Nigeria, the giant of Africa has been experiencing a retrogressive setback in the educational sector over the years, its pathetic situation is something worthy of notice. The regress in the educational sector is tiring and annoying.

It is of no news that the economic situation of Nigeria has dampened the educational sector and some people have argued that the government is to be blamed for taking the educational sector with levity.

In lieu of this degradation encountered by the educational sector, the youth for some years now have adopted the saying “School na scam” or probably “Education na scam”.

The term, “Education na scam” is a popular phrase used among Nigerian Youths to express how disappointing the educational sector is and the rate of unemployment in the country.

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However, some people believe that the phrase is used by some unserious students to justify their unserious attitudes, apparently the determined ones also joined the bandwagon to spread the popular saying “Education na Scam”.

Staggeringly, the phrase is commonly used due to the lack of employment despite the amount of money educational activities consume. Some undergraduates believe after their certificate in school, employment is not guaranteed, as the government has shown little or no interest in the proliferation of companies, rather they build more schools and leave the lecturers with empty stomach, owing them salaries for months.

Meanwhile, students have argued that the saying is encouraged because of the unemployment rate in the country despite high rate of tuition fees of some tertiary institutions and other expenses included.

Data Analysis on Unemployment.

Unemployment is currently a problem in Nigeria. According to the world bank record, Nigeria’s unemployment rate with advanced education was at 13.69% in 2016, and 15.3% in 2019.

The punch recently reported that unemployment in Nigeria has contributed negatively to the economic condition of the country.

In the report, the Executive National Board for technical education, Muhammed Bugaje explained that the rate of joblessness as at 2020 was 23.18 and Youth unemployment was at 53.4 per cent according to the National Bureau of statistics, analysing the aggregate unemployment rate to be 33.3 percent making the country to be the third country in the world unemployment rate.

“Sadly though, the youth unemployment rate of 53.4 percent by 2020 was an all-time high. This means as of 2020, about 13.9 million youths were unemployed. Many in the most vibrant segment of the population are thus locked out of the productive economy.

This inhibits the country’s productivity and entrenches poverty.The headwinds arising from the global economic crisis have hit Nigeria hard. The productive sectors are having a rough ride. Agriculture, mining and manufacturing are typically high job-creating sectors but suffer from the prevailing adverse operating environment. There is also the energy crisis, featuring high diesel, power and lubricant costs.” The secretary noted.

Moreso, the education data in Nigeria has revealed that the private tuition fees is three times the cost of state universities, stating that private tuition fee is 282.4% higher than public tuition, making it difficult for an average Nigerian parent to send their children to private universities, and the ASUU strike has devalued the public tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Whereas, students believe after the money spent employment is not guaranteed.

The current ASUU strike is another problem battling the educational sector. The Academic Staff Union of Universities has embarked on strike since February 14, which has been rolled over several times, but recently declared indefinite making it seems education is a scam.

It is also noted that the government is meticulous about other sectors trivializing the educational sector.

Recently the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, ANAP threatened to shut down the airport as a result of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, but the Federal Government immediately attended to it through the minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who pleaded with them that everything will be fixed.

“As the Ministry charged with the management of the industry, we are greatly concerned about the difficulties being faced by the airline operators in the country in procuring aviation fuel which has resulted in spiralling costs in Air transportation in the immediate past.”

With this movement, some students have explained that the federal government is concerned with other sectors but see education as an ignorable issue.

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From Students’ Perspectives.

In an attempt to get the students reactions as regards the saying, this reporter interviewed some students which they vehemently shared their opinions.

A finalist of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba akoko, Olawale Solomon, explained that education is not a scam but the government has made it to appear like a scam by trivializing issues pertaining to education.

He lucidly explained that those in the entertainment industry are highly awarded more than the students in school, and even a graduates who manage to secure a job get meager amount as salary.

He noted “If you take a look at it well when the aviation sector threatens to go on strike immediately they find solutions to it because they are affected”

Olawale however pleaded the government to create more employment opportunities with high paying salary for the Youths.

While opposing the saying and explaining the concept behind it, Latifah Omowunmi, a penultimate student of Bayero University elucidated that those people fond of the saying are probably the sets that are not willingly interested in school but were forced by their parents.

“The facts confirm that many people get educated on the grounds that they were asked to or constrained by their parents or guardians to be educated.There is a long list of reasons to get educated if by some stroke of good luck you know the genuine significance of schooling”.

Latifah reiterated that people only attributed education to success whereas it is more than that,

Her words “I have seen and heard a lot of people talk about education and only attribute the purpose of getting an education to financial prosperity.

The yields of education aren’t all about financial prosperity even though one needs education to be rich.The general concept of getting educated has been blamed by many as inferred that a few educated people in a specific discipline in our society aren’t rich or well off, Education is fulfillment”.

She thereby advised the youth to get involved in vocational training and other digital skills that can aid their learning in school, urging the government to create job opportunities.

Speaking contrary to the opinion, a final year Student of political science of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba akoko ondo, Abdul-basit Olagoke critically noted that education is the best legacy and the best thing someone can attain.

Abdul-basit in his words reiterated that the disappointment people get from education is because of the fact that they see education as a way of becoming millionaires, stating that because the government has failed, they take it with levity and adopted the saying that “education is a scam”

He concluded that the way Nigerian Students attain education makes it a scam. “How we choose to educate ourselves is what has confused us to this present time, to assume, after secondary school, if a child goes to learn a skill of his choice, then after proceeding to a vocational school and later university, the child will do better in the job and society”

He therefore advised the government to take education with seriousness and give it the utmost priority it needs.

Contributing and expressing his own opinion, A student of Federal university of Katshere, Aanuoluwa Agboola asserted that many students joined the bandwagon of people uttering the statement because they want to feel included.

He stated that it is audible for the deaf and visible to the blind that an educated person can’t be compared to an illiterate.

“Education can never be a scam, we can only scam ourselves by not partaking in other beneficial online courses that can secure us a good job, or learning a digital or vocational skills that can aid our discipline in school”

Aanu therefore beseeched the government to provide enough resources to find the Educational sector.

“I don’t believe education is a scam. Although people that are not educated are presently believed to be rich but an educated person have many opportunities than an illiterate” Tolani Ibikunle

Omotolani Ibikunle, a sophomore student of Obafemi Awolowo University noted that education gives more opportunities. She urged the government to find lasting solutions to the lingering strike and provide adequate resources for tertiary institutions.

A final year student of Uthman Danfodio University, Promise Eze asserted that a lot of young people who believe that education is a scam do so because of the kind of response and attention the government is giving to education in the country, stating that some also say it to feel among.

Promise, however, beseeched the government to settle their scores with ASUU and allocate resources to tertiary institutions, stating that they should also provide job opportunities for graduates.

From Experts’ Angle.

Experts have critically opposed and analysed the saying, stating that the government have discouraged the students about education because of the unavailability of job in the country and the current situation of the education sector.

In his own view, Lekan Otufodunrin an award winning Journalist, currently working at media career, corroborated that education cannot be a scam even if it doesn’t meet their current expectation.

Lekan Otufodunrin explained that education that is well applied helps the graduates to be better based on the knowledge they acquire.

“The economic situation may have reduced opportunities, but those who have made up their minds to make the best of the situation are making progress.

Education should be enhanced with providing relevant knowledge for contemporary times”

The award winning Journalist explained that some of the students say it to feel among their peers.

While proffering solutions, the Journalist advised the government to provide enough resources for public tertiary institutions in Nigeria, most especially provide Job opportunity for the graduate with an appreciable amount as salary.

“The curriculum should be reviewed to ensure that they address current needs. We need more functional graduates, and we need more job opportunities in the country”

He however urged the students to rethink because education is unlearning, learning and relearning.” They also need to see beyond what they learn in their institutions but take advantage of additional learning online.

Education is not just the course they are studying, but how they can apply it to daily living.Two of my children studied History/ International Relations and Quantity Survey and are doing well as fashion entrepreneurs.The education they got gives them an edge than the uneducated fashion entrepreneurs.” He asserted.

Sharing her opinion, a lecturer at Adekunle Ajasin University, Mrs Alero Benson from the department of mass communication noted that the current situation of the country has made some students think education is a scam, but education is beyond what the country is experiencing presently.

She said “I do not believe education is a scam, however with the situation of the country, unemployment, some may want to believe education is a scam but it is not.How will someone go to school for years with ASUU’ strike and all the expenses, and at the end of the day there won’t be job to do, but still education is not a scam, because there are still some jobs out there and there are opportunities that you can only have access to only as a graduate.”

The lecturer however elaborated that education is beyond the four corners of school, it is about acquiring knowledge and being able to apply the knowledge.

“It is not about the kind of education in Nigeria now, when we are talking about education, we are talking about acquiring knowledge not just going to school because most of the time that’s what these youth do, just go to school without acquiring the knowledge and be shouting education is a scam”

While urging the Federal Government to prioritize education in the country and provide enough funds to tertiary institutions, Mrs Alero Benson also advised the youth to put their energy in any course they are studying in school, stating that what Is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

She asserted that this way, success is guaranteed and they can also apply what they learn in school in any vocational work they find themselves.

Mrs Benson however urged the government to build more companies, make job available for the youth and allocate enough resources to tertiary institutions.

Boluwatife Adedokun is a passionate journalist, who writes to ameliorate societal ills. As a young journalist, she aims to have a society devoid of corruptions by righting the wrongs with the power of pen. Her enthusiasm towards speaking for the masses has engendered her publication in different national dailies and she wish to be more impactful through her stories.

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