Every year Nigeria churns out a multitude of graduates hoping to get into the workforce but as we all know only few of them get in and most have to settle for jobs that have nothing to do with their university degree.
The majority don't use their certificate. Instead, they start businesses or do odd jobs to make ends meet. Ask anyone on the street if they think going to university and getting a good GPA guarantees you a good job. They'll scoff and ask "in this country?"
Why then do we still have parents who are hell bent on forcing their children to go to University? Now, I'm not against education. Education takes on different forms and doesn't need to be acquired from the four walls of a classroom or lecture hall. Proper Secondary school education is enough to make an individual literate and conversant in a host of subjects.
In place of university, secondary school graduates should be encouraged to enroll in vocational schools. Nigeria is still in need of highly skilled men and women in specific fields. For example, the Nigerian movie industry still lacks a host of technicians like set builders, rig builders, audio specialists etc. These jobs require individuals to be skilled in capentary, mechanics and sound engineering respectively. These skills don't require you to spend four years in a university taking notes you won't use. It requires a proper vocation school (e.g. Film school) which will give you the skills you need in a fraction of the time.
There are several other hands-on skills one can learn without going to the university. Alas, this is not a new idea and there are reasons why it can't work. One of the reasons is that people are sceptic of professionals without degrees. The government can solve this problem by guaranteeing certification earned in vocational schools, thereby putting employers at ease.
There's also a need for people to invest in such schools instead of building another university. Vocational schools will help to even out the workforce and lessen the amount of people fighting for one job.
In summary, not every Nigerian should go to university. In the title I said 50% shouldn't go, but I believe the number is greater.
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