Wednesday, February 22, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - UNN Implements Student Evaluation

This is great news. I understand that my alma mater, Bayero University, once implemented student evaluations. I think it was during the VCship of Professor Jega. I don't know where it stands together. As a long time advocate for instructor accountability in the Nigerian higher education system, this memo has made my day. Slowly but surely it will happen. Lecturers who are paid to teach will have to teach, instruct, mentor, and guide students or jeopardize their employment. They will also make some effort to actually teach rather than simply read from dog-eared notes prepared 30 years ago and handed to them. They will have to at least show up in the classroom and be available to their students and advisees. 

Ideally, the NUC should be requiring student evaluation of all universities, but ASUU, the perennial obstructionists and enemies of accountability in the Nigerian university system, will oppose it and threaten to strike. No problem. Let perceptive VCs who get it lead the way. Others will follow. Eventually, professorial tyranny and impunity in the Nigerian university system will crumble when student evaluation becomes a factor in promotion decisions. 

To be sure, student evaluations have their flaws and are not the only solution to professorial impunity in the Nigerian academy. It is however a good start and the best tool that can easily be implemented with the minimum amount of restructuring and reform.

Ok, ASUU apologists and public defenders of professorial laziness, unleash your predictably unconvincing defense of the status quo.

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