I was in church today too, while I was still trying to adjust to the order of service at the House of the Lord, a young lad;fresher not in the house, but on campus appeared to have taken to life on Legon Campus like a duck to water. This lad was called upon to deliver the sermon.
The Gentleman was introduced by the Fresher’s General Secretary (Yes, that’s how they introduced her) .She got us confused when at a point in the introduction she said “the gentleman is a Fresher and he is married”. The jeers among the congregation were audible till she added “yes he is married to the Holy Spirit”. The jeers turned into laughter.
My expectations heightened; the part of service I have always enjoyed is the sermon segment. It is the only part I can have the silence I seek for, in the presence of the Lord to ponder, to deeply reflect on life while listening critically to the message from the messenger. Exactly a week after having a PHD holder deliver a sermon about how a Christian should live his life with Wisdom Shots like the Lecturer called it; a Fresher took charge of the microphone. This was in line with the Church’s celebration of Fresher’s day.
The young man rose to his feet and stood before the congregation. The look on his face caught my attention, he looked like an injured bull, not smiling he delivered his first line in a manner similar to how Maxwell Agbagba reads the Ralph Marston Daily motivator anytime he hosts Campus Exclusive.
“I am not here to deliver a message to please anyone”, he said”.
The lad was clearly in for action, despite his deep understanding that he was one of the “most junior” students in the Church; he was still prepared to take everyone on.
“Are you the Dead Person in the Church” was the title of his message. The thrust of his message was to remind believers that one’s qualification to enter the Kingdom of God was not tied to how regular one is in church, neither is it related to whether you deliver a sermon or sing in church.
The focus he stressed must be what you do in your “darkest of dark”. That was the lad’s description of what one does in private. It was a sight to behold, young fresher chastising members of the church about how hypocritical some of them can be, including me.
The Legon examples he gave thrilled me, he spoke about dressing as well, bemoaning the fact that we often waste our time on things that don’t secure us a Visa to meet the good Lord.
His understanding of the Legon situation reminded me of the Interim Assessment I wrote yesterday. For those who do not know Maxwell Agbagba, a brief introduction helps.
Maxwell Agbagba is the reigning Student Journalist of the year and Host of Campus Exclusive on Radio Univers 105.7. My admiration for this lad soars higher with the realization that he is also the host of the relationship show, Comfort Zone .His ability to have deep insight about relationship issues and political, education and socio-economic issues is startling.
Max took the test as well. After the test I quickly posted my thoughts about the IA on facebook, a confirmation I had finally chanced on; the correlation that exists between a Lecturer’s Lecturing ability and the test difficulty; it is a correlation with a negative co-efficient.
I begun to wonder; does the University assess Lecturers like the way students are assessed. The answer was not in dispute, a big NO. Students are taught, required to take tests and exam and re-write the paper if they fail. How about the Lecturers? Students are required to fill a certain assessment form that only God knows where it ends up.
If there is any other form of credible assessment of Lecturers, someone should draw my attention to it and I will advance some thoughts as well.
Let’s take a stroll to the University of Ghana Psychology department for instance. A course like Biological Psychology, keeps recording poor performance on the part of students. I had the rare privilege to view the data that displays the number of students who re-write this course annually, the figures resemble that of those who queue for Visa at the Embassy Agbagba visited some time back. A look at the figures for UGRCs blew my mind. Same could be said for Statistics for Psychologists as well as other courses. A course like Biological Psychology has been handled by the same Lecturer for some time now, once a while having a colleague helping him.
A look at the UGRCs as well as the other programs reveals a similar pattern, where we have the same Lecturers at the helm of affairs or part of the system.
Can a Lecturer re-write or probably re-lecture Lecturing in the course they handle like is done to students.
The current system is a tool for the Lecturers, who act as the master Counsel and Judge in a case they are a party to. Some of them are pretty arrogant and simply don’t care when large number of students fail their course. On their very first day in class, they remind students about how students keep failing their course. The excitement with which they tell this tale reminds me of the first time I hosted a show on radio.
Unlike the Fresher who delivered the sermon, I have the wealth of the Legon experience, an experience that makes me not require his confidence to question the system that gives the Lecturer the power to single handedly determine which year someone ought to graduate without questioning why people do not graduate in the year they are required to graduate.
As I end this piece, the look on the Young Fresher’s face as he started his sermon appears once more. I just wish he could draft a similar sermon despite his inexperience in “Legon Lecturers attitude and the system”, for our PHD holders.
They continue to give us reason to believe that we must indeed build ourselves for the world, not our CGPA