who buy the truth, the leakage is highly advantageous. Perhaps it is the “deliverance” some of us need, to be free from the mindset of “my school is better than your own”. The leakage has opened for us a closer window, to further look at the streets of rot and disintegration of the “University”. Forget the “first and the best”, “better by far” or whatever gospel, it is heretical! By now, we need not see visions before we know that the traces of an ideal university possessed by Unibadan (the only university in Nigeria that has, perhaps had such), as posited by the Late dean of Arts, Prof. Kolawole Olu-Owolabi, (whose memories are eternally blissful) have faded. The leakage ridicules the sanctity of the Unibadan creed!
My Lords, the leakage is to the advantage of both the management and the student populace, it brings to fore the extent to which lives, properties (electronic and non-electronic) are secured. The leakage should be for us the proverbial last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Now, we should know that the exploits of thieves, last session, at the halls of residence coupled with this situation warrants a total overhaul of the security system. How laughable it is, when the thought of the security officers getting being involved in some music nonsense, replays in one’s mind. Thank God, we did not need the efforts of alumni like Ibukun Babarinde and Sonala Olumhense to jerk us back to reality as in the case of the UI (Mellanby) toilets.
Perhaps, it has also saved the University the effort of conducting researches on the feasibility of the new format of presenting the results at the senate. Some quarters say it is the first time an electronic format will be used. Unlike this situation where the PDF documents are like sachets of “pure water” amongst the students, the old “books” could not have journeyed beyond the reach of the members of the senate and those close to them. Perhaps, the management, based on the results of these unsolicited researches, will reconsider and find better alternative routes. While it is absurd to forestall technological advancement because of security lapses, there could be a means of providing immovable computer systems in the senate chamber, whereby the members can access/assess the results, still protecting the “confidentiality” aspect.
As at the time I put pen to paper, the results are not yet online. The anxiety of getting to see the results of a session’s effort or otherwise were calmly put to rest by this leakage, granting students access to the results the appropriate quarters are yet to put in place. For students who need the results for purposes ranging from scholarship applications to participation in conferences (and could not travel down to obtain the transcripts), the leakage turned out a saviour.
Also, my Lords, the circumferences, diameters and other mathematical jargons/ calculation in the students’ political circles have not been even since the leakage, bringing about revelations and discoveries that could not have seen the light of the day save for this leakage. Who says information is not power?
Finally, my Lords, to say the leakage is disadvantageous is to banish the opportunities it has afforded us, and the need for us, like Lot’s wife, to look back and think. Fortunately, unlike Lot’s wife, we won’t turn to statues; we will only get the right map for the rugged roads that characterize our journey as a people and as a nation. I rest my case!
IT IS EXCEEDINGLY PREJUDICIAL TO EVERY SENSE OF FAIRNESS!
” Trust is like paper. Once it’s crumbled, it can never be perfect again. “– Anonymous
It was some few days to resumption, at that very moment when you are mostly bored and the only thing your mind can think of is to rephrase that nursery rhyme of ‘Oh my home’ to “Oh!my school, oh! My school, when shall I see my school…”, that time when you are desperately hungry to breathe the air on campus. I was sitting in my room, trying to kill my boredom with the nuclear weapon of my Samsung galaxy, that was when I stumbled across some posts on the UI students’ union facebook group, “Send in ur matric no. Finally got the book of life, minus edu finalist”, “I see the book of life nd I no fit sleep again. Chai! Dia riz God o” for a couple of seconds, my heart stopped beating and then it started beating fast, and before you could say ‘recte sapere fons’, I was already sweating profusely, my hands were shaking as I clicked to see the comments beneath those posts to verify the veracity of the posters’ claim. Our fresh brothers and sisters may be wondering why I had to develop that high sense of anxiety and more still the meaning of that UI expression – “the-book-of-life”. But then, my fellow stale students will understand my plight better, they quite know that at the mention of ‘the book of life’ at that point in time, then, every heart must skip, regardless of whether you are the most brilliant student in your class. Well, for the green horns, the book-of-life is no other than a document that contains the list of every students together with their CGPA meant specifically for the senate but which always find its way to some students’ hands, who in turn use it to orchestrate the beats of anxieties amongst other students.
I must state at this junction that for the mere fact that UI and perhaps Nigeria as a whole are still living in the 13th century and have not deemed it fit to enact legislations in respect to rights as to privacy of students’ records doesn’t mean that such rights do not exist and it is a fundamental student right that needs to be respected. It is highly obvious that this right to privacy has been breached, and then the question comes, “who breached this right?” Is it the careless school management or the few overzealous fellows amongst the students? Of course, the Yoruba people as usual have an answer to that question and it is embedded in one of their proverbs that state, “When a domestic death has not killed you, the foreign death will definitely not have a way to reach your throat”. In the light of this timeless truth, we will have no other option than to put the blame on the security-competence of the school management. My lords, I stand before you this day not to debate the fact whether or not there was a leakage, for obviously there was one, and manifest things, the Latin maxim says, requires no further proof. But I stand to vehemently support the notion that this leakage is disadvantageous to the students and as well as it is a potential poison for the reputation of this great institution.
In addition to the fact that this leakage is a breach of students’ right to privacy, it is also disadvantageous because of the psychological pressure that some students would have gone through before realising the true state of things. If you have checked your results in the book of life before, you will agree with me that it is not always accurate as most times not all the results would have been collated and calculated. Now, imagine a student who was on a CGPA of 5.9 in the previous session and on looking at the book of life finds him/herself on a CGPA of 3.5. Now imagine the kind of mental agony that he/she must have gone through as a result of the false misrepresentation before realizing that there are still some courses yet to be added! This kind of mental pressure, a notable psychologist, Prof. David Krantz has said, can trigger heart attacks, arrhythmias and even sudden death!
Furthermore, these incessant leakages are like additional slaps to the already reddened face of the school management. It is highly disadvantageous to the image of this great institution that despite the sophisticated securities it paraded can still not be able to protect an ordinary PDF file from leaking out right under their nose. My lords, if you can still remember, I was here last courtroom year to speak against the school’s porous security system as a result of incessant stealing, raiding and robbing in our halls of residence. Now, this result leakage issue has done more than mere confirmation that the word ‘security’ has totally lost its meaning in the dictionary of the school management. If the school senate cannot be faithful in keeping such small “strictly confidential” things like the students’ results then obviously, I won’t be surprised to wake up one day to find out that a good number of the students have been “leaked into Sambisa forest”. An African proverb has summarized it all, “Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt!”
My lords, in conclusion, to say that this leakage is advantageous is like giving ‘thumbs up’ to the students’ fundamental right to privacy that has been compromised as a result of the leakage. It is like justifying the undue mental pressure that some students might have gone through as a result of misrepresentations brought about by the leakage. It is like supporting the university’s alarming deficiencies in security and administrative competence. I rest my case.
CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgment. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
THE STUDENTS’ RESULTS LEAKAGE: ADVANTAGEOUS OR DISADVANTAGEOUS?
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