Faruq Ibrahim Olaoti writes,
It is no wonder that Nigerians choose to break their coffers for universities abroad rather than spend much less to study in their homeland. Although our obsession with foreign materials plays a role here, the harsh truth is that higher education in Nigeria has fallen far beneath its potential.
Education is essential to every country because it is the passport to the future, and tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. How can Nigerians attain greatness with such an ailing educational system?
Many argue that Nigerian academia has experienced a decline due to the constant strike action embarked upon by academic staff. However, upon taking a critical look at the precursors of these strikes, one will realise that an unpronounced failure sits at the heart of the issue, and it is pathetic!
Nigerian Universities’ Academic Unions such as ‘ASUU’ resort to strikes for improvement in their welfare, teaching and research facilities, and university autonomy. Indeed, strikes are the results of structural issues embedded deeply within the Nigerian tertiary education system. These needs motivate strikes in seeming similitude to those behind the failure during the covid-19-induced nationwide strike in 2020.
As evidenced by the lamentations of the concerned unions, the failure of the federal government to settle them provokes their recurrent strike actions in Nigeria. On this basis, failure to pay the outstanding allowances, absorb workers into the university and end the usurpation of duties by teaching staff has motivated the total strike.
Without a doubt, here is a cry for improvement to the inner workings of higher education. The problem here is not with the drafting of policies but with their enactment. Although the policy-practice gap that parodies Nigerian politics also impacts our tertiary education system, the ailment of higher education is multifaceted.
It is not the lecturers who have failed the students, but rather the government that has let the lecturers down and neither are the students spared. The ailment of the Nigerian tertiary education system stems from the continued ineptitude of the ruling class and the consequence of their crass negligence on the economy, making their duty harder.
If we want to end Nigeria’s foreign dependency, we need to stop splashing our money on academics abroad who are no more capable than we are. To improve job prospects for graduates, we need to increase the quality of education at home (Nigeria).
Finally, for more products of Nigerian universities to excel both domestically and internationally, we must close the gap between policy and action to improve the standards of education in our country.
Faruq Ibrahim Olaoti is a 200-Level student of Political Science. He is the Social Director of NACJ, UDUS and Publicity Secretary of Pen Press.
You can reach him through 08146986379 or email@example.com.