The much expected exams are upon us. There is now a good reason keep the electricity on while we race against the ticking clock. Thankfully, the prediction of poor electricity and water supply has not played out. In the past days, water has been more abundant in the Hall than most hallites have ever experienced. The quest for Ph.D. grade has been eased. We can definitely get used to this.
Even third semester students, occupied mostly by research work, are not exempted from the race to a Ph.D. grade. The ticking of the clock resounds in their ears as they dare to dream about walking into the International Conference Center in their graduating gowns by November. There is the deadline from Supervisors who, before now, have been incommunicado; and there is the deadline from the department that expect the research to have been completed. And, of course, there is the student, who only just got a topic and is still battling with Chapters 1 and 2.
Will the blame be the students’ or system’s if these deadlines are not met? The student will argue that he or she has been available, while no progress was made with research work due to supervisors’ going AWOL. The system will argue that the student has failed to put in the much needed effort to conduct the project accordingly.
In the end, the reality is that despite the challenges the system may pose, a demonstration of excellence is our ability to scale through them skillfully and with the required discipline. It may take a number of sacrifices –an exemption from frivolities or less priority events, more sleepless nights; but eventually, we must accept the task before us and brace up for the ride. We have arrived at the most bumpy path with the end so close we can smell it.