Over two hundred University of Lagos (UNILAG) Law students have been barred from writing the ongoing semester examination for allegedly failing to meet up to the compulsory 65% of their course attendance.
Some of the affected students lamented that the rule was sprang upon them without prior notice, adding that the University’s enforcement of the rule was to reduce the number of students who get to the final year, and subsequently get admitted to the Nigerian Law School.
Reducing Law School Entrants
One of the students who spoke to Sahara Reporters on the condition of anonymity said; “the university did this not because they so much care about students coming to class but because they needed to cut the number of students who go to law school. Normally, it is two hundred and seventy students (270) that get accepted into law school, so they are trying to cut down the number of students before they get to the final year.
Overfilled Lecture Halls
He said many students prefer to stay in their hostels to study as the capacity of their lecture hall cannot accommodate students if they all decided to be in class. The 400-level student said the faculty of law annex which has bigger capacity lecture halls does not have a public address system to amplify the voices of their lecturers when they teach.
Another student stated that out of over 300 in his class (400 level) which used to be up to 400 in the lower level, several were advised to withdraw. “If we combine the number of students who have been stopped from writing their examinations both in elective or compulsory courses, there would have over 200 students who have missed one exam or the other and that is just one class. Some students have not written a single exam since exams started.”
He said lecturers too miss classes. “There were times I went for customary law classes that the lecturer was not around, about 5 times that happened in one semester. Sometimes we have over 200 students taking an elective course and the class would only accommodate 150 students which means some students would have to stand”.
65% Attendance Mandatory
However, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Atsenwa, said the 65% attendance rule is not new in the university, it is contained in students’ handbook, adding that there also has been constant reminders to the students on the rule.
“I am surprised that a genuine student of the University of Lagos would say he is not aware of the rule, it is in their handbook and at the back of their docket. I am also surprised that any student would say they are not aware because the faculties reminded them. It is not a new rule and their attention was drawn to the rule,” the dean said.