Fri, Aug 19, 2016
In Nigeria today, offering admission is not longer based of merit. It is simply a matter of "who you know" and "how much you have" and not "what you know".
It is a naked truth that corruption is in all spheres of life in Nigeria. Corruption has polluted the air we breathe in and as such, we find it a very difficult task to avoid corruption - since the importance of air to the body cannot be overestimated. In our religious places, politics, economy and even the education sector, we have high rates of corruption.
In the previous year however, the emphasis of all "corrupt-talks" have been about corruption of those in government. People seem to care less about corruption in other aspect of the economy. Many felt unconcerned about 'others' and as such the corruption rate in these other places skyrocket day-after-day. Even, suffice it to say that corruption in those places is more than of the government. We have not been able to detect this fact because of our nonchalant attitude towards the nation and we have equally been unsuspecting citizens. In fact, corruption rate looms every seconds in other sectors of the economy, apart from the government.
Let's look beyond corruption among government officials. Let us look beyond those we have in our local government areas, the "furthest" government to the people. Let's look beyond all those ones. Let's, at least for the purpose of this piece, focus on corruption in our education sector.
It shouldn't appear a news to anyone conscious of happening in this society of ours, hearing that corruption is prevalent in our universities, polytechnics and colleges. It is so disheartening to see the dry-headed monster called corruption eating so deep into the fabric of our education sector and higher institutions. Corruption has beclouded our big brains. Nigeria is so corrupt that the education process that is meant to re-orientate the future leaders from the evil of corruption has been largely overtaken by corruption. It is getting so deep in this time of ours. It's getting out of hand. The truth is that institutions of higher learning are meant to serve as a pacesetter for other institutions particularly by addressing the corruption challenge. It is meant to produce graduates whose orientation will not be stained by corruption. But, here in Nigeria, the institutions of higher learning seem to be places where the art of corruption is learnt. This is pathetic and embarrassing.
Both students and lecturers are guilty of corruption. Students bribe lecturers, who are more than happy to accept such brides. In fact, corruption looms the most during the admission period. In Nigeria today, offering admission is not longer based of merit. It is simply a matter of "who you know" and "how much you have" and not "what you know". Those who worth no admission are been admitted and those worthy of admission are denied.
Though, offering admission is the choice of the institution, the point is, there should be transparency and admission should be based on merit. Admission processes in Nigeria are not transparent; they are being manipulated school officials. No one gets admitted for free. The saddest part of the situation is that everyone sees this as normal. Those who love honesty have no option but to join the bandwagon of corrupt people, for if they do not join them, they are at risk of getting no admission. And since the importance of getting admitted can never be underestimated, admission corruption rate lingers.
Evidence to the corruption-in-admission process is the JAMB "runz" and "miracle centers". The use of these words among our people is too evident to be ignored. What is miraculous about admission? It simply symbolizes the high rate of corruption in admission processes. These rather foolish and embarrassing acts continue daily because nobody complains about it and there are no law regulations to address this. Okay there are laws but they are as good ass void because they are not enforced thus no one respects them.
The effect of admission corruption is very glaring, even to the born-blind. Admission corruption is the Kilimanjaro height of injustice. In fact, it is a means of societal oppression. The haves are being protected while the have-nots are largely discarded. This breeds injustice and discrimination. Additionally, it is also a tool for societal disintegration. The competent student denied admission tend to be those those that later involved in criminal activities. The corruption spirit, which this present government is working to stamp out, is being passed from generation to generation through admission corruption and other educational corruption.
Having highlighted some of the demerits of admission corruption to national development, it is then sacrosanct to draw the attention of government to this issue. Though the government is aware of the corruption in this aspect of the economy, this piece however is serving as a reminder.
Though, the government is fighting corruption, the fact is that emphasis is being placed mostly on governmental corruption. Waging war against the opposition and other corrupt officials is not the sole solution to our problems. As it turns out, government officials are not the only corrupt people in Nigeria, corruption spreads way beyond that. Buhari should take serious consideration of educational corruption too. I pray for his success!
Image Credit: http://thechronicleofeducation.com/
Festus Ogun is a Nigerian blogger and socio-political commentator.