Doctored certificates: The undervalue of Education In Nigeria!

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

For fifty years now the Nigerian politicians have left education to decay.It becomes true when one observe the way they have a stategy of deliberately sabotaging childrens’ education. While parents, schools, local and states government across Nigeria bicker about the democratic process of running public schools, forces are … all manipulating education from behind the scenes. Those who believe they are the “book-makers” are destroying public education to suit their own self-serving agendas ( whether genuine or fake), without regard for the wants of parents and the welfare of their children. Today’s educational system in Nigeria has dumb down kids deliberately, making zombie-like people who don’t ask any questions but just follow orders,at themercy of private school owners who extort and exploit parents and guidians to satisfy their self caprice and whilm.

Educational systems in Nigeria is all about providing credentials, not skills, to their graduates. In a labour market that rewards credentials rather than skills, the more credential one possesses, the stronger the signal for success; hence Nigerian students demand more complex but less useful credentials. Most graduates cannot spell their names. One doubt it seeing a Nigerian graduating spit pidgen English as if there are no other better English lecturer on collegues on campus.Their credentialmake mess of all.The less useful a given credential is, the greater the demand since it is required for the next level of credentialing. Current education policy in Nigeria (with a few notable exceptions) may be characterised as “see nothing wrong, do nothing to change the system”. The very medical graduate appeared half-baked; does not know the work and dose of paracetamol.In effect, continue to do the same things and hope for the best. The evidences of failure abound: low enrolment rates and high dropout rates, unequal access (between males and females and between urban and rural), teacher absenteeism, low and declining performance by international standards. Yet policy makers make no serious attempts to address these issues. African educational problems are part of larger social problems that include corruption, conflict, and poor governance.

Still though it is very risky to purchase a fake diploma, many people are purchasing fake degree either to obtain a promotion or to transfer job. Success begins with having an educational environment that will help one added their career or jump begin it. Several online educations that offers to make images based on living skill alone needs to be examined further systematically. Diploma mills suggest making an image and fake diploma in Nigeria are there for a little fee, but often do not raise any questions as to the current education stage of a learner. Some teenagers may decide to live the skill of high education, but others may choose to have the online experience, to save time and currency by buying fake diploma. The net has now turned into the clear avenue for buying fake high education degrees. With the economy, the method it is, it is becoming further of a selection for parents who yet want to get their degree as fake degree.

In Lagos, the issue of fake graduation degrees of various law-makers has suddenly popped up. With the passage of every day, the issue is expanding like a catastrophic tornado. Given the seriousness of the matter and discovery of more new cases of members of the law-makers obtaining fake degrees, the very future of democratic government is badly jeopardized.

The frenzy about fake graduation degrees has now hit Nigerianists too. A Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Education has asked the INEC office to provide the educational record of all twenty-five members of the State Assembly. As the information has been provided by the INEC, it is now going to be processed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ascertain the authenticity of various members’ graduation degrees.

It was Fola Adeola, a Vice presidential flag-bearer of the Action Congress Of Nigeria who made it mandatory upon all contestants of general elections to have ( a School leavers certificate) a minimum graduation degree as a precondition to participate in the elections. Many veteran and renowned politicians, who had won the elections from their respective constituencies in the past, were knocked out from the electoral race because they did not have a graduation degree as recognized by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

It was the precondition to have a graduation degree for which influential politicians moved from pillar to post to obtain a degree from anywhere at any price in order to contest the general elections. Many politicians spent hefty amounts of money to forge graduation degrees and contested elections. The majority of doubtful degrees come from the private schools administered by non-graduate owners which is a key coalition partner of the political Parties in Nigeria. According to a report published in one of Nigeria’s dailies, at least twenty-five lawmakers in the national Assembly are believed to have fake degrees while Deputy Chairman of Senate Ike Ekweremadu said yesterday in a press conference that the number of lawmakers in the national assembly who possess fake degrees was more than one dozen and includes both male and female lawmakers. These are very high statistics which, if proved correct, may create a great parliamentary crisis in the country.

Participants in April 2011 nigeria4betterrule debate, has suggested all of his fellow members of the National Assembly to voluntarily resign from their respective seats if they contested elections by using a fake degree. Demonstration of ‘moral courage’ and ‘resignation’ are two alien words in lawmaker’s politics. Therefore, it is futile to hope that someone would bravely confess having used wrong means to contest elections. Thus, legal action is the only way forward which could prove these speculated figures.

Conceding the extremely poor performance of the democratic government, we still believe the timing chosen for addressing the issue of fake degrees is not appropriate. The purpose of this fresh campaign, which should have been started before the elections, is not to cleanse the assemblies of fake-degree holders but to create a fresh political crisis in Nigeria by derailing the process of democracy. It is no skeleton in cupboard that the judiciary in this country has shaped itself, in the aftermath of its restoration, as a political power center similar to the country’s defence. The Law court appears to be bent upon bringing the Senate President to his knees with the covert support of the masses. No such move should be taken right now which leads to derailment of the democratic process in this country. It is too late to punish elected lawmakers after swearing-in from their election. Should they be allowed to complete their tenure?.

Punishment should now be awarded to the INEC of Nigeria, the degree issuing educational institutions and everybody who accepted bribe in return of facilitating the issuance of a fake degree or observing silence during the process of scrutiny. The judiciary should refrain from blackmailing the parliament and attempting to empower itself as a stronger entity than the elected parliament. The disqualification of some lawmakers is not going to change the overall defective social and political structure of this country as the current moves being made to punish the fake-degree holders clearly has political rather than reformist motives

Enrolment ratios for primary schools in Nigeria averaging about 80 per cent, are about 25 per cent for secondary schools and less than 5 per cent for tertiary institutions. Nigerian ration available spaces by location (urban versus rural), by influence and connections (children of the influential get the best) and gender (boys are favoured), but not necessarily on merit. The major reason given for the low enrolment ratios is lack of resource

s to finance the provision of education. However, Nigeria could get more out of their education resources if these were allocated efficiently. Efficiency requires that resources be allocated to activities in which the marginal benefit to cost ratio is the highest. Given that the social rate of return to primary education in Nigeria is higher than the social rate of return to higher education and that social rate of return to female education is higher than that for male education ,it stands to reason that Nigeria will have to increase their support for primary and female education relative to tertiary and male education, even if they cannot increase resources allocated to the provision of education because policy makers do not have the political courage or the interest to change it. Yet the reverse is what is happening in Nigeria. For example, Nigerian government spends forty-four times as much on each university student as they do on each primary school student.

Fake degrees are common place in Lagos mainland and it is not a surprise that a “foreign talent” had imported the “profession” into Nigeria.It was subsequently discovered that her degree was fake and her company was conned into employing a foreign worker without the relevant qualifications.Unsuspecting employers who are keen to hire cheap local graduates will probably fall prey to such schemes easily as few will bother to double check the particulars on the certificates.

As for the fake degree peddler, he would probably received an award from the pro-foreigner Nigeria government for his “entrepreneurial spirit.”Most of them provide top-quality, hard-to-find documents at reasonable amount. Some teenagers may decide to live the skill of high education, but others may choose to have the online experience, to save time and currency by buying fake diploma. With the economy, the method it is, it is becoming further of a selection for parents who yet want to get their degree as fake degree. Success begins with having an educational environment that will help one added their career or jump begin it. Several online educations that offers to make images based on living skill alone needs to be examined further systematically.

Plenty of online degree programs can offer credits for experiences in year, but it cannot represent the entire course and will have to be cautiously revised. Diploma mills suggest making an image and fake diploma for a little fee, but often do not raise any questions as to the current education stage of a learner. All training academy that offer classes over the internet should bring the proper authorization for saving from fake degree. Similar to the colleges establish across the planet, there are accrediting values that should be followed and criteria that should be met.

Many employers do not think about where the college education of a candidate comes from; however they want that it be from an accredited source. Once in confusion, a prospective student must always contact the Department of Education and verify the position of any potential school that they can be present on or offline. The website of many fake diploma online colleges can be extremely informative if a prospective student be learned what to look for. The nonappearance of a toll-free number should be a main warning mark for fake degree, as must the absence of a present residence. Any organization that will only carry out their business via fax, and online needs to be checked into. There should be an advising department and should be staff that must be reached during normal company hours.

What is the problem with using fake degrees? In addition to the apparently not-so-obvious ethical problem, the answer is related to the one above: It perpetuates the ubiquitous perception among Nigerian school owners, university administrators, not to mention our own students, that foreign teachers are not real teachers but, at best, friendly visitors and, at worst, performing monkeys. Obviously, any private school or recruiter that proffers fake degrees to its foreign teachers is expressing nothing but contempt for all of us. Any foreign teacher who uses a fake degree to obtain employment or naively accepts one in China is actively lending justification to this professional disregard and disrespect.

If you don’t have a real degree, don’t even consider using a fake one in Nigeria.In the end, it hurts all of us. And if your university is turning a blind eye to your use of an “honorary academic title,” don’t for one moment delude yourself into believing that this is an indication of positive regard or special status. Just the opposite, it means that your university administrators secretly regard you as a complete outsider and total academic joke.

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1 comment

Uzosike Ben May 27, 2011 - 4:37 pm

this is real. even inside most university campus you hardly hear correct use of English language, vernacular play high part. The NUC shoud draft a committee to look into this challenges. It is a national shame.


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