Students of Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, have lamented over the recent policy by the school management to implement a compulsory payment of #5,000 by penultimate and final year students for teaching practice exercise.
The teaching practice exercise is a six weeks sessional activity embarked on by students in 300 and 400 levels in the faculty. The motive is to put into practice all that has been learnt in the classroom.
Campus Reporter correspondents gathered that while the faculty has commenced the sessional exercise several years ago, this is the first time students will be asked to pay a sum of #5,000 for the exercise, which on its own, is a course in the faculty’s curriculum.
The correspondent also discovered that the six weeks exercise is always carried out before sessional activities (during the end of session break) within selected geographical areas chosen by the faculty management or a committee authorized to do so.
However, students have expressed their dissatisfaction towards the development. Lamenting about the new policy, students who spoke with Campus Reporters correspondents said the expenses concerning the teaching practice exercise itself is drilling big holes in their pockets and now they have to pay a compulsory fee for the exercise.
Miss Esther, a student of the Department of Early Childhood Foundation said “I don’t see any reason why we final year students should pay, It doesn’t make any sense, there’s no substantial justification for the 5,000 we are paying”.
Miss Olamide, a student of the department of Counseling and Human Development Studies said “we are to go for the exercise twice and we are not even given something for offering our services and now we are going to pay again, this is quite bad.”
Another student from the Department of Adult Education in the Faculty said “the new policy concerning the payment for teaching practice, is a very disheartening one and many students have to hustle more to pay; this will really tell on them when they start missing lectures and tests all in the name of not having money.”
The Public Relations Officer of the student association (NUESA), Mr. Akinlade Oluwatobi, in a telephone conversation with the OWL CampusReporter correspondent said most Educators are not aware but some who are conversant already with the scenario and they already expressed their grievances towards the issue. He said there has been no official statement to keep the student abreast of the whole payment issue yet.
“We were with the Dean, he said it was not a faculty decision, it was a university decision. The money is meant to ease the lecturers during the teaching practice exercise, we pleaded with him to see if they can begin the payment process next session, he said it was beyond him and that the payment should have been made earlier before resumption”, he said.
Justifying the new policy concerning payment for teaching practice exercise, the Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, Professor Julius Ademokoya, said the fee is to improve the standard of the exercise, thereby urging students to be empathetic by putting themselves in their lecturers’ shoes.
He also urged them to see things from the angle of the stress lecturers undergo during the course of supervising their teaching practice candidates at their various locations.
He explained that the lack of support from the government and the poor condition of the exercise were the major reasons which led to the development. He said that lecturers who embark on supervisory roles for the success of the exercise should get teaching practice allowance from the government, but such is not the case.
“You can do your teaching practice exercise wherever you like without restrictions”, the Dean said.
Professor Ademokoya made it known that the development should not be seen as an imposition because it was tabled during the last parents-management meeting in the school and students should not see it as a surprise, as some other faculties have implemented theirs.
In another interview with a lecturer in the Department of Educational Management, he claimed that the development was needed for the faculty to meet up with international standards. He said the process which led to the development was well thought out, as “before the University will bring anything out, it must have gone through stages.”
“There is nothing that can be done about it. You heard the case of those in medicine, did the get a solution to it? If they want their candidates to meet international or best practices, education cannot do less if we call ourselves nation builders….
The money is not going to anybody’s pocket…. It is just because government is not funding education as expected… If the government is doing its own part, nobody will be bothered about that”, the lecturer said.
Campus Reporter correspondents gathered that a Health Professional levy of #85,000 has been demanded for the first time from medical students in the University.
The payment of the levy was made as a condition for writing the ongoing first semester examination, while those who couldn’t meet up with the payment deadline were made to sign a letter indicating when the payment will be made and supporting it with a court affidavit with a promise of good conduct.
For the compulsory teaching practice fee, the correspondents gathered that students are yet to commence payment of the fees, but they will, before the end of the session, for which the school (University of Ibadan) is still in its first semester.