In an era where student politics has played a vital role in the life and careers of many students, the Vice President Student’s Union of government, Federal college of Education (Technical), Umunze, Comrade Nwakasi Lynda Oluoma, in this exclusive interview with Lawrence Nwimo for www.odogwublog.com, spoke on her expectations at the end of their tenure.
Spunky as Oluoma as is fondly called is the Vice to the SUG President Comrade Stanley Ezeabayi and student of Biology Education.
She revealed why the degree students are worried in the college as well as what the college management is doing to calm the rising tension.
When did you get into the SUG?
Nwakasi Oluoma: I became the Student Union Vice president September last year for the 2018/2019 academic session.
How did you emerge victorious in the Election?
Oluoma: My emergence as the Vice president was by grace from God. He made it possible and again, my attitude and character towards my fellow students made me gain some popularity. Being social at all times, being playful, jovial and accommodating are the features that made me what I am.
The immediate Past SUG administration faced much criticism from students; do you think the SUG of your school still have the followership and support of the students?
Nwakasi Oluoma: Sure! Of course, the previous SUG in as much as they had too much criticism and the criticism is not a bad one. Criticisms make you better and know your strengths and weaknesses to enable you make necessary adjustments. This administration has turned out to be something different from what students seem to have before. So this enables the students to follow-up with their mind and be happy with the activities of the union.
Before, they thought the Union is a scam but now we are trying our best to make them believe that we are all there to represent them.
What efforts are you making to boost students’ interest in the Student Union activities?
Oluoma: We have series of activities that we are planning to pick-up that will enable students get back to life about SUG. Before now, especially during the students’ week, students normally travel. We are making moves to make the students stay back and feel better through improved SUG activities.
We also plan for students in the area of skill acquisitions that will enable them learn some certain skills. Also, we aim to invite celebrities who will act as role models to the students of the college as well as boost their happiness during the SUG week.
What do you hope to achieve at the end of your tenure?
Oluoma: We have many targets but our major target is to set up a new secretariat because the one we have is getting out of shape. We also hope to establish structures where students can stay and have their group study or chat popularly called love garden at the permanent site of the college.
Also, the current students’ Union government is planning to bring back the free Wi Fi for students as it was in use in the college before. With the Wi Fi, students can browse the internet for their assignments with phones and laptops in school. The school management has promised and is currently working towards bringing back the free Wi Fi.
The management has commenced mounting street lights within and outside the school. The work is ongoing along the areas of permanent site for more security reasons and clear vision for the students at night, all these coming through the intercession of the SUG to the management. Management started with the campus 1 which is permanent site but gradually it will be established at campus II.
Are there challenges facing students of the college?
Nwakasi Oluoma: Yes. Currently there is shortage of classroom in the school. It is one of the points we lamented to the management in our courtesy visit. Some departments are stranded when it comes to lecture rooms. Some of the classrooms are dilapidated and not conducive for learning. But some weeks ago, the provost went round the school for inspection and to see how things are going to be done. And as we speak now, work has commenced. We appreciate the brand new Provost and pray God to give her the enablement to attend to so many things in her schedule for the betterment of the staff and students.
Also, the SUG cried to the management concerning the state of the hostels and immediate response was given as the hostels have been fumigated against mosquitoes and other dangerous insects.
Being an affiliate institution, do you think the Degree students are facing challenges in your college?
Oluoma: Truth be told, we face some challenges because I’m a degree student as well. There are many challenges especially academic challenges. These academic challenges are rightly from the people we are affiliated to; our mother institution which is Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka.
The major problem we are having of recent with them is in terms of results. The result of the past academic year comprising first and second semesters has not been released up till today which is a very big challenge for the degree students of the college. As it stands now, no one knows where he/she belongs; whether you have carryovers or not.
Again, sometimes in result compilation, degree students find it very challenging because Unizik gives us tough hands. Sometimes they come with the deduction of marks and many other strategies which demoralizes students from studying their books. Why should a student who scored an ‘A’ have his or her marks reduced to ‘B’? Why would students’ marks be deducted?
Do you think the college management is aware of these challenges?
Oluoma: Yea, they are very much aware of the situation of the degree students. In fact, the management is working tirelessly to make some improvement on that. The college management has promised us that what is delaying the adjustment of these whole things is the ASUU strike as UNIZIK and other Universities are currently on strike. Though the strike was just called off probably for the general elections.
But the management has been making efforts to put things in order. The strike is drawing them back and I believe once the strike is over as it were, their efforts and plans will come to manifestation and things will turn out better.
Is SUG doing anything to help students in these problems?
Nwakasi Oluoma: Sure, we are sleepless because once the students are not happy, we are not happy too. All of us are affected because we are also degree students. We are making efforts; we have gone to the management several times to lay complaints at least to worry them that we are not comfortable again.
The management themselves are not equally comfortable because it is not within their power but they are making the necessary moves.
In general, how would you rate the relationship between the college management and students?
Nwakasi Oluoma: Now, there is mutual relationship between the college management and the students courtesy of the current provost, Dr Okoli, because the current provost is like a mother to all. So she established a good connection between the college management and the students. You know, when the righteous is in power, the people rejoice. So far as she as the head is good, other members of the management team dance to her tone. So, I believe there is a better relationship now than before.
What do you think you will be remembered for?
Oluoma: I will be remembered for lots of things, at least for my jokes and carrying fellow students along. I also believe I will be remembered for my hard work. The students believe in me because I am good to them. I am good too in the Church. By the time we finish our projects in the school, we will have our names pasted in the sands of time.
Can u tell us a little about your experience in secondary school?
Nwakasi Oluoma: My secondary school was at St. John of God, Awka. I was a boarding student and graduated in 2010. I held some posts during my secondary school at St. John. I was the Punctuality prefect and also the choir prefect. So, I held two posts and I believe it laid the foundation of my success today.
What are your hobbies?
Oluoma: Well, I like singing. I sing a lot and it makes me happy. In fact, with music by my side, I cannot get angry.
What advice do you have for your fellow students?
Oluoma: I have series of advice for my fellow students especially the new students. Getting into Higher Institution is not easy but I advise them to devote more of their time to their studies. They should know that in this school, if they don’t study, they are going nowhere. There is no sorting or bribery for mark in the college.