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Why Do Nigerians Spend So Much Time In School?

It really baffles me when I go through the CV's of job applicants here at home since I came back from the UK. I have noticed that the average age of most applicants without any job experience is 27-30 (ie fresh graduates). Within that age bracket in the UK, one should have had at least 6-7 years job experience because at 16 you are legally free to leave school and start work and if you decide to acquire a university degree you must have completed it before you are 21. I had a manager back then who joined the company when he was 17 and acquired his university degree on ''2 days release per week''. He became a manager at 33. Having spent 13years with the company, he fully understands the job role. I do not believe that one can acquire all the skills you need in a job by spending so much time in school because when you leave school as a fresh graduate you'll still need on the job training to function effectively in your chosen role. I understand that our educational system does not help matters at all (ie incessant industrial actions and NYSC thing too which has lost it's purpose). What should be done to correct this abnormally in the future?

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This thread is spot on

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Of course! we need roughly 30% highly skilled citizens, 30% semi-skilled human and 30% others, and as time goes by these figures will float according to what he economy demands, an economist graduate working as cashier in a bank is a waste of government susidized education, a wasteloss in the long term to the company as she will get bored and chase bigger dreams after collecting more in house training

more emphasis should be on HND and work experience

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Compare no other country to nigeria. Can nigeria gain better economy anymore?

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Nice points, but we don't have a system in place to support all these extra education. We need to have a strong base, first of all. We also need to have the right mix of skill and education. Nigerians seem to have mostly education in non-skilled areas. We seem to have a lot more of accountants, economists, etc, rather than technically skilled people, scientists and engineers. Without skilled folks, we won't have innovators, and we won't have industries or jobs. You seem to be comparing Nigeria to the UK, a nation with a highly-developed social system. Nigeria is nowhere near being able to sustain a welfare state, despite the oil money.

Mind that all these well-educated folks still need a job. Who's going to find them a job? The state? Not in Nigeria, obviously.

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c,thecc,then its important to survive before you innovate.

Dont get it wrong,i understand what you are saying,i am not looking at it from the point of survival,since our needs in Africa generally are still basic,then its important we survive first before we innovate.But before waec had woodwork,mechanics and capententry.something went wrong,it was the military.But you know is painful to see foreigners everywhere without restriction,and the nigerian is shouting no job.You cannot see nigerians working in india.Welders in the oild industry are imported.Are you saying a Nigerian cannot weld does pipes.look every thursday airfrance brings to Nigeria french nationals to work in the LnG project,which kind of skill is that,you cannot send one nigerian on a course then he comes back to train a lot of people.Are salves in our country.Even some locations in nigeria now collect dollars as house rent,neglecting the Nigerian currency.

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I think we should have working experience b4 we seek admision to any higher institute, so dat ur working experience will be use after school, and due to lack of good active leaders and political problem.

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I think we should have working experience b4 we seek admision to any higher institute, so dat ur working experience will be use after school, and due to lack of good active leaders and political problem.

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The 6-3-3-4 system was a laudable idea but a woeful failure. It was meant to result in the building of technical manpower by identifying those who were more technically inclined and putting them on a training path that would eventually have a spillover effect in technical capacity building and competencies. We must go back to encouraging vocational education and entrepreneurship and not just the acquisition of paper qualifications that are worthless. For those who are creativity inclined, check out FACA.

Fashion Art and Creatives Academy is the vocational skills transfer arm of House of Henri which has trained over 1500 people. House of Henri is an integrated multi-division company focused on the creative industry. The fashion division of House of Henri won the Nigeria Best Fashion Designer for 2005/2006 of the Nigeria Fashion Show.

We currently offer training courses in Fashion Design, Bridals, Soft Furnishings and Interior Décor, Millinery, Jewelry Craft, Makeover Artistry, Photography, Events Decor and Modeling.

Our goal is to add value to people who want to start or grow a career in the Fashion, Art and Creative industries by imparting to them invaluable technical skills. The programmes prepare our students for careers in the local and global Creative Industries including Fashion, Art, and Design. With these skills they can start or grow a business as a means of livelihood or as an additional stream of income. In the event that they decide to further their education within or outside the country the skills learned can be used as entry level requirements to higher institutions and they would have been given a strategic leverage and head start that will make them excel. We also believe that beyond the typical white collar jobs, every man or woman should have a skill or learn a trade that they can fall back on at any point in time.

Our courses take a highly practical approach, focusing on extensive hands on exercises by our students. Our method breaks down sometimes difficult concepts into easy to learn steps bringing the student up to speed. We have been able to prove again and again through the success of our students that the knowledge and skill that takes up to four years to learn through the mentor-apprentice method that typically obtains in the industry, takes less than a year to acquire at Fashion and Art Academy . We also have best selling books on some of our courses published under the "Easy Learn" series that take our students step-by-step through the learning process.

We run a rolling admission system, which means when you are ready to start, we are also ready for you. We can also help with accommodation arrangements at guest houses or student hostels depending on your preference separately. For us to know your exact training needs and how you can be part of the Fashion Art and Creatives Academy kindly call us on 08023290830 or 01-8783390. Or better still come to the school at 6, Sabiu Ajose Str., Off Adeniran Ogunsanya, Behind Skye Bank, Surulere, Lagos.

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This I see all the time in my Cyber Cafe in downtown Abuja. Lots of students in mid 20 year old age groups. I agree about students wanting certificates and credentials before they enter the work place.

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So are we to blame the people for the Nigerian system of education? Are we to discourage them not to go for certificates, being what Nigerian employer's value most? Are we to dismiss the importance of acquiring certain level of professional skills before working, jst becoz Nigerian Education is flawed?

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Nigeria is developing country it will take decades to reach that point you have described,developing countries need to create ideas,innovate ideas .You are still painting the picture of certificates to us.India is a country with 1billion people,The educational sysytem there is better than that of nigeria.They have a sytem that encourages skill.student go to school for just 3 hrs because of the population ,they have 3 batches of students.what they learn in 3hrs is not what the Nigeria secondary student that left at 8 and closses at 2 will learn.even with all the certificates in Nigeria,foreigners dominate everywhere, Oil,telecoms,even An home grown company dangote is powered by indians.

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Good point!! That is exactly the message i tried to pass accross to the poster. He jst gave us one example of his fren out of many. He did not even consider the possible negative effect of a nation where it's citizens chose to go for working expirience more than acquiring a professional skills.

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@marabout:

well said, well said.

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Poster, I think you are just talking of your limited experience about what obtains here in the UK.  You cannot generalise like that.

My colleagues in health schools across UK, over 30% have a PhD, some 55%  an MSc so you can imagine how many have a BSc. I am talking of people in health schools at Oxbridge, Imperial College and University of Lodon (UCL, GKT, Queen Mary, Saint George's). That's people I know. I am one of those who left it late. But a superb (public) secondary education back home in the good old days stood me in good stead.

Things have changed here in the last decade. Certain areas are a lot more competitive and you have people who have reached the peak in other careers switching. Recent economic crisis has made many people who missed out on uni (either because of the belief that you don't need uni or didn't make the grade back then), to return to uni.

Germany is another country with a lot of mature undergrads. We all know that they one of the most advanced countries. It is quite common for civil servants there to have several degrees.

Many of those people applying for 1st job at 28 in Nigeria only just managed to go to uni through sheer determination.  Many would have liked to graduate at 21 if they had been taken to London. Let those with opportunity realise that not every has it.

My niece graduated in Naija at the age of 19. She now works for an insurance company. Her parents were able to afford sending her to uni a year before she was due to finish secondary.

A program on TV 3 years ago in the UK showed that Nigerians, the French followed by Indians spend the longest time at Uni. Because they they do longer and more degrees. It is widely seen as an achievement.

In the future these well-trained Nigerians both at home and abroad will turn out to be the only true resource Nigeria actually has. Forget about oil that will dry up or become irrelevant one day when the West get a cheap enough alternative. Even the theory-trained people at home will be easier to teach practical if things fall in place.

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Just for fun:

No jobs if you don't have a job

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/04/disturbing-job-ads-the-un_n_600665.html

And the requirements too stringent

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The lack innovation and creativity in our national operations.We need people with the capacity to develop programmes and structures for sustainable eduction in Nigeria. imagine that the same lesson note will examples given to you in the year 2000 will be the same the last born at home will recieve in 2015. what do you expect then?

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HORRIBLE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM + INSANE LEADERS = POOR PRODUCTIVITY + UNNECESSARY DELAY

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This is a very good question that can be extended to Africans in general. Why do Africans spend so much  time in School? In the USA, Africans  are among the most educated ie the percentage of people with a master's degree is higher in the African Community than in other communities.

But there is no fortune 500 company run by an African and the average annual income of Africans is far behind the average income in other communities. There is no African among the Forbes's magazine list of the richest people in America.  Several answers are possible base on people correct or false believes:

- The higher certificate you get in school, the bigger title you expect from the job and more money you will make;

- The higher certificate you get in school, the more secure you become because you can find a secure job in the government or in a big company;

- The higher certificate you get in school, the more respect you received in the society, "Call me Dr."

- The importance of title as  a key to open doors in Africa where promotion is based on title or seniority vs performance;

- Most Africans want to work for somebody else instead of creating and growing their own business often because of negative investment climate.

- Failure to define life mission and goals  that guide the selection of the type of education needed to reach these mission and goals;

-  Failure to ask the critical question: " Who need what I am spending time and money to study in school?"

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@poster

ITS BECAUSE NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES STRIKE A LOTTTTTT AND BECAUSE THERE ARE NO JOBS IN NAIJA.

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You assumed that there are so many educated people in Nigeria. How many people have first degree in Nigeria? How many have higher degrees? The percentage is not more than 10% if up to. Even in the so-called Western Nigeria, illiteracy level is still high. The problem is a disfunction in the economy.

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the guy has been away for too long a time. so, he does not know what obtains in nigeria.

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I wonder what was funny to you. Yes, people do get first degrees in computer science then maybe later on go on to specialize . . so there was nothing wrong with what the boy said.

Now you have suceeded in making the boy feel he can never be of any good just because he is still in Nigeria and you are a been to . . that is not nice. No wonder some people still have issues with those coming from abroad - people like you still run down others who ahave not been fortunate enough to leave the country.

How nice it would have been of you to encourage the boy and then educate him . . instead of laughing at him.

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The best university in Nigeria is around 8000 in the world,maybe its political,but i know the edcuation is crab and some of does profs that frustate you in Nigeria are not known in the world except few.I was in Nigeria recently and a young boy told me he studies computer sceince,i was just laughing,because is irritating to hear that word after a longtime,how can be be jack of all trade and you will still not know anything.I had to expaln to the boy about networking,information systems managment,Business Information technology, software technology,embeeded,computer enginerring,media eng,which one are you,no ans,i tire

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I was SHOCKED when i applied for my 1st real job here in the states and the panel i was talking to just asked about my previous experience with other jobs and how good on hand with what I was applying for and basically nothing about my education.

I made mention that i have OND(ordinary national disgrace) and HND(higher national disgrace) and a lady called me aside and said my certs were not needed for OUR schools are not respected.

Asked why and she went into a lenghty sheet of reasons why and number 1 was that the educational system was so corrupt they dont know who to really turn to for authenticity so basically they look for some sort of education here and also your work experience(not lenght of time you worked)

the it dawned on me(i basically wasted 7 yrs trying to get an education that ius not respected world wide

The Nigerian educational system really needs an over-hauling

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why wont he compare Nigeria and U.k,Th idea we use in Nigeria was sold to us by this people,we were meant to fashion out a system that will work for us.

In India you will never see any Nigerian working in a telecom sector,or oil company there,why are they in our country?what skill do they have that we cannot get?

Iran as is own oil,his own ship,and engineers,nigeria as the oil,with foreign companies paying royalities ,foreign workers and they also tell you how much  to sell your oil.

Well,i will not decieve my self Afica is very rich country and the poverty in africa is tied to the prosperity in europe,if you go rich and do the right thing,they will not be okay ,so we may remain like this for a longtime t come.

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NA WAITING I DEY CHECK

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education siw aht d devil has used to occupy d minds of people to make dem be far from their creator

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My brother, in as much as i agree with in some point i will disagree with you in some .

1. The systems in Nigeria and UK shall never be the same.

2. The education system are not the same, for example, In UK they have Vocation schools where some one can acquire formal vocational skills that qualifies him for some jobs without even going for tertiary institution. In Nigeria you need to learn from a road side mechanics or Carpenter to be skilled in such a jobs.

3. Nigerian employers value certificate more than the informal skill acquire. A graduate of mechanical engineer who can not even recognise wheel spanner if presented to him, will be a better candidate than someone who actually acquire the skills through informal training and got experience for the job. That is Nigerian system, you dont blame the people but the government that made it remain so.

Moreover i don't buy your idea of people going for experience first b4 education. That Nigerian certificate is worthless as a result of the educational is not enough reason to dismiss the importance of acquiring formal education/skills b4 working. You jst mention the good side of it, with few examples, but at the long run it is very dangerous for a nation like the one am living in now. Every one is fighting for experience to get a better job, non want to go to school anymore. A kid who started working at the age of 16 finds it difficult to subject him/herself to the lecturer. Their position at the companies  and fat account make them believe they have no need for more education or acquiring a certificate. We live in an Era that the kids of these days are being forced to go to school, even when their government encourages them with free education. Every one want a short cut to success, so don't think the Nigerian government provided that shortcut and the people refused to take advantage of it.

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The whole school system should be looked at holistically, what is benefit of spending too much time in school and after those long years your employer will till have to train you on the job?

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^^^^ Well it all boils down the the system, govt and the power situation in some ways.

Most companies are running from Nigeria simply because of erratic power supply and I dont blame them.

What is an electrical / mechanical engineer without electricy or the freedom to generate it? nothing! . . so who's goin to hire them??

What is the govt doing about power ? . . .  all talk and nothing.

If you cant handle it. privatise the damn thing or let the states who can generate their own do it!

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gregejige,

If we have increasing number of Nigerians willing to give such oppurtunities guess the story will change in the near future, its all about the value systems. As regards our techie graduates turning to tellers in banks, this is really saddening, many times i discuss such issues with colleagues and really wish a solution could be found without having to rely on the government since that has been proved futile in recent years

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@ Poster, someone said it above that the system is faulty.

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So how do you gather the experience if no one's willing to give you the opportunity (like you did some people) even WHEN you offer to be a non-paid volunteer??

Hence the reason why most people in Nigeria accumulate degrees . .

The problem is our system:

- FIX the damn Power system and you will see how many robbers / okada drivers will be off the streets.

- Encourage and support technical education.

I remember some going to the under bridge at oshodi several years ago - these young igbo boys had their own radio station!! with a decent transmitter designed by them from scratch and several receivers all around the electronics market. Some of them were also builing actuators used in cable antennae.

Why cant we support, encourage and develop these kinds of people??

Instead we run them down and go buy from china

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PrinceKevo,

I guess you do not need to crucify Pa-Ken, I believe what he said can be put to practice in Nigeria, having worked abroad and appreciate employers not keen about my certificates but my ability to deliver, meets and exceed targets, it changed my orientation about the rationale behind worshiping certificates in Nigeria, I took up a short term role  as a technical Project Manager with a company on a 3G Optimization project  of one of the Mobile Operator's in Nigeria prior to its commercial launch late 2008.

I had to recruit the guys to be on my team, tons of CV had been received and on my selection criteria, experience far outweighs whatever certificates you have, at the end of the day I ended up not asking any of the successful guys to show me if they had a degree or not,  one of the top performers happens to be a Youth Corp member who had some experience and could deliver better than guys some guys with loads of certificates.

We really need to look inward and encourage ourselves to turn Nigeria to a better place to live, BTW while I was leaving after three months, the same was asked to act as the Project Manager and he is doing just great now, attended some PM oriented training and he's continued to be a top performer with more responsibilities.

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Why Do Nigerians Spend So Much Time In School?

The system is faulty, dat`s why. The previous posters have said it all- Jamb, Waec, Strike, Delayed results, Missing scripts, Nysc, the list is endless.

Anyway, e go better!

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Yes the government should tackle corruption and also focus on education

But the Employers, who will be making use of these resources should also DEMAN FROM the government that the curriculem and emphasis on theory should be changed. They keep complaining about the quality of graduate without

doing anything to change the fundamemntals, they only donate money for buildings via adverts. The should partner NUC

in other to get relevant modules/practise into the university system.

They have taken the 'easier' option of importing chinese,philipinos etc etc thinking those will stay only for short the term.

They should be at the fore front of adopting newer work experience schemes, just like they did with CSR with the banks following each other in adopting one cause or the other.

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what do you expect people to do when they get their first degree and still no job . . and every vacancy says at least masters even when it is a cleaning job?

. . and before you say they should start their own business, who will give them the line of credit . . . and how do you start your own business when you spent 24 hours of ur time in school, not like in the west where you can work while goin to school??

. . as long as you are looked down upon if you do not have a university degree, things will beging to look this way.

Technical colleges need to be revived and employees must be encouraged to be hiring from these schools.

But of course our power issues need to be sorted out first of all or we are just wasting our time.

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In the 60s, Nigeria's people were developing (both white-collar and blue-collar education), and the educational system (and economy) was also developing.

In the 70s, Nigeria's people continued to develop in both white-collar and blue-collar education, while the educational system (and economy) continued to develop.

In the 80s, Nigeria's people continued to develop in more of white-collar and less blue-collar education, while the educational system (and economy) started to decline.

In the 90s, Nigeria's people continued to develop in more of white-collar education (blue-collar education had collapsed), while the educational system (and economy) continued to decline.

In the 2000s, Nigeria's people continued to develop in more of white-collar education, especially now leaving the shores of Nigeria in pursuit of more white-collar education (blue-collar education had totally gone). Educational system had crashed, economy was trying to grow back.

Then came the global meltdown, and poof! goes economic growth.

As at today 2010, Nigeria's people have stacks of white-collar certificates which are way advanced beyond the educational system (totally declined) and economy (has not grown beyond the 60s).

That's really the problem.

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The 6-6-4 education system needs reformation. Nysc should be stopped cos it's a pure waste of time. The skill acquisition part of education needs more attention. A good example of an outcome of our poor education system is the over and underemployment going on in the labour sector; It's quite embrassing when an engineer is working as a bank cashier. Certificates and big grammer can't solve our problems. Certificates can be easily bought.

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Yeah we know that factors like strike, JAMB, WAEC results, finances prevent people from graduating on time but I will like to point out that even with those so called barriers, people still graduate from uni at early ages. I graduated at the age of 20 even with the first two months strike and the 2003 six months strike.Most of my mates graduated at 21, 22. I believe if you get into nursery, primary, secondary and Uni at the right age and time you will graduate at the right time even if you have a year or two strike (which i don't think has ever happened)

Like the poster rightly said, most people in the Uk are at management roles even at 21 or less but we have to remember that it's a difficult ball game in naija.

1.No one is going to employ you as a teenager when there are loads of graduates, uncles and aunties out there

2.Parents will prefer their children to concentrate on their studies first

3.In the Uk, people don't necessarily go for qualifications (Most of these Managers are not uni graduates)

There are loads of top level Managers who don't have Uni qualifications.

The only thing is that these days, they go for NVQs and some trainings and those 2days/1 week courses which we know won't make sense in Naija.

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i ve a guy (an american) in my coy that has jst been made a manager .his also married wit 3 kids @ age 26.

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what happens is that if our Government will tackle corruption and Education,this will help the future generation especially in this era of cyber world.I too am not a fan of cert,but this is the posion that is destroying our country.certificate.

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You are welcome back home my brother. Probably you were born abroad and lived all your life abroad. When you have you own kids in Nigerian try to bring them up in Nigeria and let them pass through Nigerian public educational system, probably, that will you an insight to you question.

You fren joined a company at the age of 17 in,UK , now i will ask you as an employer now in Nigeria if you will employ 17 year boy/girl who is not a graduate and without any expirience in your company? Are you gonna make the difference by employing them or do you still prefer a graduate?

You dont comapre your UK environment with that of Nigeria.

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FINISHED UNIVERSITY AT THE AGE OF 21. . . . . . .

DNT BLAME ASUU EVERYTIME

ITS NIGERIA THAT IS JUST BAD

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^^

Right on.

Although it is not really the employers. Remember that the companies are populated by the same Nigerians who hold certificates, and their understanding of requirements is really the issue.

The companies that pay well, always look for ways of creating recruitment orifices, and end up with a pool of highly skilled and qualified, but grossly under-employed and overpaid staff. For example, the upstream oil majors require a minimum of a 2.1 degree, in many cases a masters degree or even a Phd, but the actual jobs held by the people are not in any way relevant to their qualifications. I know a Phd who works as a project expediter in one of the oil majors.

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But the only way EMPLOYEES in nigeria atract those people is by the number of Certificatet they bring to the interview

Lets be honest if employees dont demand certificate students will be spending valuing time and effort arranging work experience instead of shelling out on certificate

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of what impact has the long educational system have on our national technological and economical development

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Simple answer: Innocent people who are victims of an ailing educational system created by ignorant and self-centered leaders who we sell our voting rights to.

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@olas2u,

if you go to mechanic workshop you will appreciate the truth behind what you have just said.They are paid peanuts after turning themselves on the ground and that's why every graduate is focused on oil company.

But no distant time to come,mechanics will package themselve very well.

If you need their service,you follow due process-register your car in their office.

Pay for spare parts

leave the car and come back later and pay the bill.

Then we appreciate them.

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