5: Our education system needs a revamp

Let’s do a quick poll.

Think about 10 people you know who got tertiary level education. Could be anybody from friends, work colleagues, or family members. Just anybody you know well enough to know their educational background.

I’ll give you a minute to think about it.

Now, compare the field they work in now with their course of study.

Done? Good. Thank you for participating in my poll.

As I write this post, I also took the poll. For me, it’s 1 out of 10. Only one person out of the ten that came to my mind studied and is working in the same field. The lady studied Medicine and is now a practising Medical Doctor.

The other nine got out of school and switched to completely different fields. Whether they have reached their full potential in these industries is a conversation for another day.

Quite a number of times, I have had conversations with different people about this issue and their observation aligns with mine. It all points to one fact: Less than 60% of graduates work in their field of study (in Nigeria).

Please note that the conclusion is purely based on the observation of a few, so it should not be taken as an absolute fact.

That said, I can confidently say that our educational system in Nigeria needs a revamp. How do I know? I studied Soil Science at University and I can tell you for a fact that a lot of the things we were taught in school have no relevance whatsoever in the real world. And that’s not peculiar to my course. It is like that in almost every school, regardless of what you study.

In our schools, lecturers use teaching materials passed down from decades ago. Some of them use the same materials all through their teaching career without making any significant updates. Nothing they teach us is in tune with what is the latest technologies, concepts and findings. Same old, same old.

On top of that, institutions are not sufficiently equipped to give students the practical learning experience they need to compete with their counterparts across the world. Learning is mostly theory-based.

Why else do you think Nigerians always excel when they go to other countries? It shows you how much we’ve been starved of what learning should really be.

If you ask me, I’d say all these problems play a major role in this situation. Students lose interest in their course of study because they can’t see any measurable path to success in it. So, they look for something else that guarantees or has a guise of success, including fraud.

As we get closer to another election year, whoever emerges as president should be one that recognises the role of quality education in the progress of a nation, and prioritises it.

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