IS A NIGERIAN DEGREE WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON? BY MUNACHI DECA-ANYANWU

These days it has become difficult proudly proclaiming you are Nigerian. And it is no fault of those who treat us and what we have come to represent with disdain because we do it well enough ourselves. I was shocked when I was told in South Africa that I cannot proceed to Masters after a Post graduate certificate in Education because my degree was not equivalent to a south African degree and obviously, I have a four-year degree from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. They, in contrast do a three-year degree.  I did think the Nigeria in my certificate would have given it some elevated position like saying it wasn’t got from one of these universities mushrooming in every avoidable space in Nigeria, but that was inconsequential. But again, I do not blame them because it is difficult to see the Nigeria in My University of Nigeria certificate. The amount of writing on that certificate is baffling….my certificate looks like a contractual letter…with everything spelt out. Like…..is admitted to……with all the rights and privileges and immunities appertaining to……in testimony whereof, we have cause our signatures…(this is just an excerpt). I realised to my chagrin that, out there, many a time; our hard-earned degree is caused to pass through the hottest of crucible to be accepted and you given a place even though sometimes you are far better than their own products. Why would someone hold our degree certificate with aplomb? Have you been to a Nigerian university? Which one have you been to? Okay from where I grew up I’ve come to realise that everyone I knew that went to varsity graduated. But sadly or should I say in contrast, I know so many people who dropped out of secondary school because they were unable to pass and even more who didn’t make WAEC. So the question is has WAEC and secondary become more difficult than university? You don’t need to look far to realise the reason why our degree certificate do not worth more than the paper used in writing it. Forgive my exaggeration if you think it is one, but any exceptional Nigerian degree holder from a Nigerian university was also exceptional in secondary school. Go and check. Nigerian universities do not improve an average student, you leave the way you came. I’ve been to Federal university of Technology, Yola and saw students who had only two passes admitted to university and had to hold my nose when I mistakenly visited a female student in one of the hostels in UNN, unfortunately she lives very close to the “Bermuda triangle” as they call it, the stench coming out from the toilet made three minutes seem like eternity. To think humans live in such places and other humans go to that stench to ease themselves and prepare for school every day is beyond imagination and have you been to Imo state university where a university was built without one single hostel. IMSU has more than 15 entrances, the number of apian way in that school, sorry university….and students ease themselves through the shot put system. A hidden space, a plastic bag, ability to fling and your poo turns into a jet…that is the life our would be graduates lead, people in whose hands the future of the country lie…and I stupidly went to Madonna University, I saw where a student was being beaten black and blue like a common criminal.. I didn’t even ask what his offence was because I had waited for eternity to see the person I came for who had to go through several checks just like me…I suppose it could be CIA check, DSS check and probably the priest must hear her confession as well before she sees me obviously outside and I was given less than 20 minutes because I had already exhausted my time with waiting. And her dressing almost got a giggle out of me until I realised the university doubles as a convent and monastery so students must dress “APPROPRIATELY”. At uniport the kind of gunshot I heard very close to me made me skip several heart beats and I couldn’t wait for the morning to disappear….at the university of Abuja…no, lets not go there. I went to Anambra state university and I didn’t see the university because Obizi High school and Mbaise Girls’ High school had better structures…..then back to UNN. Have you been to a GS 101 lecture and you are not very early…hmmmm. 700 students scrambling for space and some hanging on the window and others in a world of their own discussing Didier Drogba and his acrobatic goal against Sheffield Wednesday. Have you seen the lecturers in these squalors we call universities acting and walking like God…..have you heard them discus your grades….A belongs to God, B is for me you all can get D or E or F. And another will tell you that if you ever pass his course he will know that you are either a witch, wizard or you are from a family of one……and make a mistake and greet any of them and forget one of the names their father gave them at birth….Doctor..hmmmmm you are in for a very shocking surprise..that is if you pass the course..and you finish and come for your result…worst mistake…..you will be asked to produce the receipt of your first year fees including SU fees and one other fee after that very violent protest then…..one refused a friend of mine her transcript and when I came to help her case at exams and records the man who was working on her result told me the lady was rude….so because she was rude they refused to work on her result…..tit for tat. And have they told you how much you will pay for your transcript and how you can’t get your certificate because the VC travelled? Make the mistake and start your PHD in Nigeria…. your 8-year-old child will graduate from secondary and you haven’t gone through proposal…. I, stupid me went to UNTH to see a final year medicine student, she was almost a doctor and she spoke to a male friend to let me pass the night in his room…..another terrible mistake….I went to take my bath and I stupidly remembered I had to use the toilet first, chineke napu ekwensu ike, what I saw was beyond description. I held my piss and my peace and went with my shit to the bathroom only to realise the bathroom was flooded by a very disgusting coagulating gel like water, that was how I stayed the night without a bath nor did I ease myself. Morning brought me succour and escape…so what should the products of these “edifices” that words can’t describe be like…take a wild guess…..

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2 Comments

  1. Siphumelele Shandu says:

    This is funny. In an enlightening way! I love the wit!

  2. Nozuko Jokazi says:

    OMG! Can’t get an academic record because VC is not available, I’d throw a tantrum but I’d probably never get it at all after that.

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