Over the years, the phrase “Education na scam” has become a common colloquialism among Nigerian students.

Some argue that this trend stems from the government’s neglect of the education system, while others attribute it to the lack of employment opportunities, which has led people to question the value of education.

In this interview with an education expert, we will delve into the reasons behind this perception among students and explore potential solutions moving forward.

Interviewer: What is your name and educational qualifications?

Respondent: My name is Dr. Aminu Lateef, Ph.D. in Education Policy and Reform. I have over 15 years garnered experience in policy and education.

Interviewer: Let’s dive into the topic at hand.

Why do some students perceive education as a scam?

Respondent: It’s a complex issue, but some students view education as a scam due to factors like rising tuition costs, lack of practical relevance in some programs, and concerns about post-graduation job prospects. They may feel that they’re not getting sufficient value for their investment.

Interviewer: What role does the perception of student loan debt play in this view of education as a scam?

Respondent: Student loan debt is a significant factor. Many students graduate with substantial debt burdens, and the fear of being saddled with loans for years, or even decades, can lead to feelings of being scammed, especially if their degree doesn’t lead to a well-paying job.

Interviewer: Some argue that degrees don’t guarantee employment. How can educational institutions address this concern and make education more relevant to job markets?

Respondent: Educational institutions should collaborate closely with industries to design programs that align with current job market demands. Additionally, they should emphasize practical skills, internships, and co-op opportunities to enhance students’ employability.

Interviewer: What about the perception that some courses lack real-world applicability? How can universities bridge this gap?

Respondent: To address this issue, universities should regularly review and update their curricula to include practical skills and industry-relevant content. They should also encourage faculty with industry experience to share their insights and provide more hands-on learning experiences.

Interviewer: Are there ways to make education more affordable and reduce the financial burden on students?

Respondent: Yes, several strategies can help. Scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs can make education more accessible. Additionally, universities can explore cost-effective online learning options and open educational resources to reduce the financial strain on students.

Interviewer: How can we rebuild trust in the value of education among students who see it as a scam?

Respondent: Rebuilding trust requires a concerted effort from educational institutions, government agencies, and employers. Transparency about program outcomes, financial accountability, and strong career support services can help demonstrate the value of education beyond just obtaining a degree.

Interviewer: Lastly, what’s the way forward to address these concerns and ensure that education is seen as a worthwhile investment?

Respondent: The way forward involves a collaborative effort among educational institutions, policymakers, and businesses. It requires adapting curricula to meet real-world needs, offering financial support, and actively working to improve the post-graduation job prospects of students. By addressing these issues, we can rebuild trust in the value of education and make it a genuine investment for all

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