More and more Nigerians are graduating from higher institutions of learning, but majority of them have become like a completed project that adds little or no value to the labour force, since companies now see them as unemployable.

Several reasons have been given for the poor performance of graduates when tested for jobs.

Let us trace it back a bit.

Bounce News stumbled on a score sheet of a lecturer in one of the universities in Nigeria and the sorry state of our education sector was visible in that document.

Failure was all it could be described as.

Sometimes a lecturer could be blamed for his/her student’s failure but the failure in this score sheet, the lecturer told Bounce News, was foundational.

“They do not even know tenses and their spellings are woeful. You do not expect me to begin to teach them this as part of my course that is not English Language related,” the lecturer stressed.

Actually they are supposed to have learnt that in primary and secondary levels.

What has caused this woeful performance?

A school identified by the West African Examination Council as a miracle centre (a school which aids and allows students to engage in examination malpractice) was recently sealed off in Ngwa, Abia State, a Nigerian eastern state.  

Examination malpractice is increasing and the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Abiodun Ogunyemi, fears the trend - poor performance and examination malpractice - will continue except a few foundational problems are addressed.

He told Bounce News that there were angles to the issue of malpractice in Nigeria and highlighted them.

Everyone seems to have a hand in what he described as a cancer that is fast killing the standard of education.

"First we must examine the role that homes play.

"How well are the parents discharging their responsibilities, in terms of ethical upbringing of their children so that they can shun what is evil.

"Before a child thinks of cutting corners, the child must have the support of the family," ASUU President said.

The larger society also shares from the situation and Professor Ogunyemi says the “values that we promote in our society is not such that promote hard work.

“As long as we continue like that - people get wealthy and we don’t ask for the source of their wealth; people get certificates and we don’t ask for how they arrived at such certificates – things will get worse.

examination score sheet shows what miracle centres

“Parents go as far as buying leaked papers for their children because they want to present their children as brilliant in the eyes of the society.

"We need to go back and address the general values - materialism, certification, undeterred glory and celebration,” he emphasised.

Lost Hope In The System

Parents seem to have lost hope in the system, as the cost of sending a child to a private school has increased even faster than their wages. 

“We will not spend so much money on their education per term and also see the child fail which will result in spending more,” a parent who requested that he should not be named said.  

Public schools are now a shadow of themselves when compared to what they were like in the late 70s and early 80s.

The President of ASUU emphasised that the government which is supposed to moderate our values, set standards and provide an enabling environment for positive value to thrive have failed to do so.

“Those who are in government, how do they present themselves to the larger society?

"They promote corruption, cutting corners and unethical values themselves. They are also not in a position to assert themselves as the moderating force for the development of positive values and ethics in the society.

“It is something that must be addressed holistically and if not, Miracle Centres will continue to increase,” he added.

Who will bail the cat?

In Nigeria’s budget, the government has continued to appropriate funds less than half of the 26% recommended by UNESCO to education and they have continued to express optimism that the education system will improve.

But a nation is only as developed as its education system.