Don't Blame The System! Nigerian University Students Planned Their Own Failure

Image result for picture of a sad nigerian student

With the growing need for sensible and understandable reasons for their failure, the educational system has become the prime target of most Nigerian students.

When the unconscious desire for failure is ingrained in a student, and its root buried deep in the core of his heart, and its fruits have become manifest, then his mind prepares for him an alibi(s) in case he eventually eats the forbidden fruit. And if you ask such what his alibi is, he would probably tell you, with utmost conviction, that it is the poor educational system of the country.

Without doubt, the educational system of Nigeria has its own setbacks. I remember that I discussed it sparingly in THIS ARTICLE. However, we cannot ALWAYS call the system to cover for students’ failures. And as much as I would love to deny it, students are the TRUE banes of their own successes. Here are my reasons:

1. The people who designed the system are not fools 

Nigerian students are known to compare the educational system in Nigeria with that of western countries like the USA. Often, they ignorantly place this comparison at the higher level of education. They discuss among themselves the speed with which students complete their university education in these countries and conclude that the system here in Nigeria is thrash. But they never really consider what the lower levels in these countries were all about, what they have had to put in place at these levels to achieve the feat at the higher level. No doubt, the systems in these western countries are better. But that does not make the Nigerian system bad ̶ only that ours is cloaked with improper management and thus we view it in the light of this illusion. To make my points clear I’d like to take this stance, even though some may argue that the management cannot be separated from the system.

As a result of the distorted notions of good and bad, Nigerian students blame the system for introducing courses they deem irrelevant to their own field of study, and attribute their failures in these courses and in their essential courses to the irrelevance of the borrowed courses and the high workload resulting from their inclusion in the syllabus. They often attribute the years they spend in the university and their low level of expertise to these irrelevancies. But in reality these courses are of utmost relevance. In fact, more than 70% of Nigerian students will be as dumb as the man wearing sun glasses in the night if these courses are removed and the number of years reduced.
A friend of mine told me sometimes ago that he met a fashion designer who designed clothes using constructions like the ones we were taught in MEE101 (Engineering drawing), an irrelevant course, and he was able to interpret her designs because he had a prior knowledge of it. Also, I remember that I couldn’t reference my final project properly without help because I considered GNS101 (Use of English), a course which explained how, irrelevant in my first year at the university. In his book, THINK BIG, Ben Carson narrated how music, a subject which was irrelevant to his line of work, had helped him in his interview to become one of the two interns accepted into the neurosurgery residency program. I’ll stop here because I don’t want to bore you with instances. But you never know what you will be doing in the next ten years, and you may find that understanding that irrelevant course will open a door for you that might otherwise never be opened. Then you will understand that those who designed the system are nothing but farsighted. Who knows? You might have made a decision that is to your own disadvantage already.

2. The people in charge of managing the system are well aware of their flaws

Yes, the people managing the system are very much aware of their flaws. They know they cannot give students all what they need to live the kind of life they want. They know that education does not necessarily give the job, even though they portray it that way. For these reasons and more, the system hints at diversification, but we fail to see this because of the grudge we hold against it. How best do you explain the inclusion of entrepreneurship management (EMT), agricultural science practical (CSP) and so on in all the curricula? If you ask me, they are trying to tell students that they do not expect them to rely solely on education, that education would not always give them the job they dream of (but it definitely gives them an opportunity to stand out), that education is a starting point (not a destination)…But because we perceive things differently we may be oblivious to all these. However, no student can deny the fact that he does not know that education cannot give him everything. No student can say categorically that the system promised him his dream job, because this is something we came up with in our minds. How then is it appropriate for him to blame the system for getting caught in the trap that he was aware of?

PS This is but a tip of the iceberg. Click THIS LINK to learn more. Don’t just read and be gone! Please share and let me know what you think in the comments section.


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