The Nigerian education (formal education) sector was actually fashioned out as a result of the yearly national projection and the need to create a society of literate individuals. The sector is supposed to be the training place of the expected workforce that is necessary to drive the economy forward. For this reason, so many educational committees have been set up; so many road-maps introduced to make sure the target is achieved, all to no avail.
In the 60’s, formal education up to tertiary level wasn’t all too creamy except for those who anchored ambitions of being scholars. This modus operandi worked for years until the late 80’s when oil became our sole source of income.
With the arrival of “oil money” everybody, every parent, every prospective student wanted to become an engineer or at least have a degree in a related course. With this, the quest for the university degree became paramount to every house hold and even communities. Parents would toil day and night to make sure their kids went to a university. Even those parents who couldn’t afford to pay their children’s way through school unconsciously encouraged themselves and their children to unorthodoxly seek for necessary funds to realize this ambition: A case of the end justifying the means.
In Nigeria, this is the case; everybody wants a degree and they all want to work. This has led to a reduction in applications into the polytechnics and college of educations. Technical schools have not fared any better, they have seen serious reduction in student enrollment in the past years and government funding has gradually dwindled.
With the recent enrollment in diploma for ICT courses, I believe that more graduates now understand that the “I must go to university” syndrome is an absolute waste of time and a farce. If PHD and first class honors holders would clamour to become Drivers at Dangote Cement, then why waste scarce resources in training themselves or be trained by their guardians at the university level for 4-6 years. They could have easily spent less by training as professional Drivers.
Another example is where in a construction process, 30 Crafts men, 10 Technicians, 3 Technologists and 1 Engineer is required. Therefore if the National projection for the next 6years in Nigeria has openings for 10000 Engineers automatically 30000 Technologists, 100000 Technicians and 300000 Crafts men will be required. Would it then not be wise to train as a Crafts man rather than an Engineer?
After reading this piece and haven witnessed the fraud called #NIS exams, I ask again “Why hustle for the University Degree?”
I hope this article will not stop your university ambition, I only wish to advice you in making and taking proper decision in your quest for enlightenment and knowledge?
Note: A university graduate is not in any way better than a technician.
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This piece is authored by Dike Philip. Curator of www.tufur.blogspot.com
Twitter: @tufur24 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dikepb