Akin Akande, Abuja
Contrary to general belief at home about the quality of Nigerian education system especially at the university level, two African countries have written Nigerian government to share ideas on how it is running the sector.
Specifically, Cameroon Minister of Education and his Sierra Leone counterpart have written to the National Universities Commission (NUC) to guide them on how to establish an equivalent of the Commission in their respective countries.
NUC Executive Secretary Professor Julius Okojie, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while reacting to claims that Nigerian universities’ products are not employable.
Professor Okojie who insisted that Nigerian graduates are among the best in the world as evidenced in the performance of Nigerian graduates studying abroad said that the system back home had prepared Nigerian graduates for any challenge outside the shore of the country.
He said NUC is only waiting for invitation from Sierra Leone adding that the Commission is already looking through the request of Cameroon.
His words: “They are asking us how can they do it right. We have the structure even though we are on strike today, they have seen that the structure works. For those who are following the system the 6-3-3-4 system, we have the Ministry of Education, we have the regulatory body. We are looking at how the system works.
“After all we are having interaction with our colleagues abroad. Anywhere you go Nigerian students are very competitive.
“Now Sierra Leone is asking for how do they establish a regulatory body like this because they have a few universities. How do you control quality? You will find out that we have one of the most robust regulatory system. But for the fact that we have that regulatory acumen we have problem by now.
“You will be amazed people are just earning degrees from anywhere. But very soon we want to start indexing students so that when you enter through JAMB we pick you through first year so that by the time you go for NYSC we would know whether you are a good student. Students’ indexing would do that.
“Another one is post matriculation inspection: we go to the institutions and ask for the 100 level students, let’s see your file. Did you pass through JAMB and all that? If we start that early it will work,” he added.