Uncertain Future Of Nigeria Students

By Haywhyze Olaitan

It's a well known fact that the future is uncertain and obscure but we all still look forward to a prospect of success and happiness which is why we all seek western education to ascertain our successful future in some way.

Under normal circumstances the future of a student studying at any higher institution should be as simple as getting a good paying job in any relevant organization to his/her course of study and live happily ever after. From there he/she could successfully pursue any more personal goals. It's a pity that in Nigeria, such a simple transition from student into working class citizens has pave the way for a more complex and unreliable transition system in which a lot of factors are making the students future more and more uncertain.

In Nigeria today, the number of graduates that our colleges churn out are like five times the number of available job opportunities. So, most of the graduates end up looking for jobs around, causing some of them to get frustrated and get involved in criminal activities that automatically damage their future aspirations. The lucky ones that get employed have to just settle for whatever it is they are offered even if it is completely different from what they studied in the university. They are mostly inadequately paid and they just survive from their meager salaries. Most accept the offer thinking it will be temporary while they awaits a better opportunity, but most of the time, they are never presented such opportunities to do what they've spent about half a decade of their youthful years studying.

The increasing rate of graduate unemployment in the country is directly proportional to the rate at which criminal activities increase. Talking about criminal activities is not only limited to the traditional activities of armed robbery, fraud (419), rape, thuggery etc but also includes new generation crimes like cyber related crimes, unethical computer system hacking, kidnapping for ransom, the more acclaimed militants and the so called 'boko haram'. Most of all these criminal activities are carried out by college graduates frustrated at being unemployed after spending years studying to secure the future.

Graduate unemployment should not have been so poor if the educational system in the country is up to the required standard. In a well organized institution of learning that has a standard educational system, students are not only taught how to pass exams and just get away with school, they are educated to be a useful tool of socio-economical developments in the society. After all most innovations in the world today are product of college graduates (even drop-outs) engaging in either individual or group projects with financial aids from individual sponsors or even established organizations.

This only works when the students are well educated and equally talented and creative. It is no bragging that Nigerian students are one of the most creative and talented students worldwide, what we really lack is proper education. Well educated students in the aforementioned case end up being successful entrepreneurs in their various fields if they tend not to be employed in relevant organizations in their area of expertise. They hardly turn out working completely 'out of context', unlike the case in my beloved country where Mechanical Engineering graduates works in banks (I don't blame them though; it's all about the money). They never bargained for that when choosing a career path as a mechanical engineer.

As a result of these occurring a lot of the time in Nigeria, students seeking admission into colleges now don't even bother much about the courses they are about to study as they believe they just need the certificates and with that, they definitely can work anywhere so far they have the influence or 'connections'. Another reason students just choose to study any course is the extreme difficulties they encounter in getting admitted for the courses of their choice. In this case, they look for a less popular course they can apply for, just to ease their admission process. After all, it is not always about what you study in Nigeria. Even in schools, lecturers would tend to console students not happy about the courses they are offered by telling them it's not all about what you read, just pass with very good grades and things will definitely work out well.

Students in schools all around my country just study hard to pass and not really to learn as they believe they hardly will ever use the knowledge in reality. This is mostly due to the fact that all we are taught in classes are theories and no practical application or uses of them in reality. It ends up being 'garbage in garbage out' , as we just read whatever course materials we are given and write it out whenever we are asked to, during tests and exams, after all, that's the way our lecturers wants it. With such poor academic background, a graduate hardly knows how to put his knowledge into work in the real world. They get lucky if they are employed into relevant organizations and more experience experts in their field helps out showing them how things are done. If they fail to secure jobs, they rarely do things on their own as a sole proprietor in a field they spent about 4 years studying, which is really the cause of gross unemployment in the country.

These factors and many others not discussed here makes the average Nigerian student (studying in Nigeria) more uncertain about what he is to face after effectively going through the university and not allowing the university go through him as popularly said (the system is to blame though not the student). Although the future might seem kind of obscure to us we are already used to adapting to any situation we find ourselves, and we are ready to face whatever challenges we encounter and come out victorious. One admirable quality of Nigerian students is they never give up.


Haywhyze Olaitan

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