A lot of people have been talking to me recently about furthering their studies. The most recurring theme happens to be those who studied a different undergraduate course than what they are currently practicing (a discussion for another day). So, most feel the need to get a master’s degree in the field they currently work to advance their career options while some just want to deepen their acumen in the same area.
Good as it sounds, but there is an elephant in the room – high tuition fees. Getting an admission isn’t the difficult part, paying the tuition fee is. Let’s look at few options they might consider:
- Education loans: This is simply non-existent in Nigeria. There is a loan for every other thing (even if the rates are high), but there is hardly any for education. We once approached a bank to package something for students, and we were turned down politely because the economics doesn’t work for them.
- Friends and Families: The recession is upon Nigeria. Everyone is a victim. With this reality, it becomes difficult to take your begging bowl to that Uncle to help pay a 12,000 GBP tuition fee. He will sit you down to give you an advice worth that amount.
- Scholarships: There are just too few of them.
So, what options does a hardworking Nigerian student have left? How are we going to educate our future leaders? Could this be the reason why about 60% of Nigerian lecturers don’t have a PhD? Probably so.
We need to rise. Something needs to be done. Now. How did education loans become so popular in other countries? For instance, a lot of my MBA classmates benefited from some sort of loan or government support. How come we have almost nothing in this part of the world? I am beginning to think it is a deliberate effort to keep the “poor and middle class” uneducated; because I just don’t understand why a country will not make deliberate effort to pump loads of money into education – a sector that should be the backbone of all other sectors of the economy. It has to be some calculated attempt to ensure only the children of the wealthy get educated and therefore fill the best job positions.
There is a base level of knowledge that a generation needs to invent the future. I believe schooling (education, or whatever you choose to call it) provides that foundation. If Nigeria’s best cannot afford the education to even get them to that base level, then we’re simply demanding too much from them to invent the kind of future we want.