Does being a graduate of a Nigerian university guarantee you a good job these days? The answer is no! In a country like ours where our youths are daily faced with the herculean task of successfully completing a bachelors’ degree under the severest of conditions, this is what we have come to expect.
when they finally complete their academic sojourn, enter the labour market with
varied degrees; some with a BSc, and others a B.A and what have you...degrees
that should make them proud. But, this sense of pride in themselves soon
diminish when prospective employers disregard their degrees and tag them
What else could
possibly crush the dreams of a fresh graduate with more ferocity? Unemployable?
After spending more than the requisite number of years only to come out of
school and be thus labelled. It can be disheartening.
This issue of
‘half-baked’ graduates churned out by our tertiary institutions is highly
demoralising on several counts. Education at the tertiary level is swarmed with
a host of problems and challenges of which poor funding seems to have stolen
the spotlight. However, other issues such as outdated curricular, poor
staffing, and even management’s incompetence have been swept under the carpet.
ASUU has stated
emphatically that they consider it unfair to continue to take the blame for the
poor quality of graduates, and this should rather be blamed on lack of
facilities, expertise, and the inability of our academic institutions to retain
bright minds; hence the need to take a definite stand and fight for an upgrade
in the academic standard by way of a strike action.
If that was all
there is to the prolonged strike action, one might applaud their efforts, and
even call them noble. However, in the wake of recent developments, there is
cause for us to ask whom they are really fighting for. The fact that funding is
not as it should be does not in any way justify the outdated curricular and
obsolete courses brandished by many government owned universities. There are
cases of lecturers resenting students who dare to question the status quo and
question the old knowledge harangued by their lecturers with modern ones.
lecturers who have not bothered to find out the current trends in their
respective fields of study still dishing out outdated facts as if it were the
government’s responsibility to improve their own minds.
Today, even in
the wake of federal government’s agreement to disburse funds to the
universities, we must ask ourselves, how much will really go into
infrastructure and academic learning? Must this union of academics that has
shamelessly resolved to cling to the breast of our motherland milk her dry? The
Minister of Finance, herself a daughter of professors, has become a victim of
their verbal assaults. These learned people have forgotten so quickly that the
allocation recently approved for them is from a fixed pool.
It is ludicrous
to even think, suggest or imply that a woman who has herself boosted the
economic productivity and opportunity for our youth to thrive would want them
either to sit back at home or to be taught under the worst possible conditions.
These name-calling and placard-holding people, who should be an embodiment of
learning, however seem to think so. How have they helped the economy when they
themselves have held to ransom the very thing that they claim they want to fix?
What they deem to be a selfless act to protect the citadel of learning will be
no more than a show of their lack of sensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian
youths - after all, who is the most affected so far by this shutdown? Certainly
not the lecturers who will still be paid salaries for every single month they
sit in their homes and leave the youths to languish.
ASUU must remember the saying of our fathers that when you point one finger at
someone, the other four fingers point back at you. What are they teaching our
youth? To wait for the government to do everything for them? Shouldn't these
people set an example for us, challenging us to be self-reliant, to think
outside the box?
I find it
disheartening that till date they have not mapped out creative and innovative
ways to generate funds. No thanks to our dear lecturers, half-baked graduates
flood the labour market and the value of a Nigerian-based education diminishes
by the hour.
While we bemoan the fate of the education sector, the poor infrastructure and
learning aids, let us remember that the main object of our concern should be
the students themselves. I wish I had confidence in ASUU that the funds, once
disbursed, would be used for the very things they claimed they are fighting
Are they nobler than the politicians and public office holders whom they say
should be burned at the stake for their lack of competence and compassion? Only
time will tell.
is a political observer and advocate for community development. He writes from