The University Lecturer: An Encounter with a Student…

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By Abdelghaffar Amoka

There was a knock on my door and a guy walked in. I asked how I can help him and he said he is one of our students in BSc (Ed) physics, in 100 level, and needs to talk to me. I told him to sit down. He brought out his first-semester result and handed it over to me. He had a GPA of less than 1.

I asked him about his grade in his O’level physics and he said he got C4. I was like, Wow! I got a C6 in physics in my O’level and from the O’level results, you seem better than me in the subject while in secondary school.

University Lecturer: An Encounter with a Student…

So, how come you failed all your physics courses in the first semester? Then, he opens up. He said he wasn’t that good. He tried his best during the O’level exams and they helped them and that was how he got the C4.

Then, I asked what he wanted me to do for him and he said he want to improve his result. It was towards the second-semester examination. I advised him on how he could handle the coming exam but to take care of the future, he needs to remedy the deficiency. So, I told him to buy the senior secondary school physics by P.N.Okeke from Kola Bookshop at PZ.

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He brought the book the next day and I told him to start studying the book from the first page and to solve the exercises after every chapter. He was like how will he cope? I assured him that with his maturity and sincerity to learn, he will find it easy.

But if he should have issues with any of the topics, he should feel free to meet me or consult any of the good students in his class. I assured him that if he can understand the book, the result will get better. Shortly after then, I left for Norway for a 2-year postdoc.

He was in 400 level when I returned in 2015 and had forgotten about him. So, a young man came to my office and introduced himself. It was the guy. I asked about his result and he told me his CGPA.

There was a serious improvement compared with his starting GPA. I could not help but stand up and hugged him for his effort. I told him to imagine what the result would have been like if he was taught basic physics in secondary school.


He graduated and got a teaching job as a physics teacher in a secondary school. He later got a job with NPA where he is at the moment.

Basic education is dead and now in hands of businessmen/women for money-making without the knowledge. Of course, there is massive unemployment and the private school owners are taking advantage of it.

The private school teachers are exploited by the school owners, poorly paid with threats, and without motivation. You don’t expect such teachers to put in their best to teach your child. A physics teacher in a private school once told me that he often tells his students that learning is not by force.

Most students come to the university to do the basics with the advanced studies. A developing nation cannot afford a complete absence of public education. If we allow them to kill public universities, the effect will be on us.

The big men in government already have their kids studying abroad or in private schools. They can afford to do politics with public education crisis and don’t give a damn. The filthy-mouthed Lauretta Onochie that was rejected by her party members at the Senate as a Resident INEC commissioner and running her mouth on ASUU has her kids in the UK.

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The respected Mall Adamu Adamu that suddenly turned cunning got his kids educated in private a university. Prof Osibanjo, the VP got his kids educated in the UK. President Buhari got his kids educated in the UK. It’s a very long list.

Most of them have got houses in London, Dubai, etc to relocate to when things fall apart in Nigeria. A minister in this government said Nigeria is “hopeless and helpless”. They want to lead but ain’t ready to help Nigeria to succeed.

The fight for the survival of Nigeria and the public education system is for all of us. They have declared war against public education. Praying for ASUU to lose the fight is like praying for the downfall of the country.

Amoka is an associate professor in the Department of Physics, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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