By Obunike Charles C.
It is obvious that higher institutions (Monotechnics, Colleges of Education, Polytechnics, Universities etc), are a places where academic qualifications are acquired majorly by attending lectures, writing and submitting assignments and passing examinations of all kinds. It is also relevant to note that for any person who can proudly defend his or her acclaimed academic qualification(s) on any ground, he or she must not avoid the above major criteria stated for obtaining meritorious certificates, for there is no other shortcut to achieve such.
My kinsman, Chief Sir Samson Ukah, once narrated to me, the scenario of their days as students at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, (UNN) back in the 1960s, how they used to compete among themselves who would be the best student of the semester and of the year and how they used to struggle to impress their white men lecturers and their diehard parents with a good result. It is so unfortunate that in our society nowadays the reverse has become the case: students no longer read their books; the reading culture has vanished. Campuses are so free, and students have secured independence to behave stupidly. Things have really fallen apart. And that draws my attention to this topic “campus marriage….”.
Campus Marriage! I tagged it a syndrome because it has become an adopted tradition by students in our higher institutions, and one can wonder why it is so. The term “Campus Marriage” might be strange to some people. But for a general understanding of it, it is a situation where or when a student abandons his or her lodge/hostel to go and live with his or her lover. In any sense, this is a fictitious love relation in the campus. In most cases, these persons live together throughout their stay in the campus. The love relationship, ranges from opposite sex (ie male-male, male-female, female-female). When they live together as lovers, homosexuality and lesbianism (sex) become their daily bread.
I was a Mass Communication Student of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, and I had visited many other Higher Institutions of learning. So, I am writing from experience. In campus marriage, the two persons involved live together, feed each other from the money their parents or sponsors give them for school fees and sometimes steal to meet up as married people (as they have no well-established source of income).
I have seen a situation where the female ones feed their boyfriends and pay their school fees as well, in the name of campus marriage. You can imagine what would happen if eventually, at the end, the boy abandons this girl and picks up another girl when he will be ripe for “outside campus marriage” (that's the real lifetime marriage). To show you that they are aware that what they are doing is so bad, they hid it from their parents, they do it without their parents notice (that is for those who still have fear of their parents). I do tell stated earlier in acquiring a meritorious academic qualification, you can find out that these campus couples are totally out of the race, because they no longer have time for their studies, their minds are always filled with “bed plays”…. Call it sex or something. To them, every little chance is a romantic interlude. Such people do not give their parents a breathing space. They often visit home for food items and money. You hardly see a Nigerian undergraduate that is not into campus marriage, even the ones you see as “would be Saints”, I call them “Pretenders” and they do the worst.
Very near to my lodge then in Oko, there were campus couples living in the same apartment. That time I was a “fresher” (an ND1 student). I taught they were just room-mates or siblings (though I never knew I was ignorant of what was going on, till after few months when I realized that such a thing 'Campus marriage' exists in the school. I also later found out that it was the male one that abandoned his lodge to stay with his girlfriend. What a shame! But regrettably to the girl now, my friend recently called me on phone and informed me that the boy in question will be back from Malaysia soon for his marriage can force one to commit abortions, involve in robbery and kidnapping, become addicted to drugs which will certainly affect ones health now or later.
It causes low or zero attention to the rightful things a student should do while in school to make a commendable result. The implications of campus marriage is too numerous to mention here. But let it be known to you that it can never lead you to any meaningful end. Therefore, I urge students who are in the act to desist from it for it posits a great danger to academic success.
I also advocate that school male-female hostels be separated. Students living in the lodges should be monitored from time to time. The landlords and lodge owners could be helpful in the fight. The school management should always create a platform to sensitize, educate and orient the students on this menace, “Campus Marriage”, parents should always visit their children in the school and/or entrust them to a worthy guardian who will often monitor and direct the students to the right path. Prayers to God (Almighty) must not be neglected. All these things should be presented to God in prayers because some are being influenced by the demon and his agents. The parental role is also important as well to curb this campus marriage syndrome.