Abdulraheem Muhammad

For many students at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), the recent revelation of a changed examination schedule has elicited a range of emotions. 

What was once a well-structured semester has devolved into a flurry of altered plans and unforeseen changes.

On May 9, 2024, the Vice Chancellor’s office issued an internal letter rescheduling the 2023/2024 undergraduate first-semester examination timetable, moving the start date from May 13 to May 27. 

The shift in the test calendar has had far-reaching consequences, affecting every aspect of student life, from joyous festivities to everyday subsistence. 

While some students can handle these changes with little disturbance, for others, the consequences are profound and personal. 

In am Interview with the Harbinger, Raji Haleemah Mopelola, a 100-level Mass Communication student, expressed her frustration. “The thought of home always makes me feel enthusiastic and optimistic about getting some leisure time, as my family resides far away in Offa, Kwara State,” she said. “But the management cut this thought short with the shifting of the examination date and the addition of two weeks, which has put my plans on hold.”

Haleemah had eagerly anticipated returning home for the Eid celebrations. “I’ve never celebrated Sallah without my family. I miss my siblings so much. I’ve never done anything alone in my life; everything I do is with them. So, I’m not sure how I’ll feel performing Sallah alone,” she lamented. 

The delay also prevents her from retrieving her ATM card, making financial transactions problematic due to limited Glo network coverage. “If I went to my hometown, I would register an MTN SIM and carry my ATM,” she added.

Many others agreed with her, although not everyone was as disappointed. 

Sulyman Ahmad Bolaji, a 300-level Islamic Studies student, remained unaffected. “The school calendar doesn’t affect our lives much because I wasn’t initially going home for the Sallah break,” he said, adding that he would welcome an extra four weeks to the semester to better prepare for examinations.

For some, like Mohammed Abubakar Suleiman, rescheduling tests meant financial difficulty. “My arrangement from home was for a specified time based on the first itinerary. My food supplies are running low right now,” he explained. His plans to come home early to conduct business and prepare for the following semester have been thwarted. “It’s more of wasting my Sallah because I don’t have fun doing Sallah here,” he said.

Abdulrahman Saheed, another 300-level student, summed up the overall sense of upheaval. “The reviewed calendar distorted my plans, not only for Eid but for this session entirely,” he said. “Celebrating another Eid without my family gives me hours of emotional swings. Nonetheless, I shall leave home as soon as I pass the examinations since I cannot bear the thought of suffering in the seat of the caliphate.”

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