Lecturer-student relationship in private varsities - The No.1 Infotainment blog


The No.1 Infotainment blog

The No.1 Infotainment blog

Friday, 3 November 2017

Lecturer-student relationship in private varsities

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In my undergraduate days, I had a very bad relationship with my lecturers. I was reluctant to get closer to any of them because of the preferential treatment they gave to those who were close to them. I hated anyone being given a special attention which I believed then could lead to conflict among students and decline learning process.
I hated the biased practices by some of the lecturers. In situations  they were to issue disciplinary measures, most of them retracted when their “favoured students” were involved. I had this misconception that being close to your lecturers is detrimental to the learning process.
Again, due to the large student population in class, it was hard to interact with lecturers. But in my final year, I became close to one of my lecturers who turned out to become my project supervisor. How it happened remains a mystery to me.
It was then I realised the advantages of being close to one’s tutors, especially in tertiary institutions. He guided, counselled, advised, and reprimanded me. This made me see him as a father and mentor. He always reminded me that he wouldn’t give me any preferential treatment. According to him, we are friends outside the classroom. He is still my adviser as a graduate student.
Unarguably, lecturer-student interaction is an important component of tertiary education system. A healthy relationship between the lecturers and students does influence students’ academic, personal and social integration into higher education. This could be attributed to the fact that lecturers’ contact with students in and out of the classroom is very important in motivating them for academic improvement.
It has been observed that this lecturer-student relationship is predominant in private varsities than public universities, which are the attributes of excellent students’ performance in the former.
Lecturers interact well with students in private institutions. In a university setting, there is a great diversity in terms of socio-cultural, political, religious and racial backgrounds among students and lecturers. In private universities, the bond is tightened between the students and lecturers leading to an increase in academic productivity.
In public schools, most lecturers make themselves unapproachable. Most don’t even have visiting hours, while those that have don’t keep them . Many lecturers believe that students’ discussions with them should only be on academic concerns, forgetting that lecturer-student relationship could also help in students’ career development.
The fact that effective lecturer-student interaction can impact positively on quality education has encouraged many private varsities like Benson Idahosa University in Benin City to embark upon rigorous programmes geared towards enhancing such interaction.
At Benson Idahosa University, staff members identify their professional and moral responsibilities to protect the interests of students, to respect the intimacy involved in the staff-student relationship and to accept the duties crucial in that responsibility. Relationship between teachers and students is also commendable probably because some of the lecturers also passed through the university.
In varsities, such interactions occur at various places, including the classroom, laboratories, open spaces and offices. But wherever it occurs, both parties should ensure it helps in academic and social development.
It is highly regrettable that most lecturers in public varsities now spend more time attending to irrelevant concerns, conducting researches and developing publications. They give no room for students’ interaction.
When lecturers treat their work with levity, it discourages serious students from establishing good relationship with them. The more a lecturer knows about his students, the easier it is for him to impart knowledge into them.
Again, lecturers in private varsities are usually evaluated by their students at the end of each session. This evaluation is not just beneficial in understanding the areas of possible improvement for the lecturer but helps foster lecturer-student relationship.
This is a practice that seems not to have been embraced in some public schools. In these assessments, students often point out the flaws of their lecturers. This practice, in a way, gives the lecturers reasons to improve, especially in their classroom and outside-the-classroom interactions with students.
It is evident that enrolment in tertiary institutions has doubled in recent times, but this should not undermine lecturer-student relationship. No doubt, some lecturers are friendly and excellent in lecturing and accommodating.
Lecturers can equally learn a lot from students if they interact with them. This relationship should be symbiotic, because one needs the other.
In the presence or absence of lecturer- student relationship, a lot depends on the individual and on how willing the student is to get a quality education and make a remarkable impact in the society.
Students need to be focused, hardworking, honest and devoted to their studies, while lecturers on the other hand should approach their job with dedication as it is one of the most revered jobs in the world.

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