Tertiary Education: In Search Of Past Glory

By Yusufu Shehu Usman
I remember the days of yore when a transcript from ABU with 2.1 automatically qualified a student for postgraduate courses in the best university in the United Kingdom and America.
Our educational system was thus highly rated and the integrity of the certificates issued by Nigerian Universities never in doubt by any University across the world.
And to prove that our certificate was not a fluke, Nigerians always ended up among the best graduating post graduate students in any University they attended outside Nigeria
It is worthy of note that the academic standards set by graduates of Nigerian Universities abroad many decades ago are yet to be broken
That was the golden era of Nigerian Universities. They were highly rated and respected across the world and Nigerian graduates were the most sought after by employers internationally
The Nigerian graduate had the option and luxury of choice whether to remain abroad where he did his post graduate training based on his Nigerian certificate and work or return home and contribute to the national development
With time, the quality deteriorated and we lost not only the glory but also basics of credibility of our university education.
The standards crashed at home and all things educational begun to fall apart. The centre could not hold any more and mere anarchy is loosed upon the system
It is now “No Longer At Ease”
We have lost both The Lion and The Jewel”
_”Chike” can longer “go to School” because of “the river between” . We appear to be doing a “Dance in The Forest” and ” The Drummer” has lost the rythm.
Our University education system has collapsed almost beyond redemption.
Our certificates have become a source of dispute and distrust even among our local Universities. You may not easily get admission for post graduate studies for example in ABU with a degree certificate from say AAU without further enquiry
How do you expect a University in the UK or America to grant admission for post graduate studies to a holder of a degree certificate even from ABU or UNILAG without suspicion as was the case in the distant past?
One of the major reasons for the non recognition of our certificates abroad apart from the generally acknowledged falling standard of education, is the endless seasons of strikes and industrial actions by the University based Labour Unions which results in the disruption of academic activities and closure of the universities for months.
I don’t know how we got here but it is not a good place to be for us.
We must therefore wake up to the reality of the fact that we have lost trust and confidence in our system by our selves
We should not expect others to trust our certificates
Otherwise, how do you explain the reason why Nigerian students are flocking to countries like Niger, Benin or even Uganda for under graduate courses?
Our tertiary education is in a quagmire and the incessant strikes are further compounding the already bad situation
Let’s find a way to restore the past glory and respect for our system or we will continue producing half baked graduates who will only be of nuisance value to our nation
Only recently, the NYSC reported that they discovered some Nigerian graduates who could not recite the alphabets of the English language. This is the last straw !

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