On OAU Transcripts Services ETX was the Jonathan and TPS the Buhari
Just recently, I tracked every one of my 27 transcripts requests made on TPS for my clients (transcripts I didn’t “process”), and 26 of the these requests are still hanging at “Payment Received” while only one of them has been updated to “Transcripts Generated” since almost two months that I have paid for these orders. Seeing this, only one thing came to mind: ‘how is TPS better than ETX for God’s sake?’; this exactly is what ETX used to do with OAU transcripts that was getting the alumni frustrated and losing opportunities. ETX would send you several programmed messages while you are trying to make the order for your transcripts on the platforms, and the moment you have made the payment for the order and they have sent you a mail confirming your payment, end of story, you don’t hear from them anymore; no phone number to call (if there is one, it is sure they wouldn’t answer the calls). When you send them mails, they don’t reply, when you contact them via the “messaging” feature on your tracking page on their web, they would only after several days send you a generic message that would show you they didn’t really read the message you sent to them or they read it but they have no idea what’s happening about your transcripts processes. You would have to either come down to ETX or the Transcripts Department to know anything at all about your transcripts processes or pay somebody to do the run around for you—which all negate the idea of online services for transcripts. If you didn’t experience this with ETX, then you might not really understand how depressing it was.
Even after I personally had understood how ETX and the Transcripts Department work, I requested for my personal transcripts and intentionally didn’t influence anything about its processing just to see how long it would take for it to be delivered, it took almost 9 months! I should add that I had initially requested for my transcripts severally, which means it shouldn’t be as rigorous as the first time, but it was still rigorous and delayed. I traced what happened to it and learned my file was under somebody’s table with several other files unattended to. If I had a deadline for what I needed the transcripts for, it would have been a loss for me. Too many OAU alumni go through this too. When ETX was disengaged from OAU’s transcripts services and TPS was introduced just about two months ago, I personally had high hopes things were about to change for the better; especially for the first two weeks of TPS engagement and how they delivered so many transcripts ordered for on the new platform within two weeks, it was so hope-raising until just about one month into the engagement of TPS that they started behaving like ETX too. More like when Nigerians were tired of Goodluck Jonathan and APC used that to sell Muhammadu Buhari to them as the saviour, only for Buhari to get there and become even worse than Goodluck; this exactly is what TPS is too now.
Just after you have made the payment for your transcripts request on TPS and they have sent you a mail to confirm that, you most definitely aren’t hearing anything from them anymore. Added to this bad communication like ETX did too is the fact that TPS is even more delaying than ETX now on the transcripts processing; I will below list the reason for this delay, and also mention other things TPS is doing even worse than ETX that if they continue this way, OAU alumni might need to sue the school at some point and have them have to pay millions of money for damages (if the alumni are willing to fight for their rights and the alumni association is less management-sentimental).
(1). Bad User Experience: One of the first things I have noticed as problematic about tps.oauife.edu.ng is the fact that they limited the user’s chance to edit anything either on their profile or on their order. You would not know how much problem this can cause until one day any of these listed below happen and you become the victim (the flaws I shall be listing below would break your heart about tps.oauife.edu.ng when you realize OAU’s Computer Centre that’s the backbone of the “Leading in ICT” title developed the platform):
(a). if somebody mistakenly use your matric number to create an account on TPS, they can go ahead and create another account with their correct matric number and use another email address, but when you want to create your own account on the web with your matric number you wouldn’t be able to, because somebody you don’t know already created one for you; and you cannot apply for a transcripts on TPS on any other account lest it is the account created with your matric number. You might want to think the chances of somebody mistakenly creating an account with your matric number is slim, which is true, but when you realize how someone with the matric number MAC/2009/171 can mistakenly type MAC/2009/117, or same person who has forgotten that 2009/2010 session in OAU mostly means you resumed school in 2010 but you were admitted in the 2009/2010 session, and then they go ahead to write MAC/2010/171 as their matric number instead of MAC/2009/171. These things are what we see every now and then because we deal with a lot of orders. A simple edit feature on the web could avoid this problem, but no, they have decided not to add this function for reasons known to them only.
(b). if you make a mistake in typing your email address you want to use to create your TPS account or the email address you want the transcripts be delivered to, you have created a big problem; you would either have to quickly create an email address that can fit into the one you have wrongly typed (hopefully the chance to have such email address would still exist for you) or you would have to drag yourself down to the school and start going from offices to offices to have that error corrected for you. This does not make any sense at all; all they need to do to avoid this problem is make it possible for users to edit their information. Even ETX had this function.
(2). Nonchalant Civil Servants: The Transcripts Department is full of people who don’t really know what people stand to lose when their transcripts are not done and done on time, which causes them to do civil servant things on people’s files they are in charge of and paid for to work on, which is also why they abandon any work they encounter any little problem on. Added to these is how after attaching them to TPS or attaching TPS to them, they made it compulsory that any file to be worked on at TPS must be reviewed and vetted by some director (Director of Computer Centre I think). This means without them asking that something be done on a file or a problem an alumnus is facing, nothing can be done. The implication of this is that more days or weeks are added to the red-tape.
(3). The Lack of Communication: You can’t send a message on the TPS platform anymore as they have disabled that function, and when you send a mail to the so called customer care email email@example.com, the chances of getting a response is maybe 1/100. This is so bad considering that transcripts request is a service you have paid an over-charged price for, and you deserve to get served accordingly. Just imagine if a bank, Jumia, Konga etc. work as ETX, TPS and the whole of OAU work on transcripts, how much hatred we would dispense on these companies?
When I learnt that the Computer Centre would be handling TPS, I was looking forward to massive employment of young tech enthusiasts from which departments can be created: those to handle the download of results from anywhere where they have been uploaded, those to go fetch from the papers for the ones not available anywhere online, those to convert all available results to transcripts, and those to be on the rapid response team managing firstname.lastname@example.org and other means of communication, as well as some senior staffs that review, approve and send the transcripts. The tech team can comprise of 50 people: 5 people to be on the online results downloading and piling; 20 to be on going to collate from papers results not available online, 20 people to be on the typing of all results to transcripts, and 5 people to be on the customer experience platforms responding to people’s inquiries and problems instantly. The senior staffs team can comprise of 5 people with three or four of them reviewing the transcripts and two or one of them just having to sign and send/dispatch. The Transcripts Department makes enough money per month to be able to cater for 50 young employees (that don’t have to be federal employees; all they would need is one or two supervisors from the senior staffs), and the 5 senior staffs (that have to be the federal employees). OAU used this system to reduce the number of federal employees on the school’s security outfit by giving big parts of the security jobs to private security companies that would be paid lesser than federal employees and not have to expect gratuities and pensions later. They have also used it with the cleaning department and the gardening department too; it works; it enhances efficiency and also reduces costs.