I’ll tell you a story.
There’s this girl who aced all her subjects in secondary school.
Not just acing but award-worthy educational success.
She was so good that at her Junior Secondary 3 (JSS 3) level, she was solving mathematical problems from Senior Secondary 1 & 2 (SS 1 & 2) curriculum.
She loved Maths & computers but was admitted into the university to study Geology.
Today, she still thinks she would have been a statistics wizard if she’d been allowed to just study Math or Engineering. You know – subjects where she doesn’t have to always cram some qualitative garbage but provide quantitative solutions.
When she got into the university, she realized she didn’t have to study very hard. Very few people were bothering to anyway. She was extremely smart & could hold her own but it became easier to combine intellectual efforts with other students at assignments, tests & final exams.
The system allowed it.
All her friends did it so, why fight it?
While at school, no one ever taught her how to write a résumé or successfully approach interviews.
She, just like everyone around her wanted a good life but the system pretty much set them up to fail.
When she graduated, she met a professional at an international oil & gas company who asked her what she wanted to do in life & to explain her undergraduate degree experience but she was not prepared for that.
She gave answers which were weak, mostly incoherent, lacked precision or clarity.
She’d never thought of herself in that light.
The internet wasn’t readily accessible back then so she was pretty much left on her own with her fellow ignorant peers.
She also had a great & supportive family who she leaned on.
Luckily for her, she got some mentors, then left the country for her masters degree.
At 1st, she struggled at her Canadian university.
Correcting her 2nd mistake
She had to actually learn all those skills & resources she didn’t bother with back in Nigeria due to combined students’ efforts.
She had to read all those textbooks she never bothered with in her Nigerian university in order to excel at her program.
Correcting her 3rd mistake
She also met lecturers whose method of teaching was about empowering students to run with their ideas.
It wasn’t about multiple choice questions but making a case of why Case A is better/worse than Case B.
It made her actually think for the 1st time in her life. She learned how to make great presentations. It was a confidence boost. It was exhilarating!
She learned about plagiarism which is a very despicable thing. She also learned about self-development, professional development & presentations.
She learned it was ok to make decisions, make mistakes & then learn from them.
She became comfortable working alone & also with a team. She learned the power of independence.
She was a different person.
She became more confident about her thoughts & ideas. No one laughs at her mistakes nor condemns her for them.
Her bosses don’t care about always being right or barking orders at those under them. Team contributions is crucial, encouraged & needed.
Everybody is equal. No one feared anyone. It was a healthy environment. She was valued. She freely runs her program the way she sees fit.
This is my story.
There’s no correcting my 1st mistake. If I ever do, I’ll tell a story about it.
If you read this, you’d understand how the Nigerian system encourages laziness & might discourage talent because of envy or pride.
Many Nigerian graduates are victims of their own underdeveloped & redundant society.
Maybe with the internet, a few might self-improve. Otherwise, they’re unemployable because there’s very few people to teach them better.
Note to any Nigerian student reading this – don’t take the easy way out. Read not just to pass your examinations but to actually know.
You’d be truly a better person & student for it.