University education is unique for its universality which means it accommodates students from all religion, race and ethnic backgrounds who come together by providence of their quest for knowledge in the labyrinthine academic world.
Managing these students from diverse backgrounds with their glairing differences becomes a critical task as a mistake in the course of their management can cause an indelible footprint error which posterity will always hold such manager(s) responsible in the negative light when the dust of such error is stirred in the course of rummaging the history books.
Education and religion have come to meet in a dilemmatic crossroads in Uniuyo: a situation where students have to choose one and forfeit the other as far as schooling in Uniuyo is concerned.
Sunday 25th June coincided with Eid-Ai-Fitr celebration of our Muslim brothers. The Sunday was unique in the sense that while Christians were in different churches for their normal
worship service, the Muslim brethren were also celebrating their Islamic festival Eid-Al-Fitr.
It was on that Sunday that a student from the from the Faculty of Education cried out during a chat with this reporter seeking urgent intervention as she bemoaned that there was lecture in her faculty on Sunday why others were in church. The implication of this is that those students who were victims of such lecture organised by such lecturer found themselves in dilemma where they were left to choose between forfeiting the educational knowledge offered by their lecturer in a breakable plate using only two fingers or accept it and forgo their constitutional right of freedom of religion and conscience as enshrined in the supreme law of the land which is the Nation’s Constitution.
This affected both Christian and Muslim students since the Muslim brothers coincidentally had their Eid- Ai-Fitr celebration that day.
Whether we like it or not, religion has come to stay with us. It is like water and blood which flow together to keep us alive during our peregrination on planet earth. It is against this back drop of the importance of religion in our life that we have church and mosque in the campus community to carter for the students and members of staff religious need.
It was also observed that during the two days public holiday declared by the federal government to mark the Eid- Ai Fitr celebration, lectures were held in some departments for students in the University. Meanwhile, this is a federal University which accepts both Christian and Muslim students to come together through learning intercourse.
I stand to be corrected; I am of the view that any lecturer that organizes lecture for students on Sunday has questions to answer on his stewardship and dedication to the course of his livelihood. I do not believe that the University authority in their lecture timetable scheduled some lectures on Sundays. If at all they do, the parents and the public deserve to be updated on the new development with adequate explanation on the rationale behind the new development.
University of Uyo has being a victim of crises on several occasions. This current development may be a veritable way of nursing fresh crises in the University. Many at times when crises brews in our higher institutions we over look it till it blossoms to full crises that will cost the Institution grave damage.
An institution which teaches her students how to respect human right should not turn again and abuse the right of her students. Lecturers should be dedicated to their duty which is the source of their livelihood instead of going extra mile in order to cover the syllabus when it becomes eminent that they cannot bribe the ever upright hands of the clock. A stitch in time saves nine.