An Open Letter To The Vice Chancellor Of NOUN: Students Decry Questionable Grading System

Subject: An Open Letter To The Vice Chancellor Of NOUN: Students Decry Questionable Grading System
From: Francis Archibong
Date: 3 Mar 2015

Dear Sir: We are writing in respect of the recent results for September/October examination of 2014.

Firstly, it is important to state that this is not the first time we are voicing our dissatisfaction on this matter. But the university, in its usual fashion, could not listen to our cries, so we resorted to weep before the public so that the world might become aware of our escalating plight.

It is paramount to point out that this letter revolves around the gross inefficiency associated with the university in grading pen-on-paper examination (POP). We are officially "made to believe" that our Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) makes 30% of our grades while a score of 70% in examination guarantees a total of 100%. Yet, it is unfathomable how, for example, a student would score 25% out of a possible 30% in TMA, and 55% out of a possible 70% in examination and still be rewarded with a "C", "D" even "FAIL"! Sir, this is a boundless mystery for which we have no explanation! The simple arithmetic from the above illustration would reveal that a student with such an academic record should be rewarded with a total of 80%, which, by the university standard, should be graded: "A" since the excellent mark begins from 70%. So why the injustice on our academic grades?

Or has the grading system changed without our knowledge? Sir, we are thoroughly embittered by the complete lack of transparency associated with our grades and the fact that requests to see marked scripts for clarification are never entertained.

The university must be sincere about this important problem by justifying the grades it awards to students. The culture of concealing marked scripts only strengthens our convictions that the questionable grades are deliberate, an act that leaves us pregnant with grave suspicion toward the university.

The excuse we have received for this monumental defect is that the university is overly populated and that it is impossible for the few staff at the Examination Unit to go through the rigour of collating details of our Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) and those of examination. Sir, we believe that this excuse is unacceptable, sad and highly unprofessional. We ask, why must students be made to bear the brunt of some other people's inefficiency and incompetence? Wherein lies justice in that?

Secondly, we are appalled by the growing number of "missing scripts" every semester. Why is this becoming synonymous with the university? What is responsible for this? Negligence on the part of the university? Rather than compelling students to re-register for such courses by spending unbudgeted sums for what ought to have been solved, we believe that it is the inescapable responsibility of the university to trace such scripts within a reasonable period and grade students accordingly. This is the only way the university can convince us that the issue of "missing scripts" is indeed inadvertent.

In conclusion, Sir, we ask that the university be transparent enough by providing marked scripts from the September/October examination and in subsequent examinations to justify the grades it issues. Anything other than this will leave us with the heavy suspicion that our grades were deliberately manipulated, in which case we shall be left with no alternative but to inform relevant authorities to intervene on our behalf.

Thank you.

Signed for Voice of NOUN Students by:
Francis Archibong

Mary Okoye