You are the Change!

I want to touch on a topic that is dear to my heart and I’ve spoken about it in bits and pieces.

Do you know why almost every issue in Nigeria— class system, opportunities, nepotism — degenerates into money? Because we do not have a functional structure/system.

Let’s take a walk via time line to establish how this may occur

TERTIARY EDUCATION PITFALL

It is a miracle to get accepted into a higher institution at the first application and finish at the stipulated duration of the program. This is not necessarily because the undergraduates that were accepted are more intelligent or hardworking than others seeking admission but because the system is flawed. There is a wide margin between the number of students seeking admission and the slots available for entry-level students. As a result, some stay home year after year in a quest to further their education.

After getting admission, the match between those who get the course that correlates with their choice is even smaller. A greater proportion is a mismatch. Taking the opportunity to study anything and get a degree over not being admitted for the degree of their choice.

Considering how passion plays a critical role in excelling in one’s choice of field; there’s bound to be a lot of mediocre professionals who follow through in a career path that stems from the unwanted university degree.

NIGERIA HAS THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF CHILDREN OUT OF SCHOOL

About 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria, leading the countries that’s host to children not entrenched in education system. This occurs because the parents/guardians of these children can not afford the cost of education — uniforms, fees, loss of child labour — amid other reasons such as culture or children running away from abuse or orphans in the care of unwilling persons. This also occurs because although there are laws to ensure that at the minimum a child gets the primary education, the implementation is weak.

QUALITY OF EDUCATION

While Nigeria prides itself with some great institutions, all the tertiary institutions aren’t up to standard. Some graduates get half baked degrees, as some of the institutions are ill equipped — outdated laboratories, obsolete machineries or a lack of it altogether. The practical aspect of some courses is substituted with theory instead.

TRANSITIONING TO THE WORKPLACE

After one eventually gets the degree, number of entrants into the job market largely surpasses the job opportunities available. The gap is so wide, which explains why youth unemployment is at an astromical high of 54.4%. Some employers complain the job seekers are not equipped with the skill sets required in the work place.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

There is a strong difference between survival entrepreneurship and impact entrepreneurship. The former is to keep your head above the waters while the latter has a propensity to scale and compete with global brands. This could occur due to lack of access to capital, mentoring or even resources. A business stands a better chance of survival with ready capital.
 Most entrepreneurs raise it from friends and family to start small. If you fall into a group whose network can’t raise it — not because they’re evil or your business plan sucks but because they do not have it. You keep playing small or stay at a survival level or grow at a very slow pace compared to if you had a catalyst -support system &funding.

DID YOU BEAT THE SYSTEM? BURDEN RESTS ON YOU TO CHANGE IT

This list is not exhaustive. If you come out of this system victorious due to better opportunities, positioning, privileges amidst hard work (You must remember those that didn’t beat the system aren’t necessarily lazy, the system is simply highly flawed) the burden rests on you to instigate change.

Everyone should have a higher chance at succeeding. The onus of fixing it falls on the shoulder of those who have beat the system; on the shoulders of the populace to demand better systems; on the shoulders of those called to lead to build systems and to do it at a reasonable pace.

Wealth — a byproduct of opportunity — is mostly generational, to bridge this gap we need to build systems and make attempts to level the field.

For the most part of it, you succeeded because you had a more favourable soil. Let’s get to work to create a better soil for others.