The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has condemned the recent backwards review of the cut off marks for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria from 180 for universities and 165 polytechnics, now 120 and 100 respectively, The student body described the exercise as a gross misplacement of priority and exercise in futility.
According to the NANS President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, knowledge acquisition is a function of determination and hard work and so if over the years, students were able to work hard to meet cut off points, it doesn’t make any logical sense to now lower the standard and insisted that the inability of any student to meet the cutoff points is a function of outright indolence that should not be encouraged.
According to Obasi, even the current status, the general phenomenon is that Nigerian Graduates are not employable and stated that the lowering of standard will translate to a disastrous outcome in the future by churning out young people who cannot fit into the demands and expectations of the 21st century.
Obasi insisted that Nigerian youths are intelligent and willing to learn and argued that because of the enabling environment provided by tertiary institutions abroad, Nigerian students who school abroad are known to study and come out with exemplary performance.
Obasi stated that the 21st century is driven by innovation and competitiveness and so lowering the entery level into tertiary institutions will only further contribute to reducing the productivity and peak performance of young people seeking admission into the country’s higher institutions of learning.
The NANS President further argued that the challenge of the tertiary institutions in Nigeria is not in the prospects of entering but largely dependent on the numerous challenges within the various institutions ranging from the falling standard of education due to lack of modern day teaching facilities, low level of morale by the teaching staff, lack of adequate facilities and enabling environment that facilitates effective and efficient learning by the students.
Obasi decried the high level of inconsistencies in policy formulation and implementation in the educational sector and called on government to mainstream and benchmark global best practices in educational policy formulation and implementation and concentrate more efforts to address germane issues bedeviling education in Nigeria rather than embarking on frivolous policies that would further compound the falling standard of education in Nigeria.
The NANS President stated that as critical stakeholders in the educational sector, the student body will vehemently resist the review and call on government to maintain status quo and endeavour to conduct a comparative study and analysis of policies from other climes that supports functional learning and production of young people that can compete with their peers globally.