REJUDICE IN NIGERIA EDUCATION.
It was a shock to nigerians on the evening of Wednesday 4th July, 2012 to hear of the suspension of licence of Lead City University and six (6) other private universities. The question that came to my mind immediately was; what has private owned universities in nigeria done to face the torture of Government and NUC? Unfortunately, some among the general public too have easily allowed themselves to be mislead by the false allegations and acquisitions laid on private universities in nigeria. Acquisitions like they are money/profit making industries, they posses low educational standard, poor quality of graduates among many others. But people have not taken time to understand that not all youth who couldn't gain admission into higher institutions failed in their WAEC nor JAMB rather government have inadequate universities to accommodate all legible students. As at 2010 in nigeria, there are thirty seven (37) universities. 1,300,000 candidates were registered and sat for the 2012 UTME. 867,000 scored 180unit and only 527,000 have the prospect of gaining admission because they will be still be subjected to Post-UTME. Then the question we might rightly ask is that what plans those government have for the rejected students approximately 700,000 students? No plans and that's an additional factor why crime rate has not reduced in nigeria. Then without missing words, private universities are like complement to public universities in admitting legible students into their schools. But I ask myself again,why are they not been encouraged in nigeria. What private universities experience in nigeria today is hardship and tear down by NUC and some people in nigeria. Entrepreneurs in education should be encouraged and assisted. In general terms, the aim of an entrepreneur is to maximise profit and minimise expenses but other way round is the case of entrepreneurs in education because what is experienced is maximising expenses like employing adequate qualified academic staff and non-academic staff, erecting of different structures regularly, equipping of structures like library, classroom, offices and other re-current expenses like Lead City University that spends nothing less than 40million naira on fuelling alone, among other expenses and minimises profit by setting a reasonable and affordable school fees for an average nigerian to send their children/ward to. It is of note that education at the tertiary level in nigeria is not free, be it government or private owned!In terms of quality, all private institutions met NUC standard requirements in terms of facilities and infrastructures, staffing, e.t.c, and that's why they were given license to operate. NUC is then meant to nurture all institutions including private universities through checks and balance activities and not hiring and firing technique. A child cannot be disowned by a parent just because he/she has committed an error. Rather correction/discipline will be lovingly made by a parent in other to bring out the parent's desired trait from the child. The vision of National University Commission is; 'To be a dynamic regulatory agency acting as a catalyst for positive change and innovation for the delivery of quality university education in Nigeria' and part of the commission's goals is; 'To work with Nigerian Universities to achieve full accreditation status for at least 80% of the academic programmes'. But what can we say of a situation whereby notice or letter of warnings were not sent to institutions and all they heard all of a sudden was the suspension of their license on media. This is even out of the functions of the commission. Heart breaking!People also talk about private universities products. Have we forgotten so soon that till this moment, private primary and secondary schools are still the best in nigeria compared to public secondary schools. That's why every well off parent pray, yearn and aspire to enrol their children/ward into private schools. This is because public schools today owned by government lack funding, teachers, facilities and infrastructures. No wonder any debate that comes up on 'Either private schools are better than public schools' are always won in favour of private primary and secondary schools. How come we now look down on our private owned universities today. Both private and public admits youths who are nigerian citizens and all private and public universities try their best in other to archive the aims and objectives of nigeria education as stated in the National Policy on Education. Come to think of it, our present leaders in nigeria or those that are in positions of power today are all product of public universities. In foreign countries, when the country nigeria is mentioned or an individual is identified as a nigerian, then confidence is lost in someone because nigeria is well known for high level of corrupt practises from the apex class to the lower class. Why then the criticism of graduates of private institutions. Why is there prejudice in nigeria educational system. Personal interest must be get rid off private university establishment in Nigeria educational system. Lead City University over the years has proven liable to educate entrepreneurs, with her faculties(education,social science,law,applied sciences,)having their faculty buildings edifice, and regularly revised academic curriculum. Lead City University was visited in 2009 by NUC, and since then till present, change has been the constant thing in the university premise with the massive infrastruatural development going on daily. The reason for licence suspension is what has not been clearly spelt out by NUC. Its time we youths stand for our right. Its time parents defend their right and protect the future of their children/ward by saying yes to the stay of private universities. Its time we make government realise the great contributions of individuals or group who have taken a good step and initiative to contribute to the development of the nation and help in producing a self reliant graduates who are also ready to play back their role and contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria
Its time we youths stand for our right. Its time parents defend their right and protect the future of their children/ward by saying yes to the stay of private universities. Its time we make government realise the great contributions of individuals or group who have taken a good step and initiative to contribute to the development of the nation and help in producing a self reliant graduates who are also ready to play back their role and contribute their quota to the development of Nigeria . The House Committee on Education, Minister of Education and other related bodies should arise to this menace.
Individuals or groups should be motivated to establish more schools with the way they deal with and handle the existing ones knowing fully that this will help reduce the number of un-admitted students and unemployment yearly. Let's fight against the cabals working against entrepreneurship in education. If truly youths are the future of our nation, then all must stand to protect the interest of all nigerian citizens who are privileged to be students or graduates of Nigeria private universities.
Dada Nun O.
Lead City University