Religion & Philosophy Stories & Opinions

Affording Covenant University (C.U): A Symbol of ‘Bondage’ or ‘Freedom’?

Covenant university gate

Covenant university buildings

The Ota-based archetype of private University education has been in the news recently for a variety of reasons – some totally explicable, others beating even the most intuitive of imagination.

Well, the choice of the word “archetype” is intended to portray a telling insight of the overriding influence she has on other private institutions – a model of sorts.

For the purpose of this piece in any case, attention should be drawn by you to adjudge for yourself as to what this evidenced monstrosity of private (or apparently privatized?) religious resources was envisioned to achieve.

Indeed, since her envisioning by the charismatic Bishop David Oyedepo, tongues have waggled – albeit unsurprisingly, scoffing has become a commonplace habit, and skepticism – (the doctrine of “Sheeples” by a motivational wanna-be), the order of the day – when the achievements of this grandiose institution is brought to fore.

For the sake of a reasonable discourse, an attempt will be made from a negative standpoint to gain an unbiased viewpoint.

With calm nerves and concentration, is ‘Covenant University’ a paradigm of ‘Bondage’ or ‘Freedom’? 

The Arguments Against

#1 The School was Built by a Church whose Members cannot afford her fees

Photo of a covenant collection plate in a church.
Photo of a collection plate in a church.

Truth be told, on the surface, this argument invokes emotional, tear-tempting revulsion of this inhumane treatment of a supposed religious body.

However, by a deliberate introspection, this argument does not hold water. In December, 2012, Bishop Oyedepo made this significant fact:

 Covenant university was built within 7 months without any collection of any one’s tithes and offerings or donation of any kind from anywhere”.

Really, you must find it repulsive to doubt the claims of a man whose reputation and esteem has stood strong over the years.

For the sake of argument, let us imagine 1 million poor people (apologies to the financially handicapped) pay #1000 each for a department block. That makes #1 billion right? Sorry to disappoint you, that money may yield an uncompleted departmental building in Covenant University. No jokes.

Igor Markov, a Professor at EECS Michigan was asked on Quora in 2015, How much it costs to build a department/college of a US-based university?”. He replied as follows:

A new building can cost >$20M, depending on real estate prices. Ten professors and a couple of administrators – $1.5M per annum, conservatively. Some of this investment will be returned through tuition, depending on how popular the new courses will be. Several fellowships for incoming graduate students. New junior professors often have “start-up packages” of several hundred thousand $$ to support students, buy equipment and allow for conference travel.

Using an exchange rate of #300, that would be #6 billion in the Naira currency. Read that again! Okay, for the sake of doubters, who must just doubt any and every thing, let’s drop that down to a conservative uhhm 4 billion. So this means, if 1 million poor people were to contribute towards the Covenant, they might succeed in building at best, several rooms in a small Department.

There is no need going into detail, but this goes a long way to show the illogicality of the “poor-people-pay-for-the-school” argument.

#2 The School Fees are Too Expensive

If you think education is expensive — try ignorance. — Derek Bok, president of Harvard University.

Protesters akin to protesters against Covenant university fees
Protestors scuffle with police during a student rally in central London against sharp rises in university tuition fees, funding cuts and high youth unemployment. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

This point highlighted in #2 is closely related to point #1 – the logic of expense meshed with emotion. The quote above is ascribed to Derek Bok, a former President of Harvard University.

In Economics, a term called “Opportunity Cost” is used to describe the “trade-off” between competing alternatives. In the context of building world-class universities, trade-offs include:

  1. Quality
  2. Time
  3. Guarantee of finishing

If you want to settle for a cheap alternative to education for instance, you may have to settle for a low quality, ajepako-ed approach. You may also choose to gain certain bragging rights for coming through a strenuous system – where instead of looking for a plausibility of gaining admission into quality, you choose to bask in the euphoria of having basked in the blood and sweat of hardship. It all boils down to TRADE-OFFS.

Little wonder the Stanfords, the MITs, the Yales, the Havard Universities of the world all beam the shining light of quality, quality, quality. Very few or none in those climes argues over the inaccessibility to those institutions before the choose a worthy alternative. Why? Because in those climes, the concept of trade-offs is definitely well understood.

In the article, “Why College Costs are so high and rising” by John W. Schoen, he pointed out in his article, “Harvard University reported that an alumnus, 59-year old hedge fund investor John Paulson, made a $400 million donation—his way, he said, of thanking the Ivy League school for the superior education that helped him build his $19 billion firm, Paulson & Co.”

This shows that when the appropriate trade-off is made via a quality process, you have the result of a quality product. Now the onus here lies on Covenant University archetypes not to lose focus on churning out quality by providing quality consistently.

#3 The lack of grit, the ‘bondage’, the restraint and the Lack of Exposure

Like it was pointed out earlier, instead of remaining within the confines of just complaints, some tear beyond those borders and obey one of the “48 Laws of Power” by having a strong revulsion against what they cannot possibly have.

READ: The Black Man in the Coffin

This argument is calculated towards demeaning the resolve of those that have found themselves in such model institutions. Fortunately, the Visioner of this great University – the Covenant University so into the future and coined the motto – “Raising a new generation of leaders” – Leaders whose minds are purged beyond the distraction of scoffers on the wayside.

Several years ago, sitting beside an acquaintance – from a not-so-private institution – on my way to a job interview. While inquiring about the prospects of getting that particular job, I became mystified when my inquiry became a subject of crude metaphors. “So-and-so company”, my friend said, “always look down on the degrees of Private University graduates”. He went on to say, “how can I my parents pay for such bogus amounts and expect to see me come back with failure, not possible”.

Staying quiet all the while, as I listened as he went on and on, it became clear to me that this was all words, no worth. Like posited earlier, people will often choose to loathe what they cannot have. And instead of ‘ostracizing’ the proof of your grit, they now ostracize YOU. That is where, you my friend, need mental strength.

From the foregoing, a new study has revealed that Covenant University graduates are the most employable in the country.

The first Annual survey released by Stutern, has shown that graduates of Covenant University are currently the most employable in Nigeria at the moment.

True to the study’s findings, my humble self resumed a Microsoft internship this year.

READ: How I resumed my Microsoft Internship This Year

Continuing on that note, an international provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, Elsevier, based in The Netherlands, has rated Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, among the world’s top-10 universities in research and development. This is a true testament of progress.

This negates every “Sheeple Doctrine-carrying” proselyte. Those who are not sincere about their intentions and choose to negate an expanding vision.

Do well, my friends to see beyond the bondage – the rules, the regimented policies and see the bigger picture – the picture of a well articulated trade-off of quality mixed with boundless opportunities.

What are your thoughts on this?

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About the author

Johnmark Obiefuna

A Computer Scientist by profession and a writer by hobby. A liberal, ardent reader and observer of philosophical and religious views. I play the keyboard proficiently, give public talks and I'm also involved in a chess club.

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