There’s nothing, quite literally, that hasn’t been said about the state of Nigeria’s universities and the education system, at large.
You’ve heard it all. Nigerian universities are understaffed, underfunded and overcrowded. Their curriculums are as old as the lecturers’ degrees.
Gangs begin to scout you from the very first day like a Barcelona prospect. Lectures happen by the special grace of God and nothing else.
All of this paints the picture of a Nigerian university as a sufferhead training school.
And no-one knows this to be true more than the sufferheads-in-training themselves; students.
If they understand the problems, it only makes sense that they’d have a few ideas on how to fix things.
We asked 5 Nigerian undergrads what they would do to fix their universities.
Here’s what they said.
Oriafo Fehintola – The University of Benin.
“Students should be admitted strictly to study the courses they choose, as opposed to instances where they get admitted for a vague course as consolation. Lecturers should teach students with enthusiasm and stop looking at them as avenues to make extra money.”
“Things would be better if we had genuine teacher-student relationships, coupled with innovative ways of teaching that don’t involve needless dictation and long rambling.”
Babalola Oyinlola Jane – Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education.
“A good place to start would be for the Federal Government to increase the funds provided for the educational sector and ensure it’s effectively spent (because, corruption.)”
“And why don’t we have internet access on Nigerian university campuses in 2018, please? That – and basic amenities like well-equipped libraries and laboratories – so we can do what we actually came to school for.”
Olumuyiwa Aguda – University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State.
“We need to create a more practical structure. We should set up exchange programs with universities outside Nigeria and Africa. And learning is not just about long lectures and bored students – extracurricular activities and skill acquisition will help nurture talents and so on.”
“And finally, we should show existing lecturers that they won’t die if they use tech and the internet to be better at their jobs, and hire more hands.”
Oluwasindara Dada – National Open University Of Nigeria.
“It would be unrealistic to claim the hero and want to turn things around for my entire school but there’s one thing I did and can do, its self-tutoring.”
“Students coming together to study something they’ve learned individually, together is one way to balance this entire issue. And that’s what I did.”
Avan-Nomayo Osasenaga. University of Lagos.
“Going to a Nigerian University is more like a survival course than getting an actual education. Whoever decides the teaching outline needs to learn what the internet is. It’s 2018, not 1982.”
“Let’s do a refresher course and introduce these old geezers to the world today. The delivery method needs to change. If you can’t get familiar with new teaching methods and tools, you shouldn’t be lecturing. Simple. We’re paying school fees please, don’t stress me.”
There you have it, folks. If there’s one thing that stands out here, it’s that Nigerian students have little faith in the capacity of the people who teach and train them.
For instance, Naga, who describes himself as “a very concerned and pained student that can’t wait to finish school and breathe easy” goes on to say “A Doctorate isn’t any proof that you can teach or should be teaching.”
“It doesn’t make sense when people with no imagination are put in charge of lecturing young individuals with dreams and aspirations.”
So is there any hope, you ask?
Things may look pretty gloomy, but not all hope is lost–we can fix Nigerian universities.
Our biggest obstacle is that education is expensive, and as things are, our country is too broke to afford the quality that it’s young people need.
There are some ways to overcome this–A wise man has suggested working with private employers to design the curriculum (and hopefully provide some funding). But that’s long-term stuff.
Going by what our undergrads think, introducing some senior citizens to the internet as quickly as possible might be a good place to start.
Let us know what you’d do to fix things in the comments. Don’t be shy.