Ayo Ajayi, a member of the Corporate Affairs department of Covenant University opened up on the noise consistently made about the veracity of the degrees issued by Covenant University to its students.
In an article entitled, ‘ado about private varsities and first class degrees’, he said Nigerians were still struggling with failure mentality.
The full article written by Mr. Ajayi is reproduced below:
The award of first class degrees by private universities has in recent times generated concerns from different quarters. Individuals, parents/guardians, regulatory bodies, employers of labour, other stakeholders and even the media have at one time or the other expressed concern over the value of the first class degrees awarded by the nation’s private universities.
Recently, a newspaper on its editorial page on “Private Universities and First Class Degrees” condemned this class of degrees by the nation’s private universities, saying; “Many of the degrees are not worth the paper on which they are printed.”
The paper went on to mention, for example, two of the leading private universities that produced large numbers of first class graduates at their recent convocations. The paper also cited reasons these universities turn out large numbers of first class holders, which include justification for high tuition fee and unhealthy competition to also justify being the “best” among equals.
It concluded with this comment, “We, therefore, call on the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) to take a serious look at the rate at which first class degrees are being ‘manufactured’ by the nation’s private universities.”
In my opinion, I think the newspaper and those that share same opinion are not being fair on these institutions. It is unfortunate that Nigerians and Africans generally have been conditioned not to believe in ourselves not to talk of others. Our minds have been so conditioned to believe that no one can attain any level of success without any form of corruption.
We have so much belief in tradition to the extent of being trapped and enslaved with failure mentality. What is the big deal about universities producing large numbers of first class graduates who merit it? Should we continue to accept the norm that first class is not easily attained by marking down students who merit it? No.
My take on this is that Nigerian students and youths irrespective of type of institution, whether public or private, are intelligent and can stand shoulder high academically anywhere in the world, if exposed to “normal” academic conditions.
If students and lecturers in the public universities are faced with less distraction, one of which is the on-going eight weeks of Federal Government and ASUU’s face-off, they will produce more first class graduates.