It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that the Nigerian education system is in doldrums. Past interventions have not worked, and the present attempts (if any) to revive the system and inject some life into it has not shown any promising signs so far.
An earlier post on Grandiose Parlor (American Students Bail Out Nigerian Law College) showcased one of the problems in tertiary education in Nigeria. Though the posting specifically referred to a particular university, the gist of the post- the inadequacy of infrastructure- equally applies to any public learning institute in the country.
Ask anyone familiar with Nigerian system what the problem is: “Lack of funds” is usually the number one reason (or excuse) given. As it is anywhere in the world, money is a limited resource and it can never be enough. The combination of insufficient funds (primarily from the government), and poor policies, and management are responsible for the present state of the education system.
What is obvious is the lack of direction and purpose on the part of education and school administrators, who have not put the meager resources at their disposal to the best use, or channeled it at most cost efficient projects.
It is easy to throw mud at a faceless entity- the government. What about the administrators and professors and lecturers that man these institutions, have they all pulled their weights? Have these eggheads lived up to their calling as teachers and problem-solvers?
I have heard many tales of woe from some recent Nigerian graduates that requested their transcripts from their alma mata. One would expect that after many extended years of frustrating tutelage at the Nigerian universities that one is entitled to the courtesy of a promptly processed and accurate transcript. Not in Nigeria! This is not the government at play but school administrators, often holders of PhD’s and all sorts of exotic degrees slacking in their responsibilities!
As ubiquitous as the Internet has become in Nigeria, the old (and perhaps tired) horses running the show have failed to see the versatility of this technology and put it to good use in the general scheme of things. Majority of Nigerian lecturers are not computer-literate. Only few schools have domain presence on the Internet and even fewer maintain their sites, of these elitist group, just a handful have a central computerized database one can be proud of.
It often takes months for examination results to be collated and released. Then it is not uncommon for students to discover, to their chagrin, that their GPA’s have been wrongly computed, either because they were not credited for the right courses, or awarded credits for courses they didn’t register for.
This is the era of distance education globally, but unfortunately our schools are still locked in the dinosauric era- school curricula and syllabuses have remained stale over the years and have lost relevance. As citadel of knowledge and innovation, it is ironic that Nigerian universities have yet to develop creative means of revenue generation and ways to arrest further decay of infrastructure. In the era of emails, instant messaging, and teleconferencing, it is shameful that some universities still list their Telegram numbers on their official letterheads. Please tell Professors Egghead that the Telegrams, Telex, Morse codes, et al belong to the World War II era!
Have you heard of the “shakedown” (request for sexual and financial favors from students) and hand-out scams perpetrated by some low-life academics? If you haven’t ask the next Nigerian you run into. And how about an administrator that sacked 49 lecturers in one sweep? Many of those sacked are top-notched medical scholars! It is simply insane to delete this many from the payroll without a backup plan. These would make a good topic for another blog posting.
Are these the antics of eggheads or morons? You decide!
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