Dramatic changes, two years to LASU External System shutdown

By Josephine Agbonkhese

I never would have gone to that school if I knew my career and entire life would be so frustrated. Imagine paying tuition, studying all night for examinations and not seeing most of your results? I went through that school to facilitate my rise in the Nigeria Police which I had joined as a secondary school leaver, but as things are now, maybe I should have spent that money on my wife and children. Rising to the top here is extremely slow except you have a degree, but see how that school has frustrated me!”

That was an old student’s account of the Lagos State University, LASU, External System which has, since 2002, operated 10 satellite campuses across Lagos State with millions of higher education seekers in Lagos enrolling each year. But there has been a halt in admission in the last three years. This, according to sources, is preparatory to the proposed shut down of the system by 2016.

The “outgone” student (as he and his colleagues are called since they have no proof of being graduates), who joined the school in 2005 and supposedly rounded-off in 2011 from the Department of Accountancy, narrated his predicament with tear-filled eyes to Sunday Vanguard.

He was one of those who began at the main campus in Ojo, Lagos, but got transferred to the Agege campus.

The testimony of that old student is, however, in huge contrast to that of current students at the institution.

“Things have been quite different since I entered the institution in 2010, especially since 2012 when a new team assumed leadership of the system. Results are released and published on a website- www.lasuwebservices.com – 36 hours after examination, and lecturers are more devoted”, a student at one of the satellite campuses, who simply identified himself as Olalekan, said.

Admitting though that the school fee has more than doubled, he added that lecturers now get paid as and when due unlike in the past when they allegedly either begged for their salaries or leave with students’ answer booklets and results when they are not paid. This tradition contributed greatly to the frustrations faced by students.

According to one of the current administrative officials of the system who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the administration, led by Prof. Tajudeen Obanikande, the Director, is driven by a strong desire to see students graduate with the assurance of getting their results within a short period.

It would be recalled that in 2012, the final year results of two departments – the 2003/04 and 2007/08 batches of students in Mass Communication and Economics Departments respectively – were finally released and pasted on a notice board at the Anthony Campus of the institution. Many others have since followed speedily across the campuses.

Delayed release of results

History is replete with stories of students writing examinations and waiting forever to see the results. Some outgone students of the LASU External System confirmed that they never sighted most of their examination results before leaving the school. And many of the former students have lost their jobs due to the inability to tender proof of university degree as requested by their employers who tolerated them for years.

This tradition of delayed result is, however, fast changing with the magical fingers of the lasuwebservices portal where students now hurry to, shortly after writing any examination. Results are pasted under course codes in the portal and students can access them, jot down or print out if desired, for reference purposes.

“We are now able to see our results for each semester and for students who have activated their profile, these results are uploaded to their profiles in due time, to facilitate final result collection upon graduation. I think we are lucky to be in LASU External System at this time when there is a breath of fresh air,” Marilyn, a 400 level student, said gleefully when Sunday Vanguard visited the institution’s Festac campus.

With LASU External System now going digital and students granted access to their results on the internet, most students are certain about having their results and certificates without hiccup. Many students who recently graduated are already enjoying these benefits as they were seen in the various campuses, carrying out their final clearance for final result collection.   When contacted to comment on the changes sweeping through the system, the Director, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, LASU, Dr.Sola Fosudo, declined making any remark but suggested the External System’s Director, Prof Tajudeen Obanikande, be contacted. At press time though, all efforts to have Tajudeen speak proved abortive.

Source: Vanguard News

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