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    Thursday, July 27, 2017

    How Graduates, Alumni Fall Victim Of Transcripts



    Nigerian educational system, like most of the other sectors in the country hugely dominated and controlled by the government, is, to many, a latent hell. The euphoria and youthful joy that greeted the Jambite when admitted into the university certainly dissipate in no mean time as he steps into the school environment to begin studies. He is introduced into a world different than the one he was used to. 


    He is confronted with the energy-sapping processes of manual registration at the Faculty and Department, manual documentation at the Exams and Records, manual registration at the Student Affairs, manual documentation at the Hostels and all these Manuals which may drag him well over a month, and which go on alongside lectures, dry up the fats and weight the student gained at home, leaving his body with a caricatured, skeleton-like figure. Then come the toss and thorns, the hassles of early morning rush to general classes and the tiring night class studies; the dragging of sits in classes and keeping-up with conflicting lecture timetables.

    And eventually, when the student passes through the gates of Hades to graduate, then comes the monster of missing scripts or grades, just like I witnessed in the University of Nigeria. I finished my final year exam in the month of July of my graduation year, together with my colleagues. Of course, I participated in the frenzy “graduation tour” around the campus and outside, and the graduation party that followed. The joy this time was more overwhelming, nearly unquantifiable with that we had during admission, as Freshmen; because, we had come, seen and conquered. After the frenzy, everyone departed for his home. 


    I traveled down to Lagos, confidently waiting to hear date for our Convocation announced. But after four months, in the last week of November, I was called back to the school to find four of my missing scripts and the project grade. The angst and boiling hate that stood inside me were inexpressible. Same week, I took a bus down to University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus to begin the hunt for the missing scripts and grade. I didn’t conclude until after three weeks of tumultuous back and front movement between my department and Exams and Records. In this particular journey, were tens of my colleagues who had a good number of either missing scripts or missing grades. I certainly know this is obtainable in all Nigerian institutions.

    My Experience As An Insider

    Two years after, I was employed in the same school at the Exams and Records. When I assumed duties, I discovered that the experiences students face haven’t been any better. More heart-wrecking is that encountered by Alumni or Graduates when seeking for their Transcript. I have been deeply troubled by this headache of Transcript for Alumni that I had one time thought of opening a blog to assist Alumni seeking for Transcripts with how to go about it the easy way.

    Transcript is a heck of hassle one wouldn’t want to engage in unless serious need called for it. With my experience as a staff at Exams and Records, I understand every Alumnus that is seeking for Transcript has a serious need that propelled him or her to do so. And having been caught in the line, most of you want it done with urgency. Some of the needs range from Admission to further in Masters Programme, Scholarships for further Learning, to Employment into educational institutions etc. With these opportunities put at stake without your Transcript, you engage the “fire brigade” approach to securing it within the shortest time possible. But the blow comes when you eventually contact your school or get someone to, and the response you get is “you have to come down here (school)” not even with a friendly, sympathetic voice. When you eventually visit, believing it would be a thing of a day or two, your eager anticipation is put at rest with the rigorous processes outlined to have you go through. You think of the long, draining, rigorous task and you resort to begging the officer. 



    Well, the officer will certainly accede to your request, and your pocket will suffer for it. Of course, at that time, you are willing to pay the price. And this is how some officers at Exams and Records enrich themselves at the expense of helpless and stranded Alumni. I have had to confront a colleague at a time who charged a lady at Abuja as much as N105k to process and transport her Transcript; though he later reduced the billing to N90k. With this trend, many Alumni adjudge all the officers at the Exams and Records as the same. I have received, on countless occasions, calls from persons from far and near, who are either referred by friends or beneficiaries of my help, asking me how much they would have to pay for my services, to help them process their Transcripts. Agreed, I often found it embarrassing, but I shook it off with much pity for them.

    The Turning Point...

    Personally, I have always wrestled in my spirit with these systemic problems. At least, after graduation, one should take a final deep breath for completing time with one's school. In developed countries, this Alumni Transcripts “wahala” never arises. Technology has simplified every process that Alumni over there worry over nothing afterwards. I began to think of the same for our Nigerian Institutions. Why can’t it be obtained here? I would ask myself. However, same year I thought of owing a blog to assist Alumni on how to go about their Transcripts in Nigerian institutions, the light came to the University of Nigeria both at Nsukka and Enugu Campuses. A private technology solutions firm had built an online solutions system for processing Transcripts. This time, it was only for University of Nigeria and University of Calabar Alumni. So, on the platform, Alumni anywhere they are, could easily order for their Transcripts and receive them in no mean time, without any hassle of travelling down to the campuses or bribing officers at Exams and Records. It is free of charge - the platform is itranscript.ng. I may not be more relieved than the many Alumni whom I have directed to the platform when they called to inquire about how to get their Transcripts, but am surely very gladdened with this much needed solution. Now, the platform has been enlarged to include more Nigerian Universities. You should visit to check if your school is included.

    Though this article is necessitated by the need to sensitise the many Alumni who still dabble into the hot fire of manual Transcript processing, I believe my passion to create solutions to needs of people is more the driving force. I can't just keep seeing Alumni with wrinkled and bemoaned faces, famished and worn-out, stager into my office, looking pitiable all just to get a Transcript. And those who unfortunately get in the wrong hands are exploited severely. Alumni and Graduates, you now know better. 


    Written by
    Obi Dave

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