Educational pursuit in Nigeria has become something of a necessity if one must get or advance in certain choice jobs. This puts pressure on the higher education system hence this post takes a look at problems of Nigeria universities and possible solutions.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), primarily responsible for the prerequisites of admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria reported that the number of candidates who register and sit for the UTME are constantly on the increase.
Given the importance of education and the role it plays in a country, this high demand of education in Nigeria should be met with the attention it deserves, to put Nigeria universities at par with those around the globe.
Unfortunately, the most recent world ranking of universities does not see Nigeria amongst the first 1000. The University of Ibadan , however, is ranked at the 1099th position and no other university in Nigeria follows before the 2000 mark.
The challenges confronting the higher education system in Nigeria are alarming and these challenges have over time watered down the quality of our higher education.”
Considering this statement and the ranking of universities, is it a wonder then that Nigerians will jump at any opportunity to study outside the country? These challenges are many but the major ones are disclosed here.
A survey by the National Universities Commission (NUC) records that only about 30 percent of Nigeria student population has adequate access to classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories, workshops and libraries.
The figure shows a very poor state of affairs. Other amenities such as electricity, water, good hostel accommodation and medical care are also inadequate, even though it is agreed that availability of these will boost students’ performance, hence a major problem of Nigeria universities.
Poor Quality Elementary and Secondary Education
One of the responsibilities of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) according to information on their website is to “place suitably qualified candidates in tertiary institutions.”
From recent statistics and the constant reduction of the cut-off mark of prospective university students, it is obvious the quality of education in elementary and secondary schools is on the decline. This poses a huge problem to Nigeria universities.
This is a disturbing issue that has almost become a norm in Nigerian universities. It is one of the results of the poor quality of students coming from secondary schools. Also, the massive influx of unprepared students admitted into tertiary institutions cause them to get involved in very unethical practices such as exchange of money or sex for grades.
As earlier stated, there is a constantly growing demand for higher education in Nigeria and the available resources to meet this demand is lacking. The education sector in Nigeria is known to be one of the few areas that do not get the right budget allocation.
Financial crises between the various staff unions and the government, students’ excesses like riot, and other issues that lead to strike or temporary shut-down of universities threaten the stability of institutions as well as affect the overall performance of students and staff.
This has been a major challenge of Nigeria universities for so long. Campuses all over the country have reports of cult groups whose activities frequently end in social mishaps and crises that threaten academic work.
This challenges can be control if this possible solution can be put into consideration.
First, the ministry of education and other governing bodies of the education system in Nigeria need to take cognizance of the role Nigerian universities play in shaping the human resources necessary for the country’s development.
A clear understanding of this role will cause the willingness to restructure and do all that is necessary to get the universities in Nigeria up to standard.
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