From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Greater students’ participation in decision-making, including paying more attention to their voices, is one way to promote a harmonious learning environment and enhance the student-management relationship in the country’s tertiary institutions, Iyeomoan Emmanuel Ehizogie, a graduate of Economics from the University of Benin and currently a law student at the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, has said.
Ehizogie blamed frequent and prolonged strikes by workers in academic institutions on the failure to involve students at every level from policy conception, to planning and execution.
Ehizogie, who is also a student journalist and publisher of the Mexodus Magazine at Ambrose Alli University, said having worked with students extensively with his NGO, Thinking Tomorrow Africa Initiative, he sees a brighter future ahead of tertiary education in the country with the inclusion of Students Union Governments by relevant authorities.
He said this is what informed his desire to preside over the Student Union Government of the university to help initiate a more robust and active relationship with the school authorities.
‘We can’t assume that students will like a particular change or project; we need to ask them first and then make changes or redevelop plans and policies with their interests in mind. I want to be able to communicate the opinions of students to the management which is making their voices heard,’ he stated.
‘Paying attention to student voices is at the crux of successful management by my estimates. At the same time, authorities need to get on board their vision for it to be successful. And I can tell you, this has been lacking in this University’s Student Union Government. I intend to change that.’
Promising not to be a cog in the wheel of management’s efforts to rebrand AAU, Ekpoma, Ehizogie said his coming as SUG President will not only restore the beauty of student unionism but help to mobilize the about 35,000 students of the university to support the success of student-centred management actions.