David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A university don, Prof Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, has said that emphasis on paper qualification among students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria is killing the country’s education system.
Ezeonu, the current Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo State, stated this while delivering a keynote address at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka during the annual national conference of the Association of Deans of Student Affairs in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria Wednesday.
Ezeonu, who was himself a former dean of student affairs, while speaking on the theme: “Sustainable peace building and crisis management on our campuses” listed some of the ills bedevelling the country’s education system, saying that chief among them were poor funding and emphasis on paper qualifications.
He said: “There is too much emphasis on paper qualification in Nigeria, rather than knowledge, skill and competence. Most students with requisite knowledge, skill and competence but lack the ability to reproduce what the teacher taught often feel frustrated.”
He said such emphasis on qualification usually frustrated most students to the level of taking solace in bribing lecturers for marks, while the female among them resort to offering sexual gratification to lecturers, just to acquire certificates, thereby abandoning the skills and competence they earlier acquired.
He said the burden of managing crisis in tertiary institutions rest squarely on the shoulders of deans of students affairs, and that the deans must try to establish interpersonal relationship with students, such that they retain the confidence of students as that was the only way they could access information about cases of planned restiveness among students.
He condemned the rising cases of drug addiction among students, while calling on the association to dedicate part of its three-day conference to fashion ways of stopping the trend as deans of student affairs were usually the closest to students, and can talk them out of such dangerous lifestyle.
Earlier, the president of the association, Prof Stanley Udedi, expressed concern over the situation of Nigeria students, which he said is characterised by uncertainty and lack of trust in the future.
He said: “The conference is expected to proffer solutions to these myriad of challenges bedevilling our institutions. We will take into account the youth unemployment, which adversely affects students performances.”