The college scam case ongoing in the US is too familiar that one might almost be tempted to ignore it.
The gist is that fifty people, including Hollywood celebrities, have been indicted for bribing their kids’ way into college.
These wealthy people are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, and some even as high as millions, to get their kids into prestigious schools like Yale and Stanford and University of Southern California.
They pay to have people write their kids’ SATs for them (special centers, ya’know). In some cases, a fake profile will be created for the child to have them listed as an athlete. Proper scam. But it is a scam that we know all too well as Nigerians. Ours just comes in a different package. There are ‘mercenaries’ who will write the UTME exams for you for a fee – paid for by parents. There are also situations where if the parent is rich enough, an easy donation here or there will get them favour with the university authorities.
Then, there’s things known as ‘special centres’. Something of an ‘open secret’; you drive past an expressway and you see their posters on the dividers. Get 9 As in your WAEC and Neco.
We’re aware of the existence of something called a Dean’s List: a list of people who will get admitted to a faculty because they know someone who knows the dean.
They have leg.
Children of lecturers are admitted into departments whose cut-off marks they failed to meet. Easily.
People find alternative methods to have their kids admitted into a prestigious university all the time. It doesn’t even have to be something major — people go to their pastors for help because a congregant works in a university and the pastor can put in a word or two.
But how far is too far? How much under the table payment or legwork will you go to just to see your ward in a university of your dreams? How far did your parents go to get you into the university of your dreams, or their dreams? The Americans who have participated in this scam have been arrested and indicted. Do you think this is something we also need to adopt in Nigeria? Everyone who has been part of education scam in Nigeria, file to the left…