• [Opinion] Licensing More Universities in the Country is Needless

    The approval of operational licences for nine private universities by the Federal Government to increase the numbers of private tertiary institutions in the country to 60 is one decision that ache my heart so much. And I begin to have a rethink whether the government is serious about elevating university education to standards obtainable in developed countries.

    It came as a surprise watching the government of the day flaunting the establishment of 12 new universities in the last four years as achievement to boost quality education. But, it has not told the public how viable and competitive the new universities are.

    At least, some people will still praise the government for “transforming” our economy to the biggest in Africa even though many will still argue standard of living still remains what it is used to be in the last 16 years. But what is the achievement about our new universities?

    The last time I checked, none of our universities is ranked among the 1,600 best in the world according to Webometrics – the world ranking system, which rates quality of the content and teaching in universities and publishes on the web.

    How many Nigerian universities are considered for rating by the British QS ranking – a system which evaluates quality content, data citation and quality of graduates of world universities? And most painfully is that, our universities do not enjoy good rating in Africa where Nigeria prides itself as giant. All these best summarise how bad our universities are.

    It is as if the government is playing to the gallery in reviving the falling education standard. Today, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is still battling the government for its failure to implement the 2009 agreement reached by both parties to improve the standard of education and research.

    The union maintains that it is only a total implementation of this agreement that can arrest and reverse the decay in the university system. The union has at several times accused the government of not showing commitment; what the government has so far been doing, according to ASUU, is no more than a repeat performance of its action, using deception, lies, propaganda, mischief and other shenanigans to whip lecturers into line.

    Given the parlous state of education, one feels sorry for the future of this country. The state of infrastructure and teaching facilities is the most perilous. It is normal to see students of Chemistry using kerosene-stove for practical experiment, instead of Bursen burner. The decay of public universities’ laboratories may provoke tears from patriotic citizens.

    Yet, the Federal Government gave scholarship to students who managed to have a First Class to any best 25 universities around the world. One will wonder if it is a crime for the government to also develop our universities to be ranked among the elite school of the world.

    No serious government will continue to build more universities when the existing ones are in a dismal state. The popular mantra “the more the merrier” is not applicable in a terrible situation.

    Most of the licensed private universities are no better than glorified high schools in the true sense of word. In reality, they are nowhere near our decayed public universities in term of infrastructures, researches and manpower. Even, some of the proprietors of the private varsities have been asking for government’s support to survive.

    Apart from the fact that they are parasites that is endangering and threatening to kill the public universities, hardly can some of these private school pay salaries of qualified lecturers and professors; they relied heavily on lecturers of public varsities that work on part-time basis.

    In 2012, I watched the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, analysing the many challenges facing Nigeria’s public universities during the 36th Convocation Lecture of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS). He listed the challenges to include funding, inadequate research, infrastructure and suchlike; it is needless to say the government is not unaware of the situation of our universities but why is it that, almost three years down the line, no serious action has come from the government to reposition our varsities?

    The consequence of the present trend is that, while the government continues to encourage and even build more universities for the sake of scoring political points or to appease the ‘friends of government’, the system will continue to sink and we will continue to produce half-baked graduates. At the end, other people from other land will have to run our affairs and we may later end up as slaves on our land.

    Written by Ibrahim Jatto (a Zoology graduate from Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto)

    Submit News/Articles for publication on CampusPortal Nigeria via the link below;
    https://campusportalng.com/submit-newsarticles/ or  e-mail info@campusportalng.com
    Stay updated with all STUDENTS News plus other Nigeria Education news; Always visit www.CampusPortalNG.com.

    Your comments are appreciated, let us know your thoughts by dropping a comment below

    Don’t forget to share this news with your friends using the Share buttons below…


    ©2024 CampusPortalNG.com No 1 Information Portal for Nigerian Students