About Me

My Photo
Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
View my complete profile

My Twitter Feed

Powered by Blogger.

TWF Videos

Loading...
There was an error in this gadget
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Language Please

"71 percent of Nigerian graduates like bad cherries, won't be picked by any employer of labour because they are not fit for anything even if they were the only ones that put themselves forward for an employment test"

That statement was credited to Professor Chukwuma Soludo, the CBN governor and banking recapitalization reform chief strategist. The rot in our education system and the consequent dearth in skilled human capacity in employment is a well known fact and it permeates all levels of industry. My problem with a statement such as this is its seeming arrogance. I do not expect anyone who affects policies to stand on a high horse and point accusing fingers. Granted Soludo is not responsible for the rot, he should not disparage the hapless victims either. I would expect that in making such a statement one deciphers a sense of urgency and collective responsibility for the sorry state of affairs. The tone should be regretful of the situation with a clear and concise call to action in redefining the policies that affect education. If Soludo and the rest of the enlightened policy makers had been educated at a time such as this, they would themselves have most likely been one of the 71 percent. That the children of policy makers are not part of the 71% is one of the many injustices of our climes. If you will not fix it, you should not be allowed to escape it, if you are allowed, do not spit in the face of the victims, find solutions.

We all suffer from the poor capacity occasioned by the collapse of our education system but it is the sort of attitude the statement above hints at that leads to unbridled importation of non Nigerian talent rather than an insistence on the repair and building of our own structures so we can produce the skilled manpower we need after all no one can doubt the deep thirst of the Nigerian soul for education and self actualization.

29 comments:

delabique said...

Quite sympathetic...... A paradise Lost.

God, help our youths the truth to know;

In love and honesty to grow

And living just and true,

Great lofty heights attain,

To build a nation where peace and justice and respect for others shall reign

A nation where the leaders fight for the common good and enlightenment of the masses

So help us God!

delabique said...

I wonder what he was thinking before he said that.

Eeew, that is such a cruel statement

Bomber said...

Nonsence Funmi. Do not bring that liberal mess. There are very few victims in that country of ours and you know. Let us tell ourselves the truth. We are low achieving, thieving, always wanna go the quickest route kind of people and it is in the DNA - Educational system or no educational system.

My suggestion, shoot every gaddamn Nigeria under five.

Onibudo said...

Sisi mi,

I cannot disagree with you more. Soludo's pint is a critical point that should not be sugarcoated. There is a failure to recognise that education is more than paper qualification and this is not a result of any rot in the education system . As we say in Ibadan ' Amukun eru re wo, ati isale ni o ti wo' . As usual our education system as always been more about qualification and less about competencies. An employer needs problem solvers not perpetual ass kissers. We need those who think out of the box not those who edge their bets to see where the wind blows. It is an adult responsibility to develope attitudes that evolve judgement and choice. Soludo is absolutely right. After formal education what other ways do people truly educate themselves. I could go on. I beg leave Soludo Oh we need people who tell us unpalatable truth. It way overdue.

nneoma said...

This is probably one of the more heartless statements I have heard recently. I agree with what you said - true the Nigerian educational system needs a complete overhaul and has proven ineffective, but why spite the victims of this system. That 71% worked hard and spent hard earned money in order to get that degree and for what? To be declared useless? This is very very cold, and someone should have him called to order.

Ayoola said...

As annoying as Soludo's comment here may be to some, sadly, there is considerable truth to it.

Judging by the comment as it is displayed in the post, perhaps one should not be quick to accuse him of spitting in the face of the 71%. As any one who has ever written an email, text or story, it is well known that written words do not always successfully convey actual tone. Perhaps there was more context to what he said that is not available for public consumption?

I don't work for Soludo, by the way, nor do I know him either.

Cheetarah said...

I dont know in what context Mr.Soludo said this so it will be hard for me to critize without actually reading everything..that being said.. I am 27, I and graduated about yrs ago, my first degree was in Nigeria and I have worked for many organizations with the knowledge aquired from my first degree. I find it annoying that we refuse to acknowledge that our educational system is not as bad as we make it out to be. I have taught/instructed snd am the superior of alot of people with Ivy league degrees, pray tell where did I learn how to? Nigeria.

My other degrees augumented the
already built foundation.
If you can afford the sacrifice of a foriegn degree, knock yourself out infact I recommend it! but it doesnt mean that if you have a homegrown one you wunt do well, alot of my classmates/colleagues are key players & run industries in Nigeria 50% only have their 1st Nigerian degrees how can he explain that? There are many pitholes in our educational system but they can easily be fixed and even if you spend 6years in Uni like I did tanxs to strikes you'll never be half baked unless of course you spent ur time hanging in the carpark or shemshak(lol)..therein lies Soludo's cherries.

NOTE: BY NO MEANS AM I SAYING OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IS PERFECT BUT ITS NOT ALL BAD EITHER!

omidanbellafricaine said...

NO 1 YAY ME! The elite cannot really see the plight of the masses even if they were once part of the masses.
In black america, most elite black people are some of the biggest critics of their own people. This reminds me of Bill Cosby's comment about African Americans. Educated black people all over my campus love to ridicule the "ghetto" yet some of them or their parents rose up from the ghetto.
It is as if once people step up they forget how hard it is to be down.

For the love of me said...

If you update this often all the time, my internet time would be more interesting.
I read the Soludo statement too and had similar sentiments. I do not understand why it is so much easier for us as Nigerians to run instead of try to fix the system. His kids are probably all in schools abroad and yet like you said, he is a policy maker.
I am running a masters program in the UK, and much as I think it's overpriced and overrated,the difference is very clear. The first day I entered the library, I had an 'education' shock as I had never seen so many books in my life. How hard can it be for our schools to stock books in our libraries?
The mediocrity of some Nigerian lectures is also worrisome, 6 years after graduation, I went to school for my transcripts and a lecturer dared to tell me that my dreadlocks was not ft for the academic environment. I also remember cases where lecturers walked students out of classes because they were wearing hats or dangling earings or for some other crazy reason.What sort of knowledge do these people want to impart?
If the students are half baked, then the lecturers are quarter baked or even raw. I tire!

bdon said...

very incisive views Funmi. I have been appalled by the state of our educational system and how much the rot affects the very ebb of society. However it is shameful that rather than focus on possible solutions, our policy makers highlight the problems daily.

Growing up as a young person, I learnt early in life that unless one can propose possible solutions to problems, such should not spend time focusing on it. Find the solutions, then talk about the problems.

I guess many of us never had such wise counsel. Thank you - if only views like this can be embraced by many.

tankojjetty said...

ecimonocs rlelay scoaraugts the rael prtciue...
i write with pain in my heart that 7 out of every 10 nigerian graduate isnt good enough for jobs in corporate nigeria.
But also with joy that these 7 have a chance to prove mr soludo wrong by starting an entrepreneural revolution in Nigeria "smile"

ababoypart2 said...

Soludo's statement cant be disputed neither can his arrogance. One can only hope that his statement will generate discussion on this topic.

NigerianDramaQueen said...

I am appalled by those remarks. I not only feel that they are pessimistic and unnecessary, I feel that they are true. What I want to know is, what reliable source did he get his 71 percent from? Yes, the disparity between the system of education in Nigeria and else where is undeniably wide- but still, I have seen so many Nigerians who have been able to pick themselves up by their bootstraps, and learn things on their own. Some of the best employee material in the world can be found in Nigeria-I beg to differ.

Sherri said...

semantics! my dear,
aside from not having any statistical data to back his statement, he's def got a point.
as an administrator, he's placing the blame exactly where it belongs.

it's a big shame to keep wasting those young minds.

chetablog said...

I don't know where to begin Ms. Iyanda. I don't want to write pages on your blog. However, the man has a right to air his frustrations. Isnt it like when he made the statements about the North. Truth is a bitter pill and we all need to swallow a little bit of it.

Aspiring nigerian woman said...

It context that the statement was made is completely irrelevant here. Soludo's statement is a slap on the faces of generations that have had to endure the poorly staffed and managed universities. Saying that the truth is bitter and I am inclined to agree with him.

I went to a Nigerian university for 2 yrs and from my first lecture, I knew that I could never do well. I was in a lecture room of over 500 students, with the lecturer not using a loud speaker. The whole structure is geared towards you failing. I felt for the UK shortly, after my traumatic university experience and graduated best in class, with o.5% short of a 1st class.

Iyaeto said...

That is a very cruel statement.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@ll, shall l start by saying l have encountered Mr Soludo on a number of occasions and at least on one such encounter picked him in my mind as the sort of leaders we need going forward. He appears focussed, brave and genuinely concerned about Nigeria. I always proudly and publicly citeas an example in strategic leadership of his self confessed (NTA lecture series 1 VI 2006) example of a long period of introspection and academic exploration (starting from a Nigerian university in good times) that brought about the NEEDS document even before he knew he would get a chance to tinker with the CBN. The other impression l have of him is that of a somewhat intellectually and emotionally disconnected elite. That is often his achilles heel. But this is really not about Soludo.
The other thing l will say is that l am very aware of the rot in our educational system and the first time l big mouthedly stated that we ought to declare a state of emergency in education (idea l got from WS, which later became a nonsensical political slogan), l got queried by my director at the network so l will never shy away from the truth of our situation in this and other aspects of life no matter how brutal.
What l seek to point out can only be illustrated thus: the skin cancer victim comes in with a sores all over his body. Fact he has cancer, fact he has sores all over the body. So as a member of the medical team, do you stand and scream about the fact of the sores? do you scream at the patient? No, you turn to your medical team and say gentlemen and ladies, here is the situation, what the heck are we going to do? At no time do you coldly, albeit truthfully turn to the patient and say, you worthless, sore ridden bag of disease, you are useless to all as you are and you are going to die if nothing is done. You never say that even if you then qualify it by turning to the team to say, so guys lets do something to save him.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@ll, shall l start by saying l have encountered Mr Soludo on a number of occasions and at least on one such encounter picked him in my mind as the sort of leaders we need going forward. He appears focussed, brave and genuinely concerned about Nigeria. I always proudly and publicly citeas an example in strategic leadership of his self confessed (NTA lecture series 1 VI 2006) example of a long period of introspection and academic exploration (starting from a Nigerian university in good times) that brought about the NEEDS document even before he knew he would get a chance to tinker with the CBN. The other impression l have of him is that of a somewhat intellectually and emotionally disconnected elite. That is often his achilles heel. But this is really not about Soludo.
The other thing l will say is that l am very aware of the rot in our educational system and the first time l big mouthedly stated that we ought to declare a state of emergency in education (idea l got from WS, which later became a nonsensical political slogan), l got queried by my director at the network so l will never shy away from the truth of our situation in this and other aspects of life no matter how brutal.
What l seek to point out can only be illustrated thus: the skin cancer victim comes in with a sores all over his body. Fact he has cancer, fact he has sores all over the body. So as a member of the medical team, do you stand and scream about the fact of the sores? do you scream at the patient? No, you turn to your medical team and say gentlemen and ladies, here is the situation, what the heck are we going to do? At no time do you coldly, albeit truthfully turn to the patient and say, you worthless, sore ridden bag of disease, you are useless to all as you are and you are going to die if nothing is done. You never say that even if you then qualify it by turning to the team to say, so guys lets do something to save him.

Anonymous said...

u must ve written the last comment in an airconditioned room, ur brain cool well well.....
Leaders don`t raise alarm, they profer solutions.
Ve a lovely weekend..

Anonymous said...

I am sorry but I dont agree that Soludo is an intellectual/emotional disconnected elite..... Magnus Kpakol is an example of one who is disconnected. Also, I am not too sure of my facts but I think Soludo said those but within a certain context and he actually proferred solutions. What more do you want him to do ?

onydchic said...

Let's face it. I've seen graduates from almost every type of university that is an intellectual, and I've seen people that sound like they jumped from primary school to a degree. So its not really about the school. Bad facilities doesnt stop one from developing himself. I learnt 60% of the stuff i know myself. Many Nigerians are just lazy like bomber and onibudo said. Soludo was being blunt. In a hurry to run off and make money at whatever cost, be it their own education. If most of us were REALLY serious about learning, they wouldn sit down and wait for a rotten system to help them out. IMHO.
We need to start facing the truth.

Layo said...

.... *sigh*

But he's right.

That's the main problem here, isn't it? Wouldn't it be awesome if he were saying something ridiculously inaccurate?

HE'S RIGHT.

I hear you, though. So maybe he should've come up with some sort of solution. But honestly, like what? You can't undo the damage already done to many of those whom the educational/societal/psychological system in Nigeria has fudged up. God knows, with how fudged.. oh fine, I'll say it.. fucked up things are, it's enough to make people throw up their hands in despair. I'm afraid Soludo has my back one his one.

-- Layo

Onibudo said...

I beg the msn is not talking about education in the formal sense or book sense but through self development. If you have employed a Nigerian of whatever generation you will find that self development is seen as a luxury but certification is an addiction.

On the younger generation, it is amazing that this came up recently. I have led the fantasy that the people younger than me are an improvement on my generation till I started facilitating corporate Nigeria. I found a more cynical group (with notable exceptions). Obsessed with MBAs and MSc from foriegn universities but cannot seem to think their way out of paper bags. Obsessed with rocking $500 and above bags or $300 dollar 'mad religion jeans'. There is an obessesive desire to consume and extremely rare interest in producing.

Soludo might be wrong about aspects of this but by God is this not an overdue dialogue? Is it not time to ask ourselves the question how do we truly create a generation that is genuinely open to self evolution, production and innovation?

My generation appears lost in a Zietgeist of conspicous consumption lets fight to help create a generation truly worthy of the title 21st century 'Nigerians' with the knowledge, skills and attitude to truly make the country competitive in this epoch. I am not talking about university qualification.

Whole Truths said...

Dele Momodu in his Saturday column in ThisDay said'Nigerian Universities produce graduates like Popcorn!'Soo much for subtlety!!

Anonymous said...

@ whole truths - Sorry but which of Dele Momodu's articles said that Nigerian universities produce graduates like popcorn ..Please tell me!

The one I recall was his Mike Adenuga article where he said Adenuga "manufactures new business ideas with the ease of making popcorn".

sprezatura said...

It gets really really annoying when Nigerians come out and swath words about the nigerian graduate and education in general without looking deeply into their derelict thoughts as to how the sector can be changed, what people like soludo should say or ask is why are the lecturers leaving, who is responsible for the depleted states of all university libraries and Labs, what is the effect of the 44 Uni-Ilorin lecturers sacked for almost ten years now, who has replaced them. I guess every great man has a "tiny bit" of stupidity in him especially when he has the opportunity to be heard.

Whole Truths said...

Er.. Emm i do not remember exactly NOW, but i will check my archives i.e Old Newspapers!, and get back to you as soon as i can! meaning hopefully very soon! It was in his Saturday column which he writes called "Pendulum"

Shola said...

There isn't any need crying over spilt milk. It is not just the educational system in Nigeria that is rubbished, virtually all the system has issues. We all know that if the system was working we all would not be out here in another man's country studying. Soludo and other policy makers in Nigeria have a chance to play their own part in nation building today because the journey of a thousand miles starts with a step. I personally and millions of Nigerian's out here would love to return to Nigeria and see my yet unborn Children school in Nigeria but is the system working?