I have read a lot of economic papers/statements on Nigeria. At first, I took them very personal and found faults in every negative thing said about Nigeria. That a graduate in Nigeria is much less productive than a graduate in US. That our primary schools are filled with unmotivated and poor quality teachers, such that it's not uncommon to find students with Primary School Leaving Certificates who can't read and write well. And the secondary schools are just slightly better.
I still find faults in these statements but it's because I know of exceptions. Unfortunately, the exceptions are very few. In fact, I used to think I'm an exception, until I met reality. It's almost like starting my education all over after University. I even bought English grammar books. I had to teach myself almost everything from scratch. And to keep in touch with reality, and not the delusion I see around, I joined several global job boards and forums. I'm constantly assessing myself from a global standpoint. How do I stand in the international labour market?
Every major industry in the world started from the Schools. The internet we are crazy about now has being in existence since the 1960s, used by students in Universities. The entire personal computing industry started in the universities. Most of the big companies started as a student's research project. The multi-billion dollar oil refining industry began as an interest of a University student in finding an alternative to whale oil. The entire aviation industry is the result of over a 1000 years of research publications. If a tree is judged by its fruits, then the universities in Nigeria are not good.
There are Nigerians who have written world changing research papers, all while in a foreign university.
While in my final year, some of us tried to do a real project. Something unique, not done before. Most of us gave up when we saw the task involved. A friend got stuck for months at getting components; the foreign company that sells the components only sell in bulk. Some mechanical students couldn't get the special type of metal/alloy needed for their projects; the only metals in Nigeria are Steel, Aluminium and Iron. A set before us that tried building a car ended up using heavy metals for the car body. Students in Sciences limited themselves to the test equipment they have, mostly old equipment.
And as for the reason for this. Fingers are pointing everywhere -- the government, the lecturers, the university boards, the students, the parents, no funding, e.t.c. But there's one thing you and I can do. We can let this educational decay die with us. We shouldn't pass it on to the next generation. Ensure your (future) child gets a proper education. Education is only as expensive as books and a teacher. Make sure your child meets the learning targets of every stage of his education. Some of the people we study their works in school were self educated and learned everything they knew from reading. No matter how not-so-rich you are, buy and make your child read quality books. Let him enjoy reading. Be his part-time teacher, if you can't afford one. Don't let us pass on this decay. Learning is not exclusive to the inner walls of an educational institution. By making sure that your child meets the learning objectives of having a primary school education, a secondary school education, and a university education, you're building a new and better educational system for us. Whether you did this by schooling them in the best school on earth, or the almost free one you could afford and supplementing with lots of books and your time. It's a worthy sacrifice. They will replace the current politicians, current lecturers, current labour pool, and current parents. And soon, the exceptional brilliance we see in a few of our contemporaries will become a national norm. And Canadians will come here for their study abroad programs.