It has become a cliché to talk about the defunct of the educational system in Nigeria. Everyone has become accustomed with its deficiencies, and we are left to think that our current situation is the best we can get. A very sour thought that overwhelms the mind indeed when our institutions are compared with those of the western world.
Why has the system still not worked?
You are graced with very painful sights when you walk into some of our higher institutions in Nigeria. At the very entrance you behold very poor infrastructures, then very corrupt administrative practices. The lecturers are underdeveloped in the act of teaching and proper communication cues. I once had a lecturer who took us on a math course and while writhing on the board he said that, ” see even me writing this thing I don’t know it, so you guys should just try to understand.” Now you think that’s the worst it can get. Sadly enough, no.
You will be very lucky to see some of your lectures up to five(5) times a semester and no one is doing anything about it. You also have lecturers who are out to see you fail. They set what they didn’t teach and when they do teach.. students don’t understand. There was this situation of a lecturer who told his student that none of them could get an “A”. He outrightly said that the “A” was for his dead mother and the students should pray hard for his father not to pass away too, unless the “B” will follow suit. You can only but imagine how wickedness has engraved the heart of men that are supposed to do everything possible to make sure knowledge is passed on to students.
The government has shown little or no concern in the development of the educational system. It has dwindled financially and systematically and also in standards. The Nigerian universities are ranked among the thousands in the world, with the highest ranked 1926th In the world. It is only a painful fact that our educational system is only good enough to produce half baked graduates. Graduates who cannot compete in the global market without climbing up the ladder of education.
Also the unions set to check the excesses of the government, and to also make sure the educational system is hale and hearty… is majorly concerned with financial benefits than educational improvements. The average union man will prefer they pay him a million Naira teaching in substandard infrastructure to five hundred thousand teaching with standard infrastructures. Sad! It’s slightly odd that their secondary interest is the students of which they show little or no concern.
It would be a cynical manipulation of semantics to say that the educational system has improved effectively over the years. We have engineering graduates who don’t know the right mix to mould a block. We have final year medical students who still look at the faces of their supervisors to assure themselves they are doing the right thing before administering a basic drug or an injection. We have business students who cannot calculate for gross profit or even know the steps to starting up a business. We have microbiology graduates working at banks. Doing what? Probably scanning for viruses on the Naira before its dispensed to the general public. There are a lot of graduates who have to undergo training after being employed to teach them what they are meant to have learnt while they were still in school. All these are big holes in the educational system which the government over the years have failed to cover.
In my very first year in the university, I spent more than half of the session standing to receive lectures because of inadequate seats and overpopulation of classrooms. If I had a class by 8am, I better be there before 7:30am in order to grab the remaining seat at the back. Then, when the lecture begins you can’t even see the chalk board or hear the lecturer’s voice. He then complains about the class inability to buy a public address system and good writing materials-like the students hold shares in the school- then he walks out the door.
After going through the rigors of receiving lectures you go back to an over populated hostel where you have to open the door with extreme caution so you don’t hit someone. You stay there inhaling all sort of dirt. The whole environment is grime and students are forced to take their bath outside all because of the quest for knowledge.
It is much rather theatrical than believing to see that even the struggling families(financially) try to send their children to private universities all because of an asserted assurance that the government universities are nothing to write home about. 200% of students in Nigeria will prefer to study abroad. Here the students go through hell just to stand a chance of graduating with flying colours. The government has not brought about any strategies to tackle these problems. Instead they tackle it by securing their own children’s future by sending them abroad to study in top universities. It is fair to say they are aware of the situation and have decided to turn away from it.
The educational system is the backbone of every nation. It brings about new technologies for improved lifestyle, war situations and more, it helps in researches for medical problems. A country can never function properly without well educated individual.
Nigeria, a nation blessed with a lot of natural resources and man power only suffers from one natural disaster which is BAD LEADERSHIP. This has a lot of people clinging to only the hope of life.
We have schools abroad where students undergo their research with university property, a well nourished syllabus and good teaching environment. They have students who come out feeling educated. I once asked a biochemistry graduate what she can now do? She looked at me and laughed for a minute, then she said ” I don’t really know.” Now she’s doing her masters in that same very course. Imagine after drowning herself in endless hours of late night reading, she doesn’t feel impacted by the educational system rather she is left to imagine what she could possibly do. She doesn’t leave the university with knowledge rather than a certificate which can do her little or no good.
What could possibly be done to stop this act of extreme nonchalance attributed to our educational sector? A question we all know there are multiple answers to.
Photo Credit: usaid.gov
Jude Arikhan believes in equity, not revenge. Follow him on Twitter @judekoko. More information can be found on his website studemics.com