Monday, February 25, 2008

University life in Nigeria

Be warned, its grim. No equipment, no books, cultism, widespread sexual harassment of female students, no jobs at the end of it. I met a comp science graduate of a well-known university here who had never touched a computer during their degree. And I recall another chemistry graduate who had not touched a test tube.. Don't click if you are already feeling down on Nigeria.


Anonymous,  5:11 pm  

It really is this grimy and worsr- heck i went to UNILAG and i couldnt stay at Moremi Hall cos the kitchen and bathroom werent fit for human beings!so came from home throughout the 5years it took to read law....
got the shock of my life when i went for NYSC camp in Lagos , mind you, can post the pics of the bathrooms i took to show my folks(as justification for bailing outta camp).... the sad thing was that a lot of people got used to it and felt some of us were feeling 'too janded' for camp!! i couldnt get over how nobody seemed to mind the camp conditions and retarded officials!!
I can write an epistle on this... people need to realise they should NOT ACCEPT to live in such conditions

Toks- Boy 5:28 pm  

Oh Jeremy. You and your lofty ideals. Always aiming too high. I beg forget the Universities.

What about nursery, primary and secondary? Is it any different? No. Even the so called International schools. Please.

Our daughter is changing from Chemistry to Geagraphy because she is used to having a lab and you know doing some experiemnts which apparently is a novel idea at their current school.

We have had to buy laptops for them as the PCs at the school were out of date to say the least. The Headmaster explained that 4 years ago when they put it out to tender the person that "won" the tender then made of with most of the money. I mentioned the fact that I would hope that considering that we are paying the thick end of $30k for two students that the school could spring for a new laptop. But alas it seems the "owners" of the school have other priorities for the money rather than wasting it on educational materials.

Needless to say neither I, nor the girls are impressed so I cannot begin to imagine what life must be in the non -International schools.

Meanwhile we have a Minister for Education who you will see flying about in convoy. Wonder what the Education budget is spent on? How much were they given in this year's budget?

Anonymous,  7:58 pm  

toks-boy? $30,000 for schools without up-to-date equipment? :-) He he he! You've been 419-ed.

I went to secondary school (until 2002) in Nigeria, and my tuition was only about $300 per year. And guess what, I got myself a top-class education, complete with computers and all - and today I am at America's #1 or #2 ranked college, Princeton University, where I fit right in. Indeed the transition was seamless. I think this is the problem with some people in Nigeria: before you fork out 30k for your kids' education, you'd best check other schools in the area and see that this is the best there is.

Na wa for una o. $30,000 for secondary school? I don laff tire.

Repeat after me Four Wan Nine.

Anonymous,  9:43 pm  

I too went to a nigerian secondary & university, and I'm currently running a masters programme in the USA,and I fit right in, so abeg make una go with una nigerian horror stories. Agreed our secondary schools dont have PC's how can there, when we dont have power supply, but almost everyone knows how to use a computer, there are cybercafes everywhere. If you meet graduates that dont know how to, then you are hanging with the wrong crowd. The situation in Nigeria and Africa generally is bad, nobody is denying it but abeg Nigerians have a responsibility to themselves to make the best use of the situation. The government has failed us, must we also fail ourselves?
@toks boy, did you mean dollars or naira?

Waffarian 10:16 pm  

Eheheheh, hehehehe, na today una know? na only God save me say I no catch any disease from boarding house!

@anonymous: I got a top class education too but no thanks to my useless secondary school. It was all thanks to ME. My secondary school offered what every Nigerian "good" government school offered, a whole lot of textbooks and theories. However, with an inquisitive mind and a nose for people that have libraries, I managed to "fill up" the missing bits and pieces.

At this point, let me thank the expatriate community in Warri for opening their doors and indulging me.I thank the Americans for supplying me with old copies of national geographic, readers digest, country living and "rescue 911" tapes. I thank the British community for all the great classic novels and introducing me to "bar music", "oh carol" is always a favourite. I thank the German community for the old tapes of "top of the pops" and recordings of winter olympics every year.Thanks to the romanians for giving me a whole carton of "mill and boons" and other sexy novels that got me into big trouble. Thanks to the Russians for introducing me to the piano and realising in time that my fingers were not made for it. It's the thought that counts. But most of all, thanks to my strong legs that enabled me to walk the different miles to the different estates, and earned me the nick name "wakajugbe".

Anonymous,  11:17 pm  

waffarian, i also went to school in nigeria, and despite what the schools was lacking, I was very well prepared, in fact I was superior to the students I rant into here in the states. You may thank all the foreigners you want, but maybe you should also ask your parents why they didnt get you into a better school. I thank Nigeria for the great education it gave me despite the poor facilities.

bisola,  11:41 pm  

toks boy habaaa!!! $30k for a school with no equipment? Dat is ehn, you qualify for some serious kpas kpas o! How you siddon look wey den dey 419 you na? whish levels my guy, you no try o!

But on a serious note, how is it possible that you're paying that much for a school and you've adopted this 'oh that's nigeria' attitude? Sounds to me like you have more money than sense please. And I seriously doubt your story jo because i know most of the secondary schools that you'd be paying close to that amount at are certainly well equipped.

'Yar Mama 3:00 am  

The situation is really grim. Understandably now every parent wants to send their kids out of the country, even if it is just to Ghana or Niger. Amazingly, our children leave our non-equipped schools and fit right into the best universities in the world where they sometimes excel. So just imagine if they had the best foundation from the beginning....

Anonymous,  10:54 am  

Why is anyone 'hatin' on toks-boy- he ain't spending your money now!!!

anyway- i schooled in naija all the way thru to law school but those unilag conditions were crazy!

I was an elected memeber of the student body when i wa sin the faculty of law at Unilag and... when i raised issues with the fact that there was only one student toilet facility, people thought i was crazy... i was on the tip of why is there always water on the floor,warawara but obviously that didnt faze anyone least of all the leech of a Dean...

the moral of the story is Nigerians do excel despite and inspite of...but we shouldn't accept these conditions. It does mirror the society but its up to people to choose the environment they live in.

Oshodi and indeed Lagos is the way it is because peple keep tossing stuff out of cars and not being careful...its a lack of education but the pity is that those pictures are from a Univeristy for pete's sake- people who are meant to know better....

and don't y'all b hating on Waffarian- it just shows that you have to develop yourself cos no one else is going to do it for you. Kudos to her.

As for everyone who has discovered they rate better than their american/foreign counterparts- not one bit surprising...Hot Nigerians are Hot.. full stop...daft ones are daft... we have both in my masters class
cheers Jeremy.

PS sorry for the epistle

Waffarian 12:24 pm  

@anonymous: would it have mattered if I thanked foreigners or Nigerians? the point I was trying to make, which you missed, was that no matter which school you are in the WORLD, the responsibility of getting knowledge and information ultimately rests on your shoulders. I too, have met many Nigerians that have studied in (according to them) the best secondary schools in Nigeria (private and government) and the best universities abroad, yet when they open their mouths, I begin to cry inside at the waste of money. On the other hand, I have also met people that have gone to schools in the villages and yet succeeded in getting themselves well educated.

The same applies to students everywhere around the world, schools can only do so much, but there are lots of gaps that the students have to fill themselves. Sometimes, we are lucky to have parents and relatives that might have a wealth of information and knowledge, sometimes tv channels such as discovery or animal plantet might be useful, the internet is also useful if you can distinguish between useless information and knowledge.

I do not think I have ever stopped learning and I do that not because I am in school. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself: "what is education to you?"

Is it having the best grades in science subjects? is it being fluent in four languages or more including latin? is it being able to use computers and write essays with introduction, analysis and a conclusion? is it having a good moral background from subjects such a religious knowledge or Islam? Is it being able to play sports such as cricket and lacrosse? or, is it just a good solid preparation for a future work life? or perhaps, a solid preparation to be a functional member of the society?

You see, you will have to define what education is, to you, or rather, "being well prepared". Was it the school that made you well prepared? or did you do that yourself with help from family and maybe even friends?

Tunde 12:23 pm  

Adding my own 5 kobo's worth on Tok's school situation, I know how hard it is to get into the better schools even when you have your money, however IMO one of the major problems our country has is that people accept sub standard service simply because everyone tells them, that's just the way it is, no sir, I really hope you are school searching as we speak, $15k and no facilities they are taking the piss, I understand why fees are that high, Naija is not a cheap place to operate, but for N2m per kid I demand an equivalent level of education I get in the UK for my £10k a year (why did I have to have kids, that's the lease on a 911)

As for those of you claiming that Nigerian govt schools are not all bad, get real, text books non-existent, many of the teachers struggle with speaking and writting English, let alone teaching it.

As for most of the Uni students, lets take computer studies as an example, so they can use Yahoo, big deal, the literacy levels in most of the 419 letters (and don't tell me it's all by design, 419 eater anyone) speaks for itself, since a lecturers’ salary can't feed a family very few decent lecturers remain in the system, if you don't have decent teachers, and are using handouts based on 30 year old textbooks then you are in trouble before you start, try asking them what Moore's Law is, or what an ERP is, or object orientated programming.

The system is broken, the fact that a few exceptional people can succeed means nothing.

omidanbellafricaine 9:50 pm  

tsk tsk naija people una dey blind .... i get tired of hearing people talk about naija not being that bad or complaining that the international media has a way demonizing living conditions in naija, some group on facebook aiming to show the "nigeria the international community never sees" could only come up with miserly photos of obudu cattle ranch ... face your reality in nigeria you are surrounded in squalor even if you lived in gated community 4 lekki or PH all u need to do is drive around in your air conditioned car within ten minutes u will find slums ... but then i guess we have to come up with some mechanisms/excuses to protect us from the harsh reality ko? suffering and smiling.....

Jack Slater 6:34 am  

I dont know about you guys, but the real travesty is the 80 naira for fried rice at Ma's Kitchen. Chai!

Okay I kidd but its a pretty sad scenario. How bad does your room have to be for you to sleep outside?

Anonymous,  1:13 pm  

Okay so nigeria is that bad, what y'all doing about it? Waiting for another round of colonialism I guess. This time from China. Thats the Nigerian dream. Complain and complain and complain yet do nothing.Who made these so called oyinbo schools, which I insist is overrated, what it is? Their people. What do the Nigerian people do about their own situation? run and embrace the onyibo whom they see as some sort of 'gods'. I guess since they can make things work and the Nigerian can't.

Nine 1:28 am  

Been there,done that,have the T-shirt.
@anonymous 1
There is nothing the eye has seen that has made it weep blood.Adapt and overcome,my brother.

PS I have to admit,my secondary school Physics teacher almost ruined physics for me.Thank God for science fiction.

femi 2:22 am  

u guys should just shut the hell up.
Who do the bloody brits think they are to go around naija highlighting our problems.

I frankly feel that they need to kick the bbc out the country. Yes Nigeria is a developing country with problems , so what ? these problems are not unique to Nigeria. They need to focus on their problems in the U.K . and not go about with their hypocritical self rightheousness.

Nigerian students pay close to nothing when it comes to college education , so why do they think they deserve the very best of facilities. When they are paying what amounts to 200 dollars a year or even less.

Pinky4luv,  7:11 am  

Evry 1 of u is jst findin d fault,i went to secondary sch in nigeria,nd i can proudly boast of my was worth it

Anonymous,  7:28 pm  

Hmmm. I finished ma secondary education in nigeria too. That doesnt worth it at all but it shaped me nd made me wo i am today. D only time naija's wil no gud foundational education is when those in authority realises nd act on d situation. Even d masses are not excluded

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