The pioneer Dean of Students’ affairs, University of Lagos, Professor Duro Ajeyalemi says his dexterous, diligent, steadfast and confident approach to duty all through his term of office was mistaken by the UNILAG students’ population for the use of charms and other fetish means.
During an interview with UNILAG Radio and television crew, Prof. Ajeyalemi recalled his task between 2nd of October, 1995 and 17th of January 2000 when he held sway as the dean in charge of Students’ affairs in UNILAG describing it as one which he discharged without fear but with all sense of purpose, driven by the need to add value to the UNILAG brand as an ivory tower of first choice and the Nation’s pride.
Prof Ajeyalemi who currently serves as the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) took the UNILAG media crew through his career as a man in the eye of the storm saying he had to walk right in the middle of students’ protests, chaos and other dastardly incidents which even threatened his health, life and existence on several occasions.
He recalled a students’ crisis which broke out shortly after he left office during which he had to trek several kilometres under the hot sun until he was rescued by a group of students who took him to the Institute for advanced legal studies where had to gulp about a crate of soft drinks to refill the body fluid which he had lost during the humiliation he suffered in the hands of students.
The UNILAG pioneer DSA also went down memory lane describing the present day UNILAG as a clear departure from what obtained decades ago when facilities were not overstretched and when many tasks were achieved with direct labour and very limited resources unlike the present system where facilities have been overstretched and students’ population has also exploded.
He was particularly uncomfortable with how the powers arrogated to the office of the dean of students’ affairs had whittled down overtime describing it as a dangerous trend which should be promptly addressed so as to further promote a better students\ management interaction and relationship.
Prof Ajeyalemi who took a cursory look at the administrative system of the University of Lagos buttressed the need for a more positive attitude from students not minding the present challenges, he advocated seriousness, diligence and dexterous approach to studies as against the present trend of just reading to scale through examination hurdles, he equally harped on the need for students to put more efforts into knowledge application to address contemporary societal challenges rather than just ending their academic pursuit with certification alone and embracing dialogue as the way to resolve challenges rather than going for protests and crisis.
Also of interest to the JUPEB boss is the need to make the UNILAG environment technologically driven so as to further enhance the UNILAG system and make the UNILAG brand more productive and more impactful especially on its adjourning communities.
Prof. Duro Ajeyalemi also gave an insight into his present calling as the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Joint Universities’ Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB), he said the board which currently has about 45 ivory towers and JAMB as partners, has the mandate to conduct and regulate entrance examinations into foundation programmes of various Universities nationwide.
The JUPEB registrar said the board which was inaugurated on the 3rd of April 2014 was a product of a series of deliberations among the Committee of Vice Chancellors, The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB), the Federal Ministry of Education and other relevant stakeholders and it has the responsibility to maintain standard and promote the integrity of all foundation programmes in all Universities.