Universities, lecturers must not forget students deserve valueTuesday, August 24, 2021
I feel compelled to respond to the letter to the editor published in the Jamaica Observer on Friday, August 20, 2021 written by L H Deer of Tivoli Gardens High School.
I read another letter pertaining to the quality of university lecturers and the cost for tuition and must say I totally agree with, and can relate to the writer.
In response to L H Deer, while some students wish to be spoon-fed and think that university life is a vacation, I am compelled to speak on behalf of those that do assignments, research, practice questions, and work hard for their grades.
There is no perfect scenario, and just as there are some students who are not putting in the work to get the grades, there are also some lecturers that do not spend the time to be effective distributors of information to their students. This, for me, is unacceptable, as you are being paid to effect change and ensure that your students learn and excel.
I am currently enrolled at a local university, doing an online bachelor of science programme and paying my tuition based off the US dollar. When converted, one of my subject costs over $50,000 each term, and I am also charged a guild fee and a technology fee each term. To put things in perspective, last semester I paid approximately $105,000 for two subjects. This semester my fee for two subjects is $120,396.00, and we can attribute this to the devaluation of the Jamaican dollar.
I did a last semester in which the lecturer came to class each time and read everything directly from the PowerPoint. There was no interaction, no attempt to have a discussion, and when students tried to initiate same the responses were mundane and did not encourage further discussion.
I did another subject in the summer for which the entire co-ordination of same turned out to be a total fiasco. This was more on the part of the university. The course coordinator did try his best to facilitate, and things got a little better to the end of the semester.
I give these examples to say, similarly to when we go anywhere and we are spending our hard-earned monies, we expect good customer service, a university and its lecturers get no exemption. The university is to give value for money in offering good teaching, proper facilities (virtual and physical), user-friendly programmes (online and in-person), and easy access to relevant personnel to offer assistance where necessary.
Lecturers should be facilitating and empathetic towards students, remembering that they were once at this same place. Let's not forget where we are coming from when we have reached.