The problems of access to University Education has become a serious issue in the country as a result of increase in population and the increasing understanding of the role of education in the development of individuals and the society. Access is therefore has to do with seeking the opportunity to receive University Education. But getting access to University education usually comes with a lot of challenges which youths and parents have to face.
This article therefore seek to discuss the various problems of getting admission in Nigeria Universities including the role the government have to play in the system. The demand for University education has increased in recent years, every young graduate of secondary school wants to pursue a career course in the university. This comes as a result of the gradual emancipation from slavery and the realization of the need of former education for self actualization, self development etc.
Role Of the Government In Enhancing Access To University Education:
The gradual increase in the general demand for University education is relation to population explosion in which young people constitute the greater percentage. The Federal government during an attempt to promote access to University education opened many Universities. Between the year 1999 and 2006 many states were given licence to operate and run state Universities.
Within this said time, 14 new state Universities were established in addition to the already existing ones. The federal government also grant licence to Private individuals and organisation to operate private Universities. With many Private and State Universities, more opportunities were opened for University placement. Another step was the establishment of the National Open University Of Nigeria (NOUN) to take care of the educational need of those aspiring to acquire University education. All these are effort made by the government toward providing access to University education in the country.
Issues and Problems Of University Education In Nigeria:
1. Poor Funding:
As population increase, the number of people seeking admission into Nigerian Universities increases and with the increasing demand for tertiary education in the country accompanying increase in infrastructural facilities such as class rooms to accommodate the teaming students. But unfortunately, due to the less attention and value the government of Nigeria pay to education all these have not been achieved adding to the struggle of gaining admission as Universities will limit the number of students offered admission due to limited facilities.
The Federal Character Policy:
The policy of federal character could traced to the section 14 of the 1979 constitution and later re-enacted in the section 14 of the 1999 constitution and state the various composition of the government of the federation or its agencies and its affairs shall be conducted in such a manner as to promote rational unity among members and also to achieve national loyalty so as ensure there is no predominance from few states in government.
This statement means that educational institutions, public authorities and private sector should ensure fair representation of states in position of power including admission in schools which is not true in every aspect. One euphemism which comes with the federal character principle is the quota system of admission. The quota system was designed to grant equal opportunity to candidates but unfortunately, the reverse is the case. The University quota represent the number of students to be offered admission in each academic year. The quota system comprises three elements: The academic merit, determined by a candidate’s UTME score and covers 45%, The catchment area cover 35% and the educationally less developed region which covers only 20%. The problem with the quota system is that a candidate with a higher JAMB score may be denied admission while a candidate with a lower JAMB score may be considered due to regional differences.
Behaviour Of The Government Towards Education:
Generally the attitude of the present government towards the educational sector seems to be very poor. This breeds poor financial commitment to the sector. Both the state and federal government do not accord education the respect it deserves especially the University education which is a very big industry .
Certain parts of the city do not value the education of the female gender. Some families only care about enrolling their male childrens in school and this pose a problem to the female gender in most parts of the country as their access to University is being denied. Females in some parts specifically the rural areas are exposed to early marriage instead of being trained in school simply because they believed a woman’s education should be in the kitchen.
The Socio-economic Background Of The Society:
The government granted private individuals the licence to own universities so as to make access to education easier. But it is unfortunate that most of these Universities have turned to be extorting much from the individuals by making the pay huge amount as fees. As a result, only kids from royal and wealthy families are able to afford. the private universities operate only for the rich while the average class are left behind thereby reducing the quality of education. Poverty is a huge other factor that has prevented many form getting admission in Nigerian Universities as many Nigerians are still living below the poverty line.
This article has been able to list out in details some of the factors that stand against getting admission in Nigerian Universities and the various measures the government should take to tackle the problem. There are lot of corrupt practices going on in Nigerian campuses suh that students from rich and influential background are the only ones who gain admission easily while the poor and brilliant ones continue to suffer.