Justice denied and acknowledgement denied. This was the position of Miss Temitope Nwachikwu, the best graduating student (with the highest CGPA) of BABCOCK UNIVERSITY . Alexandria Braie, who obtained a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), as her CGPA of 4.90 points fell short by 0.1 point behind Temitope Odunayo Nwachukwu, who obtained CGPA of 4.91 points. A lot has been asked and raised over the awarding of the best graduating student to a student that doesn’t have the highest CGPA. Babcock University as it stands today is worried over the perception the public has for the private institution founded on Christian principle.
“Well, I was shocked. I did not understand it. As we speak, I do not know the criteria. I was asking myself what happened. My husband and I were asked what could have happened. Both of us concluded that that might not be for us to decide. There is no problem”, this was the statement made by Temitope Nwachukwu, to the consternation of all. This was her response to Folashade Adebayo of Punch Newspaper.
The university is an academic community where meritocracy and recognition of hard work is the watchword. For the Babcock university to award somebody else the best graduating student, is worrying. Mrs. Nwachukwu ought to be the recipient of such award but as it stands the university knows best.This goes against everything that Ivory Towers are known for. Temitope Odunayo Nwachukwu must have moved on and should take solace in John Ruskin’s saying “ Let every dawn be to you as the beginning of life”
Defending the institution, Joshua Suleiman, the Director of Marketing and Communications of the University, said “We look at the leadership quality of the student in addition to academic performance. We look at spiritual and social activities of the students. We also look at entrepreneurship activities of our students.”
Based on the submission of Mr. Joshua, we can deduce that one must be spiritually sound , leadership quality and entrepreneurial spirit. Now , the question is, how does the University measure spirituality. We think that it is only God that has the attribute to ascertain holiness or spirituality. If the university can measure spirituality to be one of the criteria of becoming the best students, the country is asking , what are the parameters used to measure such? How did they arrive to such results? And when was the spiritual measurement commenced? We know that the institution was Established by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is a university not a theologian seminary.
Another poser is the entrepreneurship activities, students are called students because they are in school to learn. Hey re not in Broad street or Wall street, they are not businessmen. Though, it has been said that students ought to have some level of entrepreneurship in them. But, we all knew that most of us don’t seem to find our bearings in universities. We get to find our bearings when we graduate from school and face the real life.beside that, not everybody in life is tailored for entrepreneurship. That doesn’t make them a failure! Some are tailored to be an educationist / instructor,some businessmen, while some are meant to be a scientist. This is where Temitope falls into. She studied Laboratory Science, this has automatically made her a scientist or researcher. The school wouldn’t expect her to open up a commercial laboratory service without experience. Also, considering the nature of her course or their courses like medicine and surgery or even law, you don’t expect these sets of students to either lounge in the churches in the name of spirituality or looking for clients and designing leads in the name of entrepreneurship activities. This would be tantamount to distraction. We must first understand the first reason of being in the university, which is- to learn and under study. Unless,the school is some Theological seminary, which we have checked,it isn’t.. This singular ion of the university has made parents like me, to reconsider the Nigerian education reward system.
The University has the right to award and acknowledge any student as the best graduating student based on their selective criteria or parameter. That is their right, what I have a problem is using spirituality as a scale to ascertain the best graduating student. We believe that in future, this “anomaly” can be rectified. This will resuscitate our dying hope in the country’s education system and also the reward system of the university and society at large.