As University Students Return To Class … BY AGBA JALINGO

In Breaking News, Opinion

There is one alarm button I won’t stop pressing mainly because of the consequences of its imminent explosion. The piling number of thousands of graduating students without any skill or ability to solve any problem is something that we must not stop to talk about. While several of our country’s most disciplined pioneers and high performers scored so high only with high school education, many are churned out of tertiary schools today, and rather than arriving with problem-solving skills, they are becoming the problems that society is grappling to solve.

Carpenters, plumbers, vulcanizers, painters, tailors, and others who trained informally are toiling within the excruciating economy to offer their services daily and keep up with their families, yet a greater majority of graduates are just finishing their NYSC or MSc program, and returning home to begin a second childhood or returning to the same artisans they call illiterate, to learn a trade and then return home again.

Most of those returning from our ivory towers today can only recite their textbooks and authorities in their field of study. They cannot solve any practical problem including the ones related to their course of study. Ask even some of the most brilliant graduates that simple question, “Now you have graduated or you have a Master’s degree, what can you do, what value are you bringing or what problem do you think you can solve for our organization? A great lot will begin to stutter and face down or they start reeling out their CV as if that’s what you asked for.

That elevator pitch promptness to summarize your abilities and strength is stunted. And this situation is worsened by their superiority complex and ingrained sense of entitlement conferred on them by the certificate. They feel they are entitled to a job merely because they have graduated not because they have any problem-solving skills. They prefer that a person who can solve a problem, but did not graduate, be kicked out in preference for those who graduated even if they cannot solve any problem.

A combination of several factors has created this bizarre picture, many of which the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU and the government are tussling over. After an eight months hiatus, the classes have reopened without the resolution of the issues that resulted in their closure. That means another closure is only a matter of time. And this circuitous rigmarole will continue unabated to the detriment of students and the future of our country.

The students themselves must now re-invent the meaning and content of student activism and unionism and demonstrate the organizational depth to reclaim their campuses in words and deeds. NANS and its affiliates must return to history and study what motivated their predecessors like Segun Okeowo, Lanre Arogundade, Olusegun Mayeigun, Omoyele Sowore, Malachy Ugwumadu, Olasupo Ojo, Bamidele Aturu, etc.

The students must coalesce and invent an ingenious method of compelling the government and the teachers and every stakeholder in the education sector to declare an emergency, sit down in the real sense of sitting down and negotiate a return of their campuses to learning centers instead of killing fields, scam theaters and hook up arenas, that they have become.

Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes in from Lagos.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with

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