Opemipo Olukoga

Following the suspension of the 8-month ASUU strike, academic activities, which included lecturers, lectures, and students, resumed. This time, in the Faculty of Arts, there was no chaos as to when lectures would begin as most departments simply made use of the timetable that had been created before the ASUU strike. Many students were relieved on resuming an organised lecture schedule as the stress that often resulted from not having timetables on time was considered to be the greatest resumption-related problem, but unfortunately, students have been faced with a seemingly greater and possibly long-term one – overcrowded classrooms in deteriorating conditions.

The Faculty of Arts is one of the reputable faculties in the university, so the issue of overcrowded and uncomfortable classes in the premier faculty is an eyesore. Besides this, it is creating a learning environment that is not conducive for students and this could have effects on their academic success. Returning to school only to be saddled with the stress of standing during lectures, is enough to kill one’s morale.
It can be argued that the Large Lecture Theatre (LLT) of the Faculty of Arts has the capacity to take many students conveniently and is therefore, fair.

However, the lecture room is usually airless as most of the fans do not work even when there is electricity supply.
The Small Lecture Theatre, also known as Room 32, which used to be one of the lecture rooms in very good condition, has shared in the ill-fate of deterioration. Before the ASUU strike, the lecture room had well-functioning air conditions and comfortable chairs in most of the chair spaces. Now, the air conditions have not been working since school resumed, many chair spaces no longer have chairs in them, and most of the chair covers are torn. What happened to the chairs? Why is the chair cover torn? Why did they become few? Do rats now reside in the lecture room? Are humans responsible for the damage?

In most of the other lecture rooms, the number of chairs are either fewer than the number of students in the class or are simply not large enough to take the students. While receiving lectures, some students would have to manage to sit uncomfortably on these chairs, while others would stand. Consequently, some students have even had to leave the class because they could not cope.

This situation poses risks to the health of students as the ill-ventilation can cause the spread of communicable diseases. Also, this kind of atmosphere is definitely not encouraging. If it continues like this, how do students get educated with ease?
A student of the Faculty of Arts (name withheld) spoke with AFAS Press, narrating his ordeal concerning the overcrowded classrooms.

“Well, for my departmental courses we rarely use the LLT because we are not many, and just a few students borrow from our department. We make use of smaller classrooms and the SLT. However, there are sometimes when we have Education students joining us and it can be very uncomfortable and choking. Oftentimes, most of us have to stand in class because the chairs are not enough.”

“It has been all right, but most times there is heat and not enough seats. Most of my courses this semester are departmental courses and the only time we use LLT is when I am taking a departmental course,” another student, Akanni, explains.

Another student pointed out that one of the things the management should proffer a solution to is the limited number of classes. She complained about how hard it has been to source for a class whenever they had to take their GES courses as most of the rooms would be occupied.

While the management has been making efforts on creating more spaces through the new faculty building, it is now important that the completion of the building is accelerated so it can be utilised as this is one of the effective ways to combat this incessant stress faced due to overcrowded classes.

The issue of the projectors, AC, and fans should also be looked into. Certainly, even if the new building is utilised, the rooms in the faculty will still be in use. So, these rooms need to be restored to a good condition. The AC and fans should be repaired to combat the heat, while the projectors can be repaired to facilitate fast learning and assimilation.

The academic output and success of students are dependent on the class atmosphere and environment where they learn. If the atmosphere is not conducive enough, they are bound to be affected negatively. Also, as humans, we are driven to exert effort in an activity if we are happy and satisfied with the situation of things. Therefore, for the students of the Faculty of Arts to maintain excellence which is also a source of pride for the faculty, it is important that the environment is conducive for learning.

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