Have you ever wonder why most Nigerian citizens who go overseas to school would graduate with firstclass honours but if the same students were to school in a Nigerian University,they would graduate with a secondclass lower or a thirdclass probably.
Every time we watch television, we see Nigerians in diaspora excelling in academics and we wonder if they are better than home based students.
I once watched a program on channels television titled “authors kid book club” featuring young Nigerian writers who schooled overseas and all of them were interviewed to have graduated with first class honours.After the program, I asked my self this question.
“Would they have been able to graduate with what they claim if they had schooled in Nigerian universities?”
Whenever I pose this question to Nigerian students, especially those at the Federal University of Technology Minna, I get a lot of response and sometimes they result to serious arguments.Some of the Nigerian students feel inferior when they realised that their fellow Nigerians overseas are doing better than them in academics and others will just say “all fingers are not equal”.
These are some of the responses I received from my fellow students schooling in Nigerian Universities
NIGERIAN SCHOOLS ARE TOUGHER
When you look at the structure of the schools in Nigeria especially the tertiary institutions,you will immediately see the rigid structure in the academic activities ranging from they way students receive lectures to the nature of the exam questions.
Being a student in a Nigerian university, I personally have first hand experience on the stress that Nigerian students go through in the academic process which is very disheartening
Nigerian University do admit over 5,000 students in every session. Take for instance, The vice chancellor Federal university of technology minna, Prof Musbau Akanji is quoted to have said during the 2016/2017 matriculation ceremony for the newly admitted students that “a total of 15,951 applied to futminna through UTME and 3,806 through direct entry but the university could only admit 5,141 students”. The problem with admitting the aforementioned number of students is that they end up having limited classrooms to receive their various lectures.
Imagine over 3,000 students imbibing lectures in a lecture theatre meant for 1,000 students.The result is that some would be seated on the floor, others would stand and the rest would sit on the windows with hot air in circulation meanwhile their fellow citizens in diaspora are seated under air conditioned classrooms to have their lectures and yet we still compare being in Paradise to being in hell.
The nonfavourable learning environment not withstanding,thousands of our Nigerian students still graduate in the second class upper division,some with first class and the rest with second class lower. For instance, in 2015/2016 Federal university of technology minnna convocations conferred 34 students with first class, 790 with second class upper division and the rest with second class lower with 70 pass degree which the university no longer accept
The mode of examination in Nigerian University expect you to know too much about too many and I say this from my experience of being a student in a Nigerian university
Some lecturers will teach one particular aspect of a course but will expect you to know every thing related to that course and if you don’t, you will end up counting ceiling and chewing your pen in examination hall.
The method they use in setting the questions is an issue on its own.A lecturer will teach one thing but will end up bringing something different entirely in the examination and even the question papers will be different individually thereby leaving no room for exam malpractice.
For instance, you might be answering a paper type of A with questions entirely different to the person sitting close to you who might be answering a type B or C paper type and even if they realized that there is a leakage of questions before the examination, they always have a way of changing questions the very last minute to the exam.
Some few months ago, we heard the news that 437 out of 680 foreign trained Nigerian doctors failed the exam conducted by the Medical Dentals Council of Nigeria MDCN at the University if Ilorin teaching hospital which is very worrisome.Some of the excuses they gave for failing the exam were;Non coherent curriculum, the stress they went through to prepare for the exam and an alleged change of questions in the very last minute to the exam but when you look at the aforementioned excuses, they are the things that Nigerian students do undergo every time and that is the more reason why Nigerian tertiary exams are more difficult.What the so called doctors failed to realised is that” failure is not an excuse for alibi”and besides, the other doctors who passed all had one head
NIGERIANS ARE NATURALLY COMPETITIVE
The average Nigerian always believes that he needs to be the best in whatever he does and this no doubt usually enhance their performance in what ever they choose to do especially those in diaspora.
In school for instance, we see students pushing themselves hard just to secure the first position in their respective classes but when there is no competition, they will choose to settle for mediocrity
I have a friend who normally reads for about two hours but after being faced by some of his friends trying to top him in his class, he increased his reading time to over six hours.The same thing is applicable to those in diaspora, they study more than their colleagues and believe me when I say that “hard work normally reward those who deserve it”
NIGERIANS ARE GIFTED
Although I stated that hard work do reward those who deserve it, not all students who read will actually pass or pass very well because it takes a good student to read and pass far beyond average.
Nigerians are gifted in their inherent nature and we see it manifest in their academics and other walks of life.
We see Nigerians earning the respect of other countries because they’ve shown themselves to be good at what they do ranging from academics to the entertainment industry and other fields
When we take a look at the achievements of we Nigerians students, we realised that being a student in a Nigerian University and a Nigerian also is entirely something to be proud of due to the fact that in spite the diffculty we are subjected to, we always come out successful and most importantly, Nigerian students are better prepared to face the challenges of the real world. I will not be wrong by saying that “if a second class lower student in a Nigerian University is opportuned to school overseas, he/she would graduate with a first class honour.”