Do You Really Love That Course Of Study? - ETCSINES

Do You Really Love That Course Of Study? - ETCSINES

          Dear young man/lady/ Nigerian student, I will like you to answer the above question with sincerity. As students at one point or the other, do you really love that course you are studying or studied or you are just putting up or pulling through with it for the sake of getting a certificate from it? Do you actually have passion for that department or course? Looking at the overview of our campaign, Eradicating the Cramming System in Nigeria's Educational Sector and Promoting the Reading Culture in Nigerian Students. 

A student's passion or choice of course of study is really important. I believe, studying a course which is not my passion or interest will prompt me to cram for the sake of acquiring good grades in examinations, and not read or study for both present and future usage. Afterall, I'm only putting up with the particular course or department for the sake of the certificate to be obtained at the end of my years of study. You might want to ask, what then are the circumstances that might prompt or has been prompting students over the years to settle for courses outside their interest? These factors are numerous, however,  We'll be looking at the germane ones for today's exposition. We have mostly external factors at play, such as, pressures from the home, environment, peers, culture, ideologies, beliefs and the likes. 

I love starting with the home because as I always say, the home is the first point of contact for students. Demands from the home especially parents, unfortunately influences the choice of the course of study of a student. In a home with a family business/es where the parents expect almost all their children especially the first child to be in the commercial class at the secondary level and take a business related course at the tertiary level to take over the family's business upon then will a child in this situation be able to make his business moguls parents understand that he actually has in interest in Medicine or Law, Zoology or even Theatre Arts? Family B may be the case of a father who has always wanted to be a Medical Doctor all his life or has always admired the profession and unfortunately was offered Microbiology in school. He puts up with this particular course and vows that at least one of his children must become a medical doctor...... Unfortunately for Daddy B, his two sons are interested in Music while his only daughter picks interest in Business Administration. 

To fulfill his life-long desire, he forces, his favorite child, the only girl to study Medicine. How will such a child study that particular course against her will with contentment and read to acquire a lasting knowledge of it? We have many other scenarios similar to these and I can keep going on and on. 

The peer group a child moves with sometimes influences him/her to make the wrong decision or settle for courses outside their passion. Mostly in secondary school, students join departments simply because their friends are doing the same also. A counselor is needed at this stage to help such students discover their passion and purpose and what study in relation to it. 

In a society where clerks, policemen or female advertising agents of companies are not really appreciated or respected. A student desiring to become any of these professions dare not voice out his/her choice but rather settle for other courses or profession that are respected or accepted as moral by the society. There may also be the predominant belief that a certain profession is risky or dangerous such as being a pilot or enlisting in the army. Thus, the society naturally spreads rumours about these professions to scare both students and parents from attempting to study them or sponsoring their wards in those fields of study. 

The Nigerian educational system as a body on it's own has frustrated many childhood dreams and aspirations due to it's ranking and admission procedure. Some senior secondary schools allocate students to departments they deem fit mostly in consideration of their junior secondary school grade. While this is good to an extent as it helps to know students who can't survive in a particular department or with the work load that comes from it especially the science class which most schools are careful in it's allocation. However, as nice as this idea sounds, for a little girl who visited a pharmacy and decided to be a Pharmacist in the future but as a result of a thing or another, in this case, her junior school grade, she is allocated to the Arts department because the school system felt she is better off there without asking her what she actually desires, counselling her and making her know the requirements and then know if she is actually bent on working harder and going to the Sciences or settling for the Arts chosen for her. 

The admission in tertiary institutions which is prejudiced often times has terminated ambitions and dreams. Let's use Art student Bayo as a case study. Bayo sat for the JAMB examination required for students who intend to be admitted with their O Level result in Nigeria. He also took part in the Putme examination of Federal University M. He performed excellently, however, FUM is a school sought after by many and over 100 000 forms were sold out to intending candidates. FUM intends to admit just 40 000 students. 

Thus, they raise their cut off for courses. Bayo's father is a local farmer and Bayo is considered a nobody by the society. He doesn't know any university official or staff to fix his name in the admission list with his/her slot. Bayo is unable to afford #65 000 his friends are paying to the admission officer to include their names in the list and probably strike out names of people on merit to accommodate that of candidates who have connection in high places within the university or have "paid their way in by cash or kind." Art student Bayo who applied to study Law in FUM believes his grades in both JAMB and PUTME are enough to make his name appear on the admission list by merit.  After three batches of admission list were released by Federal University M consecutively few months later. 

To his horror and utmost disappointment, he was offered admission into Religious Studies in the Faculty of Arts, while his friends who also applied for Law in FUM and had lower grades than him in the examinations but were related to top university staff and paid to admission officers were offered law in the very first admission list! Bayo's life long dream to become a lawyer and influence his society positively is thus shattered by the Nigerian Educational System. Having no option but to accept and settle for this course as he has been struggling to be admitted to different universities in Nigeria for the past four years now to no avail and he can't disappoint his poor father back home who gathered the little they had left in the house to pay for his JAMB form. 

Thus, for every examination in the department of Religious studies, Bayo crams as he doesn't see the need to read or have a lasting knowledge of the course. He rarely attends classes also or writes test and can't wait for the four years duration for his course to elapse and he resorts to something else apart from Law as he has given up on the course already because he wrote another JAMB examination in his second year in FUM only to be given Theatre Arts this time which he declined. His parents are too poor to sponsor him through a private university and his efforts at scholarship are futile.

The above short story is a combination of several factors at play in the admission exercise and educational system of universities in Nigeria that unfortunately befall aspiring undergraduates each academic session even though I wish they are false or imaginary. Perhaps, if more attention is paid to students and admission is strictly on merit, we will have happy and productive students who are not only in love with their courses of study but also eager to learn more, read extensively and research more on them. Also, if we have parents or a society that doesn't impose it's belief or dream on students. We'll have a better, happier, resourceful leaders of tomorrow indeed!

#Stop The Prejudice in the Admission Process
#Study What You Love 
#Stop Discriminating Courses and Professions

I remain Aduragbemi Akintepede (Duwa_Diva)

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