The Nigerian education sector has again been charged on the need to focus more on quality and not quantity in establishment of both private and public institutions, adding that the difference between our institutions and those in oversea is in the quality.
The managing partner for ALTS consulting, an organization that focuses on study abroad, Mrs Antonia Foluke Sawyerr said that having studied in Nigeria and abroad, the difference is clear.
She said: ” I have had the benefit of studying abroad as well as in Nigeria. In terms of quality, our country is far behind.”
In all areas we are still trying to catch up with other developed countries, whether is our health sector, education, or even in finance.”
Sawyerr who spoke in Lagos during an education fair held at the Intercontinental Hotel, lamented that
we have oil but can’t even refine it without the efforts of the western world. “Even the Intercontinental Hotel where we are standing discussing was not built by Nigerians.
According to her, we have many Nigerians who studied engineering in Nigerian institutions that cannot build this type of hotel without the help of the westerners.
” So, in terms of comparison maybe we should not go there at all,” she said.
Asked reasons she consults for university placement abroad, she explained that in all our universities combined, both public and private universities, we have about 750,000 admission spaces for 1.7 millions who sit yearly for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME). she said the admission deficit was her concerns.
According to her, that was one of the reasons many students who can afford it, study abroad.
The Consultant said: “When parents can afford a little bit more they tend to look at Ghana, Cotonou or go to the west for their children’s education because is just not happening here. “We don’t have enough spaces in our universities and the facility is not there.
“Another reason like I mentioned earlier why students study abroad is the quality. “Safety is another factor.
“It is not that we are encouraging our children to study aboard. However, a lot of Nigerian students still study in Nigeria.
“When you look at the percentage of students who study aboard, you will discover that is about a million compare to the total population of about 190 millions.
“One thing I must say when it comes to studying abroad is that Nigerians are not the only people studying abroad. A lot of Jamaicans study in UK and Canada. “Canada, as a country is full of international students, Nigeria is a small percentage of these population. Why do we want to be left out of that? I don’t know why people in Nigeria can’t travel out for study.
Sawyerr who stated the reasons for the education fair, also noted that bringing in universities representatives to Nigeria and inviting Nigerian students would enabled students, parents and the representatives interface with the seventeen schools from the UK, Canada, USA, Switzerland to mention a few.
She decried that a lot of Nigerian students often go for study abroad without the students and parents really understanding the school. According to her, it would helps when schools come over here and parents are able to meet directly with the school webs and details.