Established in 1971 from the facility left behind by the old University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, boasts being the alma mater of many prominent Nigerians. Many of them are indeed captains of industries.
But age is fast telling on the institution, especially its physical infrastructure. Little wonder, many students are complaining about the state of facilities in the 45-year-old institution situated in the Sango area of the sprawling city. Indeed, from the unoccupied lands, hostels to the laboratories, it is a litany of fear and anguish for the students.
For instance, our correspondent, who visited the school on Monday, observed that there was a large expanse of unused land occupied by tall grasses and trees. According to the students, the unused parcel of land is capable of being a home to reptiles and a den to cultists.
Some of them told our correspondent that they disliked moving around the campus at night for fear of being attacked by reptiles.
“As you can see, the bush is directly behind the classrooms and offices. We receive lectures late into the evening at times and, as a woman, the fear of being attacked while going home at night is always there,” said a female student of the Faculty of Engineering.
Another female student said she skipped any class scheduled to hold late in the evening in order to leave the area early. She noted that because of the irregular supply of electricity in the school, it was better not to take a risk of being in the area at night.
“I do not have to be told not to stay there when it is dark. We see people coming out of the place in the evening but, personally, I do not know who they are. Some of our colleagues say they are farmers but anybody can dress like a farmer to actualise an evil intention. That place needs to be cleared,” she said.
For another student, who gave his name as Segun, it is normal to find undeveloped land in big institutions. He believes it is pleasant to live close to nature.
“I have heard people complaining about the place but I see nothing wrong in it. I visit the University of Ibadan regularly. There are more bushes there than here and it is always lovely to walk under those trees.”
Apart from the bushy environment, the students also claimed that they were having challenges in their hostels. The school provides accommodation for the majority of the learners in four large hostels. These are the Ramat, Unity, Orisun and Olori halls. Apart from the electricity supplied by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company to the school, the institution compliments it with five hours of electricity supply through its main generator. Water is also pumped to
the hostels during this
However, the students are demanding more. Some of them residing on campus want the authorities to extend the time that electricity is supplied to their hostels, especially during examination periods. They also want more cleaners in the hostels in order to address sewage disposal challenges.
At the Unity Hall, which accommodates male students, some of the students also complained about the poor condition of their rooms.
“We drop our mattresses on the floor because there are no beds. Mosquitoes invade our hostel because water from the bathrooms and toilets form pools in the open space within the hostel. The water channel is not closed and the water does not flow freely. We have enough water and the electricity situation is not too bad but six hours a day is not enough because we have to read at night after classes, especially during examination periods,” said one of the residents, Asaolu Adeola.
Our correspondent, however, observed that the school is upgrading the laboratories and studios in the faculties to aid learning and research. For example, at the Department of Chemistry, the obsolete equipment at its laboratories have been replaced with infrared, colorimeter, conductivity meter, vacuum pump, and gas chromatograph, among others. But the students complained that the laboratories were too small for effective learning.
“The development we have seen so far came from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and some old students of the school. It seems the Oyo State Government that owns the school has abandoned it,” said Oladele, an HND11 student of the department.
The school Public Relations Officer, Soladoye Adewole, however, said maintaining such a big school required huge funding and time to occupy all the virgin lands that the students said were threats to nightlife on campus.
He explained that some of the bushy portions belonged to the school’s closest neighbour, the University of Ibadan, while some employees of the polytechnic used other unoccupied lands belonging to the polytechnic as farms.
He said, “This is a big place but well maintained. Part of the virgin land belongs to the UI while some of our workers use the land that the polytechnic has yet to occupy as farms. In essence, they cannot refer to them as bushes or forest. It is, however, important to say that the school is introducing new programmes and more of the lands are being put to use.”
On the lack of space at the science laboratories, Adewole said the authorities had met the requirement set by the National Board of Technical Education and that a new multi-purpose laboratory had just been built and completed for students’ use.
“The polytechnic education system is practical. The NBTE is always here to assess the quality of our laboratory equipment. We cannot go lower than the standard set by the board,” he said.