Half Baked Graduates?True Reflections
While walking to work this morning, a thought popped in my head.You see I had been wondering on what next I should post since, and has really been finding it a difficulty coming up with any write up that will not be techie inclined.When you have profession and occupation like mine that keeps you online most work hours, you tend to see life only from the view point of URLs,links, code,tools,freeware etc. Even ordinary everyday things like eating becomes virtual….So I wanted write something inspirational or motivational.
In my reflections I became reminded of an email which I sent to some who was and still is a stranger to me.Though I never did get a reply, nonetheless, I am proud of the composition and as many times as opportunity will me the chance tell people about it as well as the incident that precipitated the writing and sending of the mail itself.I have chosen to recal it and post it to you.I hope that when you read it, you’d learn a thing or two.Here it is below:
Hello Mrs Kolapo,
I read your article published in The Punch of May 16th, 2008 on the back page. I actually was intruiged by the subject you were discussing on our ‘half baked graduates’.It kept me busy while waiting for a friend to finish her transaction at a bank in Ikota Shopping Complex.
Let me state upfront that the contents of this response may offend you as I am going to be as frank as I with my opinion on the issue at hand.When airing my views on anything which I am passionate about sometimes I can be outrightly blunt to a fault.
You stated that you noticed that in the recent strategic repositioning done by UBA for its crusade to global competitiveness only 20% of the manpower engaged graduated from Nigerian universities.The remaining 80% prefered who are foreign graduates indicate the extent of resentment that institutions are begining to show for our own graduated products.One question dat automatically came to my mind was dat “if those two appointed with Nigerian education could have what it takes to match their foreign trained counterparts….does our situation seem as hopeless as some people seem to have made it to appear”? “If professor Soludo said 80% of our graduates are unemployable, how come the employable 20% were produced by an equal and same system”.How does an oven produce full baked and halfbaked confectionery simulteanously when they all stayed in the oven for an equal period of time? Does the sentiments of one organisation no matter how high in regard we place it reflect the view of a wider society?I beg to honestly disagree.
To assume that our universities is producing only half baked, thus unemployable graduate is a myopic view of the issue at hand because these universities account only for a percentage of our entire tertiary education system.What about the Polytechnics, colleges of education, monotechnics, vocational training schools, training institutes, seminaries etc and other schools too numerous to mention who sometimes even have a stake to send participants for the NYSC scheme.Are the products of those half baked too? Besides does every graduate produced by our universities have to end up in an employment? What is wrong with deploying their education in a productive self employment? Why do employers complain of half bakeduniversity products while at the same time use them to discriminate against their counterparts from other schools, especially the polythecnics? Who is fooling who? If you cannot find who you are looking for out of a university, what stops you from considering the product of another type of institution if he/she has what it takes?
Let’s address some hard truths; In any venture of learning when it comes to knowledge, information, education the primary point of reference is the LEARNER not the SYSTEM.Which explains why even ivy league and prestigious schools abroad (including the ones that the UBA 80% attended) have their fair share of drop-outs and not-do wells.Not every Havard, Cambridge or Wits graduate have turned out well at both the process or performance level. The product of a Nigerian university can turn out well and product of a foreign one turn out bad vice-versa depending on the attitude of the individual in question to learning as an entire task.I personally know the first cousin of a friend who was sent to an american university by his wealthy parents when my own friend had to settle first for Federal Polytechnic, Idah and latter Federal University Of Agriculture, Makurdi in the early 90’s.Today the ‘Americana acada’ is a drop-out with no skills, no job, no income and a constant source of sorrow to his family while the ‘local champion’ (who had to do his undergraduate work during the Abacha years) is the opposite.Which explains the reason why YOU thought you had missed a lot during your study years in Unilag upon being at that American university.If the library of your then school was ill equiped, how well did you make use of the facilities available through the over seven other public library that I personally know in Lagos alone (definately there’s moreout there) most run as information service centre’s of foreign missions?.
You’ll be amazed at how many of our beloved ‘undergraduates’ are in school to acquire certificates without education.They will buy and sleep their way with lecturers through school up till ‘graduation’ so that they will not experience discrimination at work and in life.I PERSONALLY DATED ONE SUCH TWO YEARS AGO. Before we started she claimed to me to have read so and so from that and that university and as we progressed she developed more than enough explanations as to why could not progress to national service or get a proper employment.
The half baked ones that come from our schools are so BECAUSE THEY CHOOSE TO.No one who has basic education has the excuse to remain ignorant…..but may do so if they so chose. There’s too much opportunity for personal development available in our age.If you doubt me simply consult the world wide web.
That does not excuse the SYSTEM (secondarily) though.Since you (we)have identified the lapses in the system…what has Professor Soludo done or helped us with to address the issue and remedy the situation.I have very little respect for opinions from people who only tell us what is wrong without telling us what to do as to make it right. Since you came out of that system and Professor Soludo also did and on top of that has a say in the government, should’nt it be that he help us out of the situation rather than complain?If the oven does not bake properly, what do we do to repair or possibly replace it?
I hope this helps.
Humorous as it might sound, I never got a reply from her.Sad, is’nt it?