The current education system in Nigeria provides for a nine-year basic education for every child. This is divided into two; basic 1 – 6 and basic 7 to 9. The system also provides a 3-year senior secondary education; and a 4-year tertiary education for every child. Included in the tertiary education scheme are specially approved professional institutions that offer studies leading to the acquisition of specific skills needed in management and industry.
Tertiary education institutions are all institutions approved to issue degrees, diplomas and certificates. They include: colleges of education; monotechnics; polytechnics; universities and other specialized institutions. These institutions all have approval/accreditation to offer and award recognized diplomas or certificates in those areas of approval. Although all of them are classified as tertiary institutions, their certificates do not have the same class. Those awarded by colleges of education and monotechnics are considered to be of lower class or grade than those obtained from polytechnics and universities. Actually, certificates from colleges of education and monotechnics can qualify a candidate for direct entry into some degree courses in offered in universities and polytechnics. See a list of All Accredited Universities in Nigeria.
Tertiary Education and your Career
Many young people, unfortunately, graduate from tertiary institutions without the least idea of how what they studied will affect their future career. There are hundreds of career options out there to choose from. However, it is important to know that there is a close relationship between what one studies in school and his future career. Agreed there are general areas of application of knowledge. It should, however, be noted that for there to be a predictable career future. there must be a form of planned career training.
Our basic and secondary education levels prepare a child for useful independent living. Our tertiary education prepares them for specific career acquisition. There is a strong link between tertiary education and specialization in a particular career area. Professionalism is also a function between continuing education and successful practice. Therefore, when a student decides to proceed for tertiary education, they are saying…
- I want to specialize in a career area.
- I want to assist in expanding the frontiers of knowledge and improve on known technology in that career area. A person of this disposition will, most likely, become a research person.
- Of course, tertiary education helps to produce highly skilled manpower. with technical know-how for management and production. Individuals who proceed to tertiary institutions with for this purpose and with this mindset usually become industrialists and entrepreneurs.
- Tertiary education helps in promoting sound human capital development for managerial demands. Persons in this area usually become career administrators, care-givers, etc.
- Tertiary education also helps to promote the process of producing professionals. These professionals are required to continue to engage in the art of human capital development in various fields of endeavor. Those with the natural flair and training to be in this area are usually lecturers, teachers, trainers, coaches and mentors. These ones must be in the education and management fields.
As can be rightly observed, there is a strong link between continuing education and one’s career development.
A breakdown of what constitutes tertiary institutions in Nigeria today will reveal that Colleges of Education in the country largely produce teachers for the lower levels of the basic education system. The monotechnics; polytechnics produce industry-based manpower with specific practical and technical skills for various fields of endeavor. The universities produce managers, administrators, research persons and field workers. They produce teachers and lecturers.
In fact, in-between these institutions are approved professional institutions established for capacity building and career development. So, where do you fit in? This article is tailored to guide you in the process of discovering and choosing your career of best fit. It is also written to show you how and where to develop it. But will everyone who desires to proceed for tertiary education in Nigeria be able to do so? Unfortunately, the answer is No.
There are many reasons why many eligible and willing candidates will eventually not go for tertiary education in Nigeria.
Challenges Facing Tertiary Education in Nigeria
These will include:
- Lack of knowledge about the educational provisions in one’s area of interest. This may also be the result of one’s lack of understanding about what he really wants in life. This article will give you a list of choices.
- Inadequate facilities. Despite the increase in the number of tertiary education institutions in the country, the combined capacity of these facilities to admit large number of eligible students into tertiary institutions in Nigeria is inadequate. This is true especially when you compare the number of eligible candidates seeking tertiary education. Hardly have the Nigerian tertiary institutions been able to admit up to 70% of eligible students seeking admission into various courses via JAMB. We believe that the recent licensing of additional universities will help assuage the glaring problems posed by the above challenge.
- The greatest challenge facing tertiary education in Nigeria today is the lack of collaboration between tertiary institutions and labor/industry to design appropriate courses that meet the skills requirement of labour. For a long time, education institutions have produced graduates that were trained in skills not readily in demand by labour whereas employers being concerned that they are not getting the right skills in their employees have been spending more in retraining for skills acquisition.
- The number of accredited courses for our tertiary institutions are still comparatively narrow which makes competition for tertiary education in Nigeria, very high. Nevertheless, for there to be a robust educational sector. there must a robust and dynamic socio-economic sector and functional government policies to make them work. This is because educational training is work-related. There is need to further expansion of the curriculum base of our tertiary institutions.
Importance of Tertiary Education / Institution
All over the world, education is regarded as the foremost liberating factor, a place where minds are developed and transformed and potentials discovered and harnessed. Therefore, proper guidance in one’s quest to become a successful and productive member of the global society is very necessary. The following points explain why a good choice of a tertiary institution for tertiary education is important:
- A tertiary institution is not a place where a student studies what the admission board (the JAMB), the institution or anyone for that matter offered him. But a place where he is given thorough training is his personally chosen course of study, for his future career.
- It is a place where he is challenged by lecturers and students alike to explore and broaden his interest in the chosen field.
- The educational programme at this level has a way of helping a student define and discover himself, give his dreams a focused attention and bring him in contact with those who may eventually assist him to actualized his dreams. Most of the time, educational excursions, vacation jobs and industrial attachments including internships, etc, help in these discoveries.
- The extra-curricular activities offered by tertiary institutions could also help a student discover a career path he never considered, knew or ever thought to have the abilities to succeed in.
- The student is also introduced to the basic ethics guiding the activities in his procession with the aim that he qualifies to add value of the system.
When students gets to know that tertiary education is primarily designed to produce professionals, they will pay more attention to their studies and perhaps, change their attitude to school work in general.