Background to the case: Following a protest over yet-to-be-fulfilled promises, the students met with the Vice Chancellor, who among other discussions had promised to propose two weeks break (or one week)  to the senate for consideration and approval or otherwise for students. Currently, academic activities are stalled as students await the formal declaration of break or otherwise. Read the arguments below to understand the two sides of the coin: if the two weeks break is really necessary.

There is only one answer, and that is yes!

Taking a break can lead to breakthroughs

Russell Eric Dobda

It was with a gleeful heart, a wide-opened mouth which exposed her well-shaped dentition and reeled out a roaring laughter that Sade greeted the rumour that the University has declared a two weeks break following a meeting with the Vice Chancellor over the resolution of students agitations. She had first expected it. Then she prayed silently for it. Then after the students protested on Monday, 29th April, she envisaged it. And now, she thought, it had become a reality!

However, her seeming happiness soon turned to anxiety and restlessness when another report came in that the break hasn’t been declared officially. Not yet. The VC is expected to meet with the University Senate on Thursday, 2nd May, after which the conclusion which will decide its fate which will be subsequently passed across.

Milords, Sade is several of the students that had wanted the two weeks break although, it is true that this is for reasons diverse as the minds of billions of people in the world today, yet some points are noteworthy and cannot be overemphasized.

Paramount is the fact that the break will enable students who are yet to pay for their sundry fees look for various means to ensure they do so before the latest deadline especially students with genuine reasons though. And well, gracefully, those who are smart enough to squander theirs.

‘Why should a break (of two weeks long at the very most) be given for this?’, my opposing counsel may be quick to ask.

While it is true that these students can still devise means to get their sundry fees, with the academic calendar being undisrupted, I must reiterate the age long maxim that says “seeing is believing”. Of course, helpers, parents, and an endless list of whoever the affected student intends to contact will be more disturbed and perhaps prompt when they notice his/her presence, or rather absence from school for nonpayment of school fees!

Students who peradventure are running low on foodstuff, finances among other basic needs necessary to thrive on campus are also provided with the good opportunity to devise means of stocking their apartment with food again and be financially buoyant. Most common is to go home — students more often than not are furnished with foodstuff or cash correlate or both when they leave home for school, most especially when it is after a relatively long period like this.

Truly, there is no doubt that “no food, no money” is the song on the tongues of many currently while erstwhile generous friends, whenever they are called if they could be visited, now mask their tongue with the rhetoric of Oye-Igbeyin, which literally and literarily translates to the period of lack.

Can we still say, the two weeks break is too expensive to be afforded? When exactly it is a cheap alternative to prevent the loss of concentration, decline in rate of assimilation among other ugly trends that accompany the lack of food or money!

The two weeks may also be symbolically analogous to fallowing which is a period when a field is left uncultivated in order to regain its fertility. In this stead, the break in essence affords the studious students a break from rigor, rush and tight schedules of classes to the stress-free zone where he/she easily revises what has been learnt over the course of the semester in preparation for resumption of classes and examination.

In another instance, the break can always serve as reminder to the university management to remember the agitations of its students and promptly attend to them before their resumption in order to avoid subsequent ugly incidents. For instance, if the students go on break, the university understands that at least some amenities should have been provided before they get back, like library, like Wi-Fi, like street lights among others. Failure to do this only reveals their lack of commitment to the promises made and may consequently fuel another demonstration/agitation.

However, if there were to be no break, the management may quickly forget promises made as a result of the bustle of academic and administrative activities.

In conclusion, Milords, the two weeks which has almost become a norm in the university had long been anticipated and expected by students. That it is coming at this point in time only lends its utmost relevance.

No! It is not needed.

It is high time we put our thinking cap on

For about two weeks now, there has been uprising in Federal University Oye-Ekiti in forms of protests and demonstrations. The latest is the students protest for lack of basic amenities which includes but not limited to: Wi-Fi, good roads, lecture halls, electricity. As a result of the protest against the deadline for school fees, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Soremekun promised to have a meeting with the senate of the institution to know if two weeks should be approved as break for the students.

There have however been mixed feelings amongst students of the institution towards the two weeks break as some are not in support while some can’t wait for it to be approved and declared officially.

Milords, as good as the two weeks break sounds, it will do more harm than good to the students if approved. Reasons why students don’t need the two weeks break are innumerable but because of the tick-tock of the diligent clock only a few will be given

To begin with milords, the approval of a two weeks break will make the academic calendar disrupted. Already, the prolonged ASUU strike which stalled academic activities earlier this year had dealt many blows to the academic calendar and a forceful fit of the two weeks break will not but make matters worse— what this means in essence is that the two weeks will further elongate a prolonged semester.

Almost needless to say, one of the ugly effects the break will cause is an uncompleted curricula. The reality is no longer in doubt that most departments are preoccupied with assignments, tests and class presentations and to complicate issues, examination is to start on the 27th of May. Lecturers would be constrained to asking questions about the limited ideas they have taught rather than all that should be taught, which would have widened the horizon of the students.

My Lords, the defending counsel might be of the opinion that the examination would be postponed. Very possible I agree but, one definite thing is, it is only about 4 weeks students will be given before exam and of the four weeks, one would be lecture free. All this weeks in summary will birth an academic rush.

Furthermore, Mi Lords, as it is said that prolonged idleness paralyzes initiatives, the two weeks break will make students lazy academically as most students have started preparing to go home. All Nigerian students can truthfully testify reading at home can in no way be compared with reading in school because the vibe and motivation to read at home is usually low. If this is the case then there is a high probability students will fail in flying colours.

Finally my Lords,to say the two weeks break is to help students who have not paid their fees is not the problem. The problem is why should two weeks academic pause be involved. The deadline should rather be postponed without affecting normal academic activities.

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 judgement. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. Do FUOYE students really need two-weeks break?