In Nigeria, when we say that something is as numerous as pure water, we mean that it can be found everywhere and bought at a kobo a dozen.
When I started seeing news reports of an enormous amount of First Degree graduates coming out of our private universities, that saying came to mind. And I hoped our private universities were not just awarding first class degrees to make name. Well, this article linked to below from Punch expresses the same fears.
In Nigeria, almost everything of value with time tends to get mass-produced, to the extent that it loses its value. Consider a state in Nigeria that at a point in time began to sell royal titles as a way of generating internal revenue. Or is it the Doctorates that many private academic institutions award indiscriminately?
See the concerns of the Punch article here. At the same time let me state that our public universities seem to err in the opposite direction. A lot of lecturers boast that no one can score an A in their course and seem to take pleasure in marking down students whose works merit a solid score.
I remember one PHD student lamenting to me that she spent up to seven years trying to get a PHD, and yet it was denied her. She decided to get 2 Masters, but the PHD people denied her the degree – the ultimate prize – until she died.
The bottom line is that the National Universities Commission (NUC) should regulate our academic institutions more in this area to ensure that people are not denied what they merit; and at the same time, people are not given what they don’t merit.