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Convocation: UI under fire over discrimination against non-first class graduates

The University of Ibadan is currently under fire over its decision to allow only first-class graduates to attend the convocation of the university.

The convocation for the undergraduate degree holders in the university has been slated for today (Monday).

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But, the university in a notice to the graduating students and their parents said that only students who made first-class and those who are billed to collect prizes would be allowed to enter the convocation hall.

The university, while congratulating the graduating students, insisted that all students are to pay all required fees stipulated by the university whether they have a first-class or otherwise.

Director of Public Communication at the university, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo in a statement made available to DAILY POST last week, insisted that the university cannot take the risk of inviting over 7,000 graduates and parents to the institution at this time when Coronavirus is still spreading.

He added that the institution has decided to allow only first-class students and those who are billed to collect prizes due to Coronavirus.

But, some of the graduating students who spoke with DAILY POST, described the decision as a discriminatory decision against those who did not make first class.

Some of those who spoke with our correspondent in Ibadan, on Sunday, regretted that the university asked all students to pay all the fees, but asked those who did not make a first-class to stay at home.

They said that such a decision can create an unhealthy rivalry between first-class students and those who did not make first class in terms of giving back to the university in the future.

One of the graduating students from the Faculty of Education who identified himself as Sayo noted that the university asked them to pay a convocation fee of N3,000.

He said, “Yes, I am one of them. Non-first-class. We are all asked to pay 3,000”.

Another student from the faculty of Social Sciences who did not want his name mentioned because of victimization, described the decision as discriminatory.

“This is a discriminatory decision. All students are to pay all the fees without exempting one. Why did they allow only first class? It is not fair. This is a university that is preaching equality, fairness, and justice, but they are the ones promoting injustice. Mind you, it is not a matter of first-class or second class that determines what people become. If you look around, the majority of the successful degree holders did not make first class. Late Gani Fawehinmi did not make the first-class at the University of Ife, Chief Wole Soyinka too did not make first-class in UI. This can create rivalry among the Alumni of the institution in the future. If we are to contribute to the development of the university in the future, will they say that only first-class should contribute?”.

Another student at the faculty of art called the decision unfair. He said: “Tomorrow is the convocation. But, they said that we should not come. They allowed only first class. That decision is unfair. Even though they did not allow us, they asked us to pay a sum of N3,000 for graduation.”

At the same time, Barrister Abiodun Amole, a legal practitioner in Ibadan, described the university’s decision as a bad discriminatory policy.

Amole disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Post. He insisted that as a lawyer, he has seen many top graduates with poor job performance.

Amole said, “It is a bad and discriminatory policy. That a student graduates with a first-class don’t indicate that he or she will perform better than those who didn’t make first class in practice.

“I have heard many people say that many first-class graduates do not perform well in practice, I once personally experienced it too when a lawyer who bagged a first-class in the law school performed woefully at work.

“His dismal performance got me so annoyed one day that I asked him how he made a first-class. Many of them are only good at academics. The UI authorities should rethink the policy.”

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