The rigorous disheartening and discouraging forever-taking processes involved in securing admission into a Nigerian university is no longer news. A young naive high school leaver re-affirms the hostility in our system when faced with the choice of either taking a “try-your-luck” exam tagged JAMB examination or staying at home for only God knows how long. It’s usually the survival of the luckiest, not fittest or brainiest. By the time one is frustrated after taking JAMB examination for 3-5 times (even more), watch some of their age and class mates graduate from the university while they are still struggling to secure an admission, see their interest in education diminish, their sharp and catchy brain become dull, their enthusiasm grow cold, self-confidence and level of understanding drop gradually by the day, most people give up. I wouldn’t fail to commend the few very determined ones who would forge ahead no matter what, but trust me, it ain’t easy…, not easy receiving lectures together with your 5-year successors, but who cares really? You’ve got no option anyway.
Parents sometimes, have to pay through their nose to influence their children’s and wards’ admission – what our system has turned into. Some other admission seekers are smart enough to “MANAGE” any course of study thrown at them, different from their choice. For yet others, once their first choice university does not offer admission, they are left at the mercy and ‘claws’ of their second-choice university, which more often than not, deals with them ruthlessly. Again, a graduate goes thru a whole lot in school to struggle for paid employment, regardless of the degree and grade bagged. Now, it’s a question of how strong your connection is, if you have any. If you ask me, at least 70% of yearly graduates in Nigeria should get employed to reduce the alarming unemployment and crime rates (mere wishful thinking though, but that does not mean if we get serious in Nigeria, we don’t have the capacity to even outdo). But the question remains: Are most of our graduates employable? – Question for another day’s discussion.
Have you made research to know the estimated number of university graduates yearly? According to a survey by Jobberman, a leading recruitment agency in the West African region, Nigerian tertiary education institutions produce up to 500,000 graduates every year and there are also Nigerian graduates who study abroad who come home to compete for jobs, not to talk of graduates of previous years who are unemployed. In our country, we see, for example, a graduate of Mechanical Engineering working as a cashier in a bank, a lawyer becoming a caterer, a Food Scientist having a career in make-up artistry and it applies to other disciplines. Funny enough, while seeking admission, Nigerian parents will always push their children into professional courses like: Engineering, Medicine and Surgery, Law, Accounting…, with the belief that they are the only disciplines which a fruitful, well-recognized and prosperous career can be built in and nothing short of that (well, that has always been their perception of life). Yet, we graduate with our Bachelor and Masters degrees to settle for ‘unprofessional jobs and rendering of services’. So, I ask, what’s the difference really? It’s only in foreign countries that you see young people proudly go to study music, painting, arts and the likes and build a sustainable career in them, with their parents supporting them each step of the way.
Salary is not always enough! If the desirable is not available, the available becomes the desirable. The real situation witnessed in Nigeria is that most graduates deal with a conflicting interest between their discipline and passion, which they end up practicing. Most times, their passion yields more than thrice their salaries. For some, they turn their passion into a full-time career. It’s called “Diversification” and it is highly recommended for graduates. There are real life experiences of graduates turned bloggers, hair stylists, caterers, event planners, make-up artistes, fashion designers, bakers…
What is your excuse? Get skillful. Get busy. Take that step. Stop complaining and blaming. Something is in you. It’s time to make a choice – THE CERTIFICATE OR DIVERSIFICATION?
Let’s hear your thoughts on this.