Row at UTG over missing grades, lecturers’ absenteeism

May 3, 2021, 11:29 AM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Students of the University of The Gambia (UTG) are complaining excessively over what they described as “missing grades and the frequent absenteeism of lecturers”. The episode has sparked a heated debate among Gambians within and outside the country.  

The affected students are left with no option but to re-sit those missing grades. In some circumstances, lecturers are accused giving some students grades that they do not deserve.

A third-year student of the UTG, who wished to remain anonymous and who has also been affected by the missing grades, said the lecturer resorted to unsystematically giving students grades of his/her choice if they can’t trace your grade: “As we speak, there are obviously students going up and down for their grades.

“If you follow this up with some lecturers, they only give you an option of re-sitting that course; that's if that particular lecturer offers to be flexible. Some will in fact, grade you randomly. I can confirm to you that I have experienced it and it’s definitely not fair. I have to be awarded for what I've truly worked for.”

“However, the unfortunate thing is, if you have to re-sit the whole course, having put many efforts in it, only for the lecturer to handle your scripts carelessly then it means that course will have to come again in another semester, when you've already paid for a previous semester in which the course was registered and done.”

Another student, (name withheld) who also is affected by the missing grades said: “I was seriously affected by the missing grades. In fact, four of my grades were all missing. However, I was able to get three others and the remaining one is still missing. This is seriously frustrating”

“When I finished my entire courses, I went to enter my grades only to realise that some of my grades were missing. I found out that about four to five were missing. However, all the other subjects were entered with only one remaining one.”

“I went to the lecturer but unfortunately, the grade was not found. So, I have to repeat that particular course.”

According to our source, the reason why there’s always missing grades at the school is the fact that classrooms are always full to capacity. Sometimes, you have 60 to 75 students in a single classroom. “Even with that, students will sit the exam and others during the process will not register.” 

Professor Pierre Gomez, acting deputy vice chancellor, Academic, at the UTG in a write-up posted at Alhagie Saidy-Barrow’s Facebook timeline said: “Barrow's concerns are well noted and taken very seriously by management. In fact, the message is shared with all staff members so that we all do what we are paid for.”

In addition, Mr. Gomez assured that the matter was going to be discussed at the Senate.

“It cannot be otherwise. Anything other than that is cheating. One cannot get paid for doing nothing,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, Ousman Jassey, UTG Student Union President in a Facebook post, said: “Thank you for the write-up, Boss. I have been following your writings about UTG since yesterday. Some revelations are true, although not in the version that’s being narrated to you or how you might have put it. But some revelations are also not carefully informed.”

“First, it’s true that some lecturers would be absent for lectures without communicating their absence. But it is also true that very many lecturers would now communicate their absence or late appearance for lectures through class reps, well before lecture time. The assertion from a generalised point of view would be unfair to some of these hard working and responsible lecturers.”

Second, on the issue of missing grades, although that has been a perennial problem that frustrated many UTG students, but with the introduction of the student portal, it has gone a long way towards solving the problem.”

“I want to express my dissatisfaction about these missing grades at the UTG. I can confirm to you that two of my grades are missing which is, English Language and Introduction to IS since 2018/2019,” another UTG student told The Point.

“I contacted the English lecturer, he promised to sort it out but still now I haven't seen it. For the Introduction to IS, our department faculty officer can't tell me a genuine reason why Introduction to IS is not yet uploaded since 2018. If it continues like this until our final year, then we have to re-sit that course, which is frustrating and not encouraging.”

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