Tuesday, November 25, 2014 11:38 am
Miss Bimbo Lolade Fafowora, the only First Class graduand for the year 2013 through University of Ibadan, UI, Distance Learning Centre, speaks with GBENRO ADESINA on her life, educational pursuit and some challenges of UI DLC
How do you feel being the only graduand of UI DLC with First Class Honours for 2012/203 session?
I am very elated. Doing what people never thought you could do evokes a pleasant feeling not to talk of doing it better than they ever imagined.
What is your CGPA and what course did you study?
My CGPA is 6.1 and I studied Communication and Language Art in the Faculty of Arts, University of
Where are you from?
I am from Ilesa in Osun State and I am the third of five children.
How has life been with you?
Life has not been rosy. I was in secondary school in 1993 when my father died. My father left my mummy who is a petty trader with five children to cater for and the struggle began. At a point, my mother sold off her grinding machine to pay for my Senior Secondary School Examination, SSCE. When I finished SSCE, I started work in a plastic manufacturing company so that I could save some money to buy JAMB form and further my education. Between 1996 and 2001, I sat for JAMB five times but did not succeed in getting admission into university. At that time, whenever people asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I used to tell them that I want to go to school. But when my dream of going to school was not fulfilled in four or five years, some people started making jest of me that my certificate would be written on a plastic because I was working in a plastic manufacturing company. I didn’t let their comments weigh me down. Instead I kept on working. In 1997, Ibadan Poly gave me admission which I forfeited because I didn’t have money to pay for the tuition fee. I continued working until I was able to raise some money for my education. Eventually, my breakthrough came in 2002 when I was given admission to study Mass Communication at Ibadan Poly, Eruwa Campus. I finished in 2005 and obtained an Ordinary National Diploma, OND, in Mass Communication. Immediately after the mandatory one year internship, I applied for HND in the same institution but was denied admission for reasons best known to God. I wept bitterly for denying me the opportunity to do my HND. Later, a friend suggested UI DLC to me, which I later considered but didn’t have money to purchase application form. I begged for money to purchase the form and was given admission and here we are today. When I got the admission, I still had to beg for school fees and some people helped me. The day I was leaving home for school, my mother had just N200, which she gave me. Though she was left with nothing and there was nothing for her and my siblings to eat, she forced me to take the money. While in school, I got a place where I was managing and the little money I realised from it, I used it to sponsor my education.
What is your advice to students who have been sitting at home because they cannot gain admission into university?
To students still sitting at home because JAMB is still ‘jamming’ them, I’ll advise them to take advantage of programmes like the one offered by the UI DLC to avoid needless waste of precious time. There’s no difference between the regular and DLC; it all depends on your attitude. Such students can also take advantage of that waiting period to learn a vocation. I believe such knowledge might become handy one day.
What is your future plan?
I want to do my master’s degree and if I have money, I would like to do Ph.D. I look forward to the day I will also become a lecturer in UI and when I’ll be able to give back to the society that produced me through a foundation for indigent students.
Apart from financial challenge, what other challenges did you face in school?
The challenges that I had are not different from the challenges other DLC students are facing. Let me quickly say that it is time for the school authority to pay attention to the challenges of DLC students. The system is making them to go through hell and I think the system needs to be adjusted to let them study under conducive atmosphere. They always need to consider the circumstances in which they write their exam. It is very pathetic. The combined honour students, especially CLA/ENG, always have it rough during their examination. Courses are always clashing during exam and at the end, they have to choose one and let the other go. But it will affect their CGPA because the one they let go, they will record zero for them. Some students also write three, four papers in a day. At times, some students would be writing two papers per day for a whole week. At times, within five days, combined honours students have written between 10 and 12 papers. Why rushing?
The school should know that some of the DLC students are matured, and old. Some of them are 50 years and above. I don’t think it is right. The director should be actively involved in the drafting of timetable and whenever the students complain about the timetable, the director should take it seriously and solve the problem. There is a problem of missing result and the way DLC authority handles it is highly condemnable. I don’t think it should take more than a week to find a script of any student that complains that his or her result is not released. But as I speak, some students have been contending with the problem for over one year. Some eventually have to retake the exam they wrote and the school refuses to release their result due to their errors. Everybody should learn to fulfil their statutory and moral responsibilities. DLC students must be insulated from strike action. I lost a year to that and I don’t think that is the agreement I signed with them. Lack of classrooms for both interactive session and examination is a major problem.