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Education is said to be the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education therefore is a lifelong process of learning and relearning principles, values and thoughts.
Nigeria currently has around 90 Universities, offering tertiary education to Nigerians. The Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology are scattered around the length and breadth Nigeria. Various private organizations provide primary and secondary education to Nigeria.
Undoubtedly, the education sector of Nigeria is not doing very well in terms of international standards. Strikes and student protest are very rampant in many educational institutions in Nigeria. Currently, University of Ibadan is shut due to student protest; the University of Lagos was also shut. The frequent closures of school gates are quite detrimental to the smooth running of the education sector of Nigeria.
One thing is very certain, no nation in the world will invest in any sector that they are not sure of what will happen next. Uncertainties that prevail the educational sector of Nigeria is doing us more bad than good in terms of foreign direct investment and foreign patronage of our institutions.
When I was at the University, I remember that we had some foreign students from Europe and even Africa; but today, I am not too sure if any higher institution in Nigeria has foreign students – if they do, maybe they only have students for African languages. What is rather common now is the outflow of Nigerians in Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, UK, US, Switzerland and even China; learn somethings or the other. The money we spend as a nation on foreign education is so huge annually that we hardly talk about it.
Sometime ago, it was said that some Bayelsa indigenes, who were sent abroad by the State Government; were about to be sent out of their various schools due to lack of payment of their school fees. The truth is, Nigeria spend so much yearly on the acquisition of foreign education. Just as Nigerians spend so much on what is called ‘Medical Tourism’; we are equally spending fortune on what I call ‘Educational Tourism’. The question we must ask is this; are the lecturers in our various educational institutions qualified for the job employed? If yes, what then do we travel out for?
I want to believe that the pressure on our scare dollar income as a nation is due to our untamed taste for foreign training (education). From the Presidency to the residency, we all desire to travel out to ‘study abroad’. If we can all sit down to learn here in Nigeria; and if our governments – with the private educational investors could settle down to work our workable patterns for our national education; we will not only meet our local need for education; but we will also export our own education to others countries from Africa to America and to Asia. And we will be earning more money for importation of crucial items on the international market. I rest my case for now!