Almost like a recurring decimal, the occurrence of long hours of blackout during examination period reared its ugly head in the University of Ibadan during their ongoing first-semester examination.
Toyyib Olayiwola is a nocturnal reader. Currently a sophomore of Animal Science, he has had reasons to, albeit out of no choice, become a diurnal reader because “there is no assurance there would be light at night.”
Even as that, while he has tried to adjust to blend with the current erratic power condition during the examination season, his gadgets hardly could sustain him when he read during the day.
“Most of my course materials are soft copy; in the absence of light, I can’t charge my phone making it impossible to access those materials.”
In the case of Veterinary Medicine penultimate student, Abiodun Ogunniyi, he reveals that he couldn’t prepare well for a paper because he couldn’t charge his laptop.
“The situation is bad. In fact, there was an exam I couldn’t optimally prepare for,” said Abiodun, adding that, “All my lecture materials for the course were on my laptop and because of the power drought, I couldn’t have it charged. I had to go round the campus to get a place to charge. It was tiring.”
Though the former two are done writing their exams such is not the case of sophomore MBBS student AbdulBasit Arilesere. Asides that the power condition has made reading difficult for him, routine chores that light aids have equally been difficult.
“I suffered and still suffer from the poor electricity supply in my hall, Independence Hall. I depend almost 90% on my mobile devices to read and as I’m still writing my exams, it made reading a little bit difficult for me.
“Poor light condition affected water supply too. So washing and other things I use water for became hampered to in a way.”
In fact, students in his Hall have had to go for days without bathing because there was no water.
DIFFERENT STROKE FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS
Not only did the power outage affect the reading of students it also affected other areas of their lives.
Second-year Pharmacy student, Nurudeen Oladimeji, says he has been hard done by in terms of feeding as he cannot cook what he prefers. He has to feed on junks and pay more by visiting cafeterias around the school he reveals.
As for his compatriot, a final year student in the same faculty, Jesuferanmi Igbinigie, ironing of clothes has been a major setback for him. Likewise, he adds, even though he has finished his exams, reading for his project has been hampered as his devices hardly have the electrical charge to withstand long hours of reading.
Another final year student of Zoology, Sowemimo Rodiat, is enmeshed in the same sad condition. Her project work has consistently been on hold because her phone has been deprived of constant power supply it needs to function normally.
“For people like us that depend solely on phone for everything including project work…no light, battery goes down, project work halts,” she explains.
“I can’t be charging every little time they bring their light so as not to run down the phone battery. So, I have to let it run down before I charge.”
SALT UPON INJURY
Were it to be only constant light out that Sodiq Akintunde and his roommate had to bear their complaints could have been significantly minimal. But for them to suffer in the hands of the double troubles of power epilepsy and bad electrical fittings is one too many for the final year roommates.
Sodiq explains that his room’s electrical connection is bad. With just two sockets in the room and a nonfunctional lighting, the available two sockets do the work of charging and lighting. Thereby, just one socket is available for use.
“My room is allocated to two students; therefore, two sockets are expected to be available but alas we are managing only one for charging.”
He adds that the other space is used for lighting the room. But because power has been unstable they have had to prioritize the use of the space for charging and other things “for the limited time power is supplied to us.”
A RECURRING BAD TRADITION
“Left to me, I would say it’s a calculated mischief,” Raji Aliu believes.
His belief springs from the singular reality that students of the university are plunged into this very state of epileptic power supply whenever it is examination period.
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“I can’t fathom the rationale behind the tradition of making power epileptic during the period of examinations.
“Could this be to deliberately fail the students?” the penultimate Pharmacy student queries.
“Students are forced to leave the convenience of their rooms and hostels in search of light in specific areas of the school such as anatomy department, exposing them to all sort of security dangers.”
Olayiwola Toyyib also nurses the same curiosity. He too, like many other students of the university, cannot pick out the reason examination period should be characterized by instability of power.
“I think it is almost becoming a culture of the University that whenever the examination comes, light becomes unstable, maybe exam and light are inversely related, I don’t know.”
NO RESPONSE FROM WORKS AND MAINTENANCE
Efforts to get the reaction of the Director of Works and Maintenance, University of Ibadan, Engr Kehinde Ajibola, proved abortive. Calls placed to his line at different times weren’t answered.
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