I realized recently that the acronym S.O.S does not only connote “Save Our Soul” but may be used in qualifying ” System Of Scams ” as brought forth by this piece. Till date, to say education is the best legacy is never considered a fallacious assertion but there is a gainsay when we utter that education is free.

Recently, several students of the University of Ibadan (UI) have been heard uttering the statement ‘UI is a scam’. Whether it is or not is left to be answered by those concerned.

But let’s view it first from the broader perspective by looking critically at the educational system in Nigeria, isn’t the system based on the scam? The innocent Nigerian youth spends roughly six years for a four years course in a nonconducive learning environment. As if such an unfriendly circumstance isn’t sufficient, he will be expected to struggle all day upon graduation in the name of survival. Job opportunities become scarce to find, and a smooth life upon graduation remains nothing but an imagination.

While in school, he faces lots of problems, from the dilemma of clashing classes to the pains of studying in oven-like-classrooms, from living in a bedbug-infested hostel to so many other frustrating issues which make learning appear as a punishment. Sadly, the wards of the governed study in the den of terror while the wards of those whose salaries they pay —those in government — study in peace, isn’t this a scam?

Back to UI — what shall we call a situation where students are expected to pay for the union which has been relegated to the benches of nothingness? Or a case where returning students are mandated to pay for identity cards which will not be given? Isn’t all of these a scam?

The hostel fee was increased by more than 100%. Uites grumbled but their voices went into the wrong side of their auditory organ. That’s not even an issue but the issue is that those hostels are still in their embarrassing states. Many talk in silence and few that voice outdo that with hidden faces. “What a scam,” they sing, and after much deliberation, they joke it out. Well, the educational sector is a big joke!

You write UTME in pressure, post UTME with high blood pressure, well lucky you, you were given the golden admission, welcome to the land of stress — from registrations to final clearance, you will face a series of challenges and luckily for you, your monthly #19800 NYSC allowance will sustain you for a year. After services, job hunting becomes a training ground, it becomes the survival of the fittest. Go out there, there are numerous frustrated youths out there with a good certificate but unfortunately, no job.

One-day victims of scam will turn out to be scammers too and more will be produced as long as the system keeps running like this. We cry, save our soul from the system of scam.

 

By – Kunle Sotibi

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