Monday, 18 March 2013

EDUNAIJA II: THE NIGERIAN STUDENT




Majority of our students have learning as the secondary reason why they are in school. Primary reasons range from: freedom from home, fun, status symbol, and the like. I know because it was the same for me, that's why I was so sad when I had to wait an extra year to get into school, and so surprised and angry with the level of work I had to do when I got in. "Is this what I have been struggling for"? I asked myself a couple of times, assignments, tests, pop quizzes, the thing tire me.


Learning became something I had to do, not the reason I was there. My head correct after some poor performances sha, them no dey tell blind man say rain dey fall na. But a lot of students, get stuck in this mode and hardly breakaway early enough to come out well, if they do at all.


if and when they do, they now have the unenviable discovery of being matched to the wrong course, either under or over challenged, but usual the later. Why? More often than not the reasons range from the student over estimating his/her own ability or underestimating the level of work needed to study the course (in addition to the choice of course being the handy work of someone else: parents). 


Rarely is it borne out of an interest in the course.Some even see it as a natural progression: science students naturally progress to read science related courses. So if there is an interest in the arts or social sciences, it does not matter, that has been reserved for the less "intelligent" students.


Distractions, let's not even go there. Them plenty, with the social kind being the most prominent chiefly among them, different forms of relationships. It is not unusual to see a girl being unable to do anything, and having her friends trying to console her inconsolable soul because her boo don break her fragile heart and don't for one minute think this is localized to the females alone, I don see correct bòbò when all men get to encourage on top heart break matter too. Others include recognition, occasionally business, and of course the new craze: social media.


 The average Nigerian student is content with doing just enough to pass. Unfortunately this has been brought about by the system most lecturers adopt. Research, innovation, discovery, and the like are rare. Holidays are a time to rest, not to brush up on what was learnt in school either in theory or practice. I cannot remember picking up my lecture notes to read during any of my holidays. It was just a time to rest from the “hectic” school schedule, party, play, and trade stories with other students from different schools. 


 Very few review their performance in their exams, seeking out correct answers to missed questions. Lecturers don’t, neither do the students, until they get to the carry-over class to take a second swing at it.


Ideally, students must be ready to face their studies, and come out with good grades and the ability to compete favourably with other students in the same field from other higher institutions. Sadly for the Nigerian student, this now includes students from foreign universities as more Nigerian students go abroad for studies and much more are coming back due to the lack of opportunities out there due to the global crisis. Now at days, the ease with which people move and interact makes it easier for them to end up on your turf or you on theirs. Whichever happens, there needs to be an acquisition of an appreciable level of competence to remain competitive and relevant in this continually shrinking world.



Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that school is just about books. Enjoy your stay, party, play, pray, and all what not, but not at the expense of your studies. Nothing available is worth trading for your studies, nothing I say. More so when your educational competence is the criteria with which you will most likely be judged by.


 People like Bill, Mark, Steve and a host of others who dropped out of school threaten to turn this post on its head, and make it a whole lot of crap; but it should be noted, that they had already acquired an appreciable level of required knowledge, competence and skill from high school coupled with an enabling environment for their reputable success. A luxury we don’t have in this part of the world as such, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.


  So as you decide to show up, make sure you show up ready to be counted and not just to make up the numbers. Here is a tip my uncle taught me when I was in school, it worked for me, and I bet it will for you too. STAY ON THE FRONT ROWS IN CLASS (preferably the first 3). To mention a few reasons why:

  • You hear directly from the lecturer’s mouth.
  • Distractions are limited if they exist at all.
  • You have a better chance of being asked a question, which will gauge your level of understanding of the topic.
  • Somehow, it helps you build a network of “efiko” friends that will come in academically handy.
  • It helps you build discipline and other like traits that come in handy later in life.


Greatest Nigerian student! Be more than all you are allowed to be and the sky will end up as your trampoline.


It is well with you.