By Saheed Ibrahim
Nigerian students will continue to struggle for foreign education as long as employers give preference for foreign certificates, no proper funding of autonomy financial autonomy for public institutions and lack of education supports for the youths.
This was the submission of academics on the recent upsurge in the number of Nigerian students migrating to other countries, especially the United Kingdom, Canada and the US, for foreign education.
A Deputy Director, at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Dr Babatunde Asenuga, has said Nigerians will continue to leave the country to study abroad if employers continue to give preference to foreign certificates.
While making suggestions for the mass relocation of Nigerians to foreign countries for education purposes, Asenuga advised that Nigerians should learn to value its certificates above that of other countries.
He said, ”Nigerians need reorientation to accept its own. Foreign certificates are given more preference at job interviews than local certificates, this practice has to be stopped if we do not want citizens to keep leaving for foreign education.”
Asenuga added that if the government and private sector would collaborate and employ quality hands to teach, Nigerians would not see the need to travel out for education.
“Education in Nigeria can still be redeemed if the federal, state government and private owners of our university agree to make it work. This does not have to do with funding education properly alone as no foreign university is cheap but if they collectively employ the best to deliver quality education, people will have no need to go far for quality education,” he said.
Also speaking, Dr Ezekiel Omoshaba of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, stated that to reduce the desire of Nigerians travelling out for foreign education, it was important for Nigerian universities to collaborate with their foreign counterparts.
”Collaboration with foreign universities is a must and lecturers from there should be able to teach our students and we should be able to do the same and with technology, it is so easy.”
Omoshaba also advised that ”the govt must be ready to increase the budget of education to least 20 per cent as recommended by UNESCO. They should grant public universities autonomy, revitalise the university system, and overhaul the curriculum of all courses to global standards, affordable school fees should be arrived at because tertiary education can’t be free.
“Bursaries should be provided for indigent students by their state and local governments. Industries must partner with universities for new innovative solutions, welfare package of lecturers must be encouraging.’’