leadership roundtable hq

Last Semester, the Most Challenging

last semester
last semester

The last semester of any student in his/her academic career is the most interesting and memorable. It’s the most loaded and it offers the greatest challenge to anyone who wants to learn… and I’m referring to when students go to school to learn. Now majority don’t go to learn, rather they play, and enjoy, only to blame the society, economy, and government of the time. They don’t blame the real culpable which is the individual student.

The final year mostly last semester marks a lot of ends to many things and at the same time lots of beginning for other things. It’s transient and transitional – from boys to men, from girls to women. Not biological, but maturity-wise, psychological, and mental.

When I went to school, at the entry of the last year, many students evaluated if they’ve learned what they’ve come to study to the extent of defending it as a graduate of such discipline. I saw with my eyes classmates asking such critical questions as:

  • If I am put in an office now as an engineer, can I deliver as an engineer in charge?
  • If I am placed as an accountant, can the company depend on me to supply financial information as the accountant in charge?
  • If employed as a programmer, can I write programs that can solve the company’s information system needs?
  • If employed as a lawyer after law school next year, can I amass the confidence of standing before a judge who watches through the lens, and advocate/prosecute a case?

Every person of my age who went to school at the time I went especially my type of university can easily connect with what he/she is reading. Many students in those days felt some shortcomings. I knew a few students who willingly requested the school for an extension of a year or 6 months so that they will pick some courses they’ve done and passed [maybe “let my people go” grade] or some elective courses [to enhance professional interest areas] and do. Their goal is;

  • to solidify what they know,
  • to amass self-confidence,
  • To be sure they can defend their degrees.

It is not that they failed the courses. Of course, if they fail courses, the university, polytechnic, or College of Education policy would compel them to pass all registered courses before graduation. Those institutions are not secondary schools you promote everybody! Today failed students in tertiary institutions go on and graduate unless they cannot do what some others do normally.

last semester
last semester

Again today, waivers exist – “just graduate them, let them go.”

Why were those students of my days [and before] who felt they needed more time to be sure they would defend their degrees and diplomas asking for extra semesters?

They know that immediately, they step out of the walls of the universities, polytechnics, or College of Education, they’re seen as “all-knowing”, specialists and experts in their chosen fields. So, this type of person didn’t want to be seen as disappointing themselves, the genre, the world, or people who believe or would believe in them as “mahadum” (Igbo word for University) meaning “all-knowing” or know it.

Today, the day a Nigerian child is taking JAMB conducted examination, JME [Joint Matriculation Examination], he/she is already in a hurry to graduate. When entering into the university or polytechnic or College of Education, he or she wants the certificate [not the knowledge, skills, and or training] soonest, if possible by any means be the next set of graduating students ready for NYSC [National Youth Service Corp].

So, KNOWING WHAT IS TAUGHT is immaterial. The material thing is not even PASSING MERITORIOUS but BEING DECLARED TO HAVE PASS by the person who has the power to do so, which is the lecturer in charge, Department in charge, Exams, and Record, Registry, even Vice Chancellor, Rector or Provost.

times you are
times you are

The whole of this hurriedness destroys our present corporate education destiny.

Last semester is a period of doing many things and as you do these many things, your brain is tasked and engaged. You become smarter, more experienced, intelligent, intellectual, and manly or womanly. It’s a semester you do a lot of Term Papers, Assignments, Projects, Seminars, Industrial Visits, Picnics, or Excursions. Today, students don’t go on excursions, and talk less about picnics, unless those in high-end private universities.

You, as a student, don’t bribe any lecturer not to give you assignments on the premise that you already have many assignments. See what students do these days: they will tell the lecturer ‘A’, Sir/Ma, we have many assignments, and term papers, including a project and seminar we are doing, please waive yours for us, no time. The lecturer thinking he or she is compassionate, not knowing he or she is a “mugu” will waive the assignments, and term papers, denying the students what they should know by practice and exercise. The same students will move to lecturer ‘B’ and tell him/her the same story of drawing pity for selves. The lecturer ‘B’ will do the same as lecturer ‘A’. The students will move on to tell Lecturer ‘C’, lecturer ‘D’, lecturer ‘E’, and to lecturer ‘Z’. The lecturers sympathetically and naively complied as lecturer ‘A’ did. At the end, lecturer ‘A’ thinks the students are doing other lecturers’ assignments apart from his/hers not knowing that the students have succeeded in waiving all assignments, term papers, and such.

These days we have smarter and more crooked students than lecturers.

Now the students have more time for playing, doing yahoos, prostituting, clubbing, cohabitating, and traveling. The majority cohabits semester in and out. How will a cohabiting student [boy+girl] read, or study? No bi blood? At the exam, they’re loaded… and you know…cash from daddies, mummies, school sons, and school daughters [you know what I mean?]. Zam…zam… they’re out – graduated: with empty brains. They become professional:

  • lawyers that cannot take briefs,
  • lab scientist that cannot analyze the malaria plasmodium parasite
  • an accountant that cannot raise a journal or balance the ledger
  • doctors that cannot prescribe treatment for malaria
  • programmers that cannot write A plus B in any programming language
  • mechanical engineers that don’t know what a gearbox is
  • civil engineer that doesn’t know the appropriate ratios of cement to sand in different construction
  • education graduate that can’t teach A, B, C, D…1, 2, 3, 4, etc. to 7-year-olds.

Something is wrong and everyone is a culprit though in different proportions…and at the same time, no one is saying anything. If this continued coupled with the exodus of the few employable brains we have now in the so-called “japa” syndrome era, a time will come when we will not only be importing fuel, pencils, erasers, toothpicks, etc., but we will also be importing graduates to man our companies, civil services, and governments. The quality of people coming to be ministers is the tip of the iceberg. And nobody seems to be seeing it, thinking about it, and talking about it.

Last semester is a semester of many send forth and send-offs depending on the divide you fall into. When I went to university, my school wasn’t as big as UI, Unilag, OAU, UniCal, UniBen, UniPort, UNN, UniMaid, or ABU (I have given you an expo that I wasn’t from those Unis, but we were best: don’t ask me which Uni!), we have plenty associations, maybe around 50 made up States of Origin associations, indigenous host state LGAs associations, social clubs (Erudite, Leo, Sigma, Kegite, Libra, etc.), Faith groups campus fellowships (JCCF, SCM, NIFES/CU, CASOR, DLCF, Baptist, JW, Catholics, etc.), Faculty/Schools groups (SEET, SAAT, SOSC/SEMN, SMAT), Departmental groups and others. Each of these groups horns and organizes their send-forth or send-off in hotels or recreation parks around, school common rooms or halls (we call ours MPH – Multi-Purpose Hall).

So, students were busy in my time and still reading, participating in students’ Unionism, students’ Press, and attending Parties (invited and uninvited weddings and get-togethers). Today, these partying and social life things are not there, yet students are empty – NOT LEARNING ANYTHING, and everybody keeps quiet.

The only day I attended my LGA meeting was on a send-off day. My classmates [not coursemates] from other departments were disappointed in my not identifying fully with them before now, but some understood and didn’t feel bad because of activism and leadership/influence roles I paid more attention to.

Nigerian students need more, more attention to know what they are passing through socially, educationally, environmentally, and psychologically. The age of students in high schools is too young and immature. Insecurity is a threat. School life is threatened and marginalized. Off hostel popularly called lodge today from year 1 to final year is a bane of the development of school/student culture. Students live in lodges and off campuses as working-class people, denying them the feelings and psychology of studentship. This makes them not read, not attend the library, and not attend laboratories. How many schools have functional libraries and labs?

This is a clarion call to help students enjoy positive life of studentship.

Let’s start discussing it. Let’s start contributing to making better days for the youngsters especially in their last/final semester cum final year.


Mike Ihezuo is a WRITER and AUTHOR. He can be reached at leadermikeo@gmail.com, Ad Inquiry or https://mikeihezuospeaks.net/.



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Dr Mike Ihezuo

Content Creator

Mike is a leader and leader’s developer, a speaker, an author and a prolific writer, a researcher and consultant. He invests life, time, energy, resources and money to empowering organizations desiring upward dive to top performance and individuals desirous of fulfilling their destinies, discovering purpose and seeking success towards significance. Mike, as a life coach, team builder, conflict resolutions exponent, motivational maestro, negotiation experts, corporate strategist, an entrepreneur and entrepreneurial developer, invites you to this LeadershipRoundTableHQ. Let’s talk and discuss so as to learn and GROW…


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