The main entrance of Ekiti State University (EKSU)

Absolutely smart

“Inaction is followed by stagnation. Stagnation is followed by pestilence and pestilence is followed by death.” – Frederick Douglass

It is stale news on Ekiti State University campus, that a new development technology system has been initiated to enhance the learning process of the students. However, it is a development which has not gotten a favorable compliment from the students as they best refer to it as enslavement. Its level of rejection can’t be overemphasized as everyone refuses to take personal responsibility for its endorsement as part of the school curriculum. The tag “SMART SCHOOL” has encountered several challenges as the wish of the majority of the Stalites save the freshers is never to see the light of the day. The question of who enslaved us was the chant, as the initiative was greeted by different demonstrations and protests, peaceful and otherwise, not even for the reduction of the fee but for the scrapping of such unthought idea.

Consequently, following the annulment of the SUG election for last session, a caretaker committee has been appointed by those who we need to challenge, how then do we achieve this? Everyone sees this development as one of the evil agendas of the school authority, the school authority disproves the endorsement and blames it on the past SUG administration. In the same vein, the past SUG administration denies the accusation and calls out the state government? Who then is responsible? Should we keep searching for the same answers?

We all left what is important, to argue on baseless fact, that is the fee attached to the innovation, is this scheme even beneficial at all, let’s then weigh the advantages and disadvantages. As my opponent may as well claim the payment is irrelevant, the scheme is not worth it at this time, because students are not resident on campus and as such the 10GB data per month is a waste. The major problem we have is the failure to realize other benefits of this initiative – our complacent nature as a youth, no wonder we are referred to as being lazy. Are we not?

In a school without a conducive place of learning, where students find it hard to hear the lecturers and fully partake in the classes as some are made to stand because of the inability of the lecture theaters to accommodate them. The failure of the students is often hinged on this fact and others which may include the inability to do research and refusal to buy textbooks that foster their learning. Should the students then keep failing?

No, it should not be. The Smart School portal gives every registered student access to classes and notebooks for a whole semester. In the prestigious faculty of law, where we can boast of efficient lecture theaters, we often misspell cases, maxims, and words which divert us to a different thing and it’s a major cause of failure. With the help of this new initiative, words, case titles & maxims we can’t spell are corrected, and the available data helps to download textbooks and do proper research.

We all compliment the system of Western education forgetting the only difference between us, is the inability to accommodate new development. James Madison once said, “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only true liberty.” We feel like them yet being complacent and be like them. The words of Martin Luther King, Jnr comes to mind: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” How then do we claim to be enslaved, rejecting necessary but radical reforms, even in our laziness never trying to find what laziness means, ending up enslaving ourselves?

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

At the beginning of this session, the students of Ekiti State University were welcomed to the new session by the school authority with an unprecedented hike in school fee, as if the welcome package was not enough, we were also welcomed with an innovation called the SMART SCHOOL. Asides from the basic tuition, the school fees include ICT dues while expected to pay a whopping sum of four thousand naira for portal maintenance.

The Smart School is a digital platform where lecturers upload their lecture notes for students’ consumption and give online assignments while the students are also expected to submit online. The Smart School initiative also allows financially eligible students to enjoy free data of about 10GB per month. However, the school in its smart approach has refused to make the smart school free by making it mandatory for all students to pay a sum of fourteen thousand naira only excluding a bank charge of six hundred naira for the enjoyment of the Smart School service.

From a rich man’s perspective, the Smart School idea seems smart, but from the perspective of a commoner, it is only a smart move by the school authorities to extort the students of the school. EKSU is not residential, school gates are closed by 10 pm, and private hostels around the school do not have electricity supply not forgetting that not all students have access to a smartphone and the Smart School in its smartness starts working by 8:00 am and ceases to work by 4:00 pm.

The question is when am I expected to use the smart school? Am I expected to use it within the hours of 8:00 am to 2:00 pm which happens to be statutory hours of lecture? Or 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm when I am supposed to feed my brain with rest in anticipation for night reading? Where I accidentally have the time, how am I supposed to get my smartphone charged when I do not have access to electricity in my hostel and what is my hope if I do not have a smartphone at all after paying the unjustly increased school fee through my nose. Again, I ask, how am I to enjoy 10GB which has been given to me in exchange for 14,000 naira?

My friends in Benue State University are not smart but they enjoy free Wi-Fi at no cost to them with their school been residential making access to the 24hours Wi-Fi easy and effective.

It is my submission that the smart school is Machiavellian in nature and for the students of EKSU who also happens to be major users, the Smart School is not smart, it is only a smart plot by the school authorities to feed fat on the vulnerability of the students who do not want to disobey orders.

Conclusively, we the consumers careless about how smart the Smart School is because the Smart School is not smart enough to care for our internet and digital needs.