End Product of Study Abroad Vs Nigerian Universities (1)
Both universities abroad and within the country are churning out millions of graduates every year, but a real concern here is the quality of citizens being put back into the society. Why the big rush or desire to study overseas? One wonders if studying overseas produces better Nigerian citizens compared to graduates from Nigerian universities.
So, for those studying overseas, are they chasing after shadows or is there something out there that is seriously lacking back home in Nigerian Universities? One can argue on both sides, but nonetheless, one must “call a spade a spade”. Let us begin by looking at the output.
A primary question in this issue is what kind of students are Nigerian universities churning out of the campuses? This question is crucial so that this analysis is not just about “Where did you attend university?” Rather it is primarily about what kind of citizens are being moulded back into society.
Not that great and capable ones are not out there. However, you would be glad to meet a Nigerian Youth Corper or a fresh graduate who has it all in one piece: One, who in an office setting has a great self-confidence, able to conduct him/herself officially, able to communicate effectively, has good computer skills, takes initiative and is creative, has good work ethics (prompt with time and assignments and dedicated to duty), speaks good English and his/her local language, is committed, require minimum supervision and highly dependable.
In addition, s/he is result-oriented with problem-solving skills, willing to learn from everyone and everything, is not busy looking for “some change” from clients in order to do his/her job, and importantly, one who knows that s/he is worth something, with or without an office job.
The last point would stem from the fact that this young man or woman used his or her time during undergraduate and/or masters studies in the university for personal development in terms of adding value to him/herself by acquiring skills and developing one’s area of interest and talent.
Such a student would have made good use of available opportunities to serve the university community, for example, through community service, student leadership positions and volunteering activities. This becomes a way of discovering one’s uniqueness in terms of talents, interest, leadership skills, communitarian spirit and a readiness to face the challenges of the future.
A student who goes through university baby-sitting him/herself or being baby sat by the system, parents, guardians and lecturers, has him/herself to blame. This is because as imperfect as the conditions maybe it is expected that the young people who go into the universities are matured enough to take responsibility for their lives before pointing fingers to anyone or anything else, such as the system or the government. The role of the government in all these is a discussion for another day.
In considering the quality of students produced from university education, this analysis has chosen to first look at the student and his/her responsibility towards his/her own future. This approach is based on the fact that “charity begins at home”, hence the first education begins from the home.
If our parents and family members are playing their roles correctly in bringing up adults who take responsibility for their lives first, then those going into university will be better prepared to grab every opportunity for their personal development. They will not wait to be in a perfect university before they begin making something of themselves.
Oh, it all does indeed fall back “Home”. Parents, guardians, relatives and mentors have a huge role in shaping kids and future adults on developing a positive outlook on life, self-confidence, humility and hard work that propels the child to make the right choices, make good use of their time and prepare them adequately to face the future.
An unsettled home, absent parents or guardians, lack of good mentors, examples of greed and dishonesty shown by older persons and leaders cannot help build responsible adults for the future.
However, dear youth, do what you can, where you are, to build yourself so as to become a responsible citizen of your country, contributing to her progress and development. This can be achieved regardless of the name of the country where you had your university education.
- Linda Ellah