Over schooling in Nigeria: Positive or Negative? (Published)
Nigeria has become a country where paper qualifications, credentials and certificates have become the order of the day. Nigerians no longer attend educational institutions (lower basic education level schools – primary 1-3, middle basic education level schools – primary 4-6, upper basic education level schools – JSS 1-3, senior secondary schools, colleges of education, polytechnics, monotechnics and universities) for the sake of learning how to read and write, to become knowledgeable and be updated with trends and happenings in the society, but to acquire one credential or certificate or the other. Thus the Nigerian institutions of learning have become all-comers institutions. Individuals that are not educable strive to acquire some qualifications because of the values placed on qualifications by the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people. The issue of certificate craze in Nigeria has crippled the emphasis on experience, knowledge and intellectual ability cum technical knowhow. The uneducated elites use their finances and connections to buy credentials in order to fit into the Nigerian society of certificate owners. This has devalued the quality of Nigerian graduates in such a way that even individuals with credentials do not have the ability to defend themselves and even the credentials they have acquired. Every individual has become a culprit thus the concept of ‘certificate verification’ in Nigerian schools. Every Nigerian irrespective of status, family background, economic background, gender, age, marital status, tribe, ethnic nationality religious affiliation and even gender orientation have become victims of this situation. This is why the concept of over-schooling has surfaced and in a way has become a challenge to the Nigerian people and the Nigerian government. The challenge is that no one can strongly opine on the issue of whether over-schooling is negative or positive. This paper wants to unravel the mystery behind over-schooling and buttress whether or not over-schooling is positive or negative.
Keywords: Negative and Positive, Over-schooling