There is a common statement among Nigerian Students and even graduates. It is that “you can only tell when you get in but not when you’ll get out”. This statement has little or nothing to do with having a smooth sail as it concerns grades while in school.
Rather, it is that strike actions can and will most likely disrupt the academic calendar. As a result, students end up spending more time in school than they should. How about I give you one pathetic example of how this has played out for one Nigerian student. You should know that at the time of writing this, this person now practices as a medical doctor.
This person (name withheld) tutored me when I was about to take my Junior WAEC examinations. At that time, he had just completed his pre-degree program in LAUTECH (Ladoke Akintola University of Technology) and was offered admission to study Medicine. I would go on to spend an additional 3 years in secondary school, waited 2 extra years at home, spent a little over 3 years in the university, served for one year, and guess what?
This person had still not completed his studies. And mind you, this had nothing to do with his academic performance. He was just a victim of a failed academic system. One that was plagued by frequent strike actions. This is no doubt pathetic but it has become the new normal for Nigerian students.
At least, it is the awaiting fate for those who cannot afford private tertiary education or get their tertiary education outside the shores of the country. So, what then can be done to address this problem?
The answer lies in coming up with new legislation but the right one. This legislation would require public office holders to send their kids and wards only to government-funded and operated schools. This is normal practice in many developed nations but far from the case in Nigeria.
Almost all major political office holders in the country have their kids and wards study outside the country. As a result, they do not understand or accept the true realities of how bad the system has become. Or better still, they are more or less concerned as they lose nothing.
This is a negative irony, to say the least. The formulation of such legislation will be in the best interest of the general masses. This is because no one would want to have his/her kid or ward schooled under a terrible education system.