Dear newly elected Coordinator of NANS Zone D ( Comrade Adekitan Lukman Tunice).
I heartily congratulate you on your recent victory as the newly elected NANS (National Association Of Nigerian Students) Zone D Coordinator. I also rejoice with you about the implicit confidence of Nigerian students have in you as their God sent trustworthy leader. Right from onset, I heartily identified and supported you because of your patriotic ideals, unbridled commitment to legacy and doggedness to build a long lasting world class NANS.
I am not going to remind you of the complex composition of political heavy weight a.k.a Seedolf sons and daughters and the available accumulated arsenals within their use, but let’s get down to business, perhaps there are ways to get going well and fun. First, remember the process of your nomination and your bloody opposition. Do not think the fight is over, I will bet that some of them lay in catch in on you. So do not become victim, personally reach out to them individually.
It is most important for you to know that the entire NANS gave you the mandate having examined your past, personal and official records before seizing the opportunity to enlist your God given talents and nationalistic tendencies. While the entire students is savoring your victory, there are needs for you to make NANS metamorphose into ideal place.
It is said that desperate issue demands desperate measure. Nigerian education is based on a centuries old system of knowledge organization, largely influenced by 19th century academic traditions. How are the universities, polytechnics, college of education to survive in the formation and higher demand for higher education degree today? Today, a college degree has become a necessity for most careers, and graduate education desirable for an increasing number. A growing population will necessitate some growth in higher education to accommodate the increasing number of college age students seeking for college degrees. Yet the potential of higher education systems to fulfill this responsibility is frequently thwarted by long-standing problems of finance, efficiency, equity, and governance.
Some of the market forces affecting Nigerian universities are Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), matching education to job demands, and infrastructure inadequacies. The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board examinations have caused a concern for both parents and candidates in Nigeria. Some candidates sit for the exam for years without gaining admission to any university. These have lead to cheating or taking an unpopular career course in order to gain admission.
Infrastructure inadequacies in the Nigerian institutions are another area that poses hindrance to learning and research work. A good number of Nigerian universities are offering technological education programs. The question is how many of these universities have the basic infrastructure to run the program. For example, in most universities offering computer course, students graduate without touching a computer.The death of infrastructure in the public
universities is sickening and runs short of an ideal academic environment.
Students need to become familiar with the freedom of choice and expression, the free flow of ideas, and access to systems of information and means of communication based on new technologies. The National University Commission survey discovered that only about 30 percent of Nigerian students population has adequate access to classrooms, lecture theatres, laboratories, workshops and libraries. Students need to have all the basic infrastructure and conducive environment for active learning to take place.
Students need to be prepared not only as professionals but also as citizens who are able to act intelligently and live in a democratic society. The students need to be acquainted with the complexity of the information that they will manage. There is need to develop the capacity for compiling, producing, applying, and critically
evaluating information extracted from international debates, laboratories, and libraries, and directly from the working world. Doing so will make Nigerian higher education a rich and stimulating environment for learning and producing knowledge.
My dear NANS Zone D coordinator, Nigerian education system needs a reformation for it to meet the societal needs. Academic reform cannot work unless relations among university authorities, faculty, students, and government are redefined on the basis of mutual respect and collaboration. Polite model whose main inspiration is the social environment from which the educational change is to occur. For the most part, our education still have not grappled with the extraordinary implications of an age of knowledge; a society of learning that will likely be our future. It is important to understand that the most critical challenge facing most universities will be to develop the capacity for change. Nigerian universities, polytechnics, college of education and others must seek to remove the constraints that prevent them from responding to the needs of a rapidly changing society.
This can only be achieved by introducing democratic structures and management styles. For the Nigerian universities and others to meet the standard of higher education in the changing world today will require a global reform.
Finally perhaps this is the greatest challenge for our universities polytechnics and college of education and all these challenges can be solved through the NANS.
By Sodiq Lawal