2020 IPCR research promotion was ill-conceived

The mishandling of the 2020 promotion was just the latest in a string of lapses in research and administrative competence of IPCR since 2000. Since its establishment, the instability and haphazard nature of promotion has cost the research team progressive career development and enormous opportunities.

The promotion exercise was the latest experience of this development where there was information blackout on the rules and regulations that concerned the research staff. This raises the question of intent of the management.

One important question to ask is, why did the management which said it received approval of the Scheme of Service not show the staff the content of the document? If the management could not share or show the Scheme of Work to the staff, why then did it implement it on them? It said it got the approval few weeks to the promotion exercise, why did it hold it from staff? What was approved and when? Who approved it? Where was it approved? Since it is a document that concerns the career and responsibilities of the staff, they deserve to be shown or communicated the content of the so-called scheme.

We made bold to claim that even none of the Heads of Units had seen the Scheme, let alone their subordinates. And if any of the Heads has seen the Scheme of Work, why did they keep it away from their staff?

Another argument is that some staff (about 5) scored more than 50% in the promotion exercise. Yet they are considered failed. It is only in IPCR that scores above 50% are failure.

In any examination, when there is a compulsory question, clear instructions are given for students to follow and such questions often assigned more marks.

But in the IPCR promotion exercise, 45% is assigned to the compulsory publication, but 55% to the required part as the cases are. Each category, though has its own marks, does not adequately factored in the contributions of researchers in their official activities.

For instance, why does the mark given to peace-building contributions is far lower than the a publication. Writing paper is more important than building peace in Nigerian conflict environment.

Risking lives in a community in violence is more precious than sitting at the table reviewing work on the internet, all because they are employed as researchers and not peace-builders.

The IPCR Act 2007 reinforces peace-building and conflict prevention, advocacy, and others too. But in terms of promotion, they do not matter much.

A closer look at the research evaluation sheet, one would understand it is purely on Quantitative publication and not Qualitative. Marks are apportioned to number of publications you have and not the quality of its methodology, findings, and conclusions. Where such articles are published did not attract special marks.

Asking freshly graduated Masters-degree holders who are already staff of IPCR to wait for three years before their promotion is wickedness. It is not practiced anywhere in the world. More so, they are given approval to proceed for further studies and their qualification will strengthen what IPCR can do, why must they be stagnated while their colleagues on ground will be promoted? In fact, they ought to be given double promotion if advancement in learning should be rewarded.

In any reform, time is given for its implementation. For example, in the 1980s when NCE became the minimum qualification for teaching in primary schools, teachers who were predominantly Grade 2 certificate holders were given three years to obtain their NCE.

Nigeria witnessed massive enrolment in the colleges of education across the country.

Similarly, in educational curriculum, there is syllabus for each subject. Each school is expected to breakdown the syllabus into Scheme of Work. Teachers are to go to the classroom to inform pupils/students on the scheme of work which are divided into weeks per topic.

Students note these topics they are expected to learn on weekly basis. It is from this Scheme of Work that each teacher will develop their Lesson Notes to guide teaching and learning processes.

This system is lacking in IPCR to guide research and promotion. Things are arbitrarily done and hence the constant failures and challenges.

From the above argument, the 2020 promotion exercise was ill-defined, ill-conceived, dishonest, illegal and therefore unacceptable.

Dr Olalekan Augustine Babatunde,

Fellow, Peacebuilding & Evidence Practitioner,

Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution,

Abuja, Nigeria

[email protected]

+234-7068226832; +234-8025560225

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply