This article examines the relevance of postgraduate education to national development, irrespective of associated challenges with it.
“Develop a passion for learning, If you do, you will never cease to grow”. – Anthony J. D’Angelo
The quote above is a pointer that a mind ready to know is a mind prepared for development. It is important to note that a mind that knows is a mind that is free. Education is power and education is knowledge. Postgraduate education is that which is acquired after one must have completed an undergraduate degree. It is very important to national development.
The one that comes after a first degree is known as Masters. It could be a Master of Science (MSc.), a Master of Arts (MA), a Master of Education (M Ed.) and so on, according to different fields of study. This is then followed by a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). National development is regarded as a positive growth in the totality of a nation’s life plan visible economically, politically, socially, industrially, and in every otherwise.
It is mostly believed that education is the foundation of any serious nation’s development. In other words, for development to take place, such country’s government and relevant stakeholders must take the issue of education seriously, especially postgraduate education. This is because it is a veritable avenue for rapid national development due to the importance placed on research.
No doubt, every individual has different reasons for pursuing a postgraduate degree but in recent times, it is widely believed that many people,especially youths opt for postgraduate programs simply because they couldn’t secure a job. As true as the assertion may seem, these individuals need to be commended because they could have chosen to join the youths on the streets who are wallowing in nefarious activities.
The question that readily comes to mind is, “How has postgraduate education faired in Nigeria and how has it contributed to the country’s national development?” In Nigeria, the postgraduate education is plagued with a myriad of challenges, which range from the unavailability of adequate resources to pursue an authentic and rewarding research, industrial actions, unscrupulous lecturers, lack of seriousness on the part of students, to mention but a few.
The high cost of postgraduate education in Nigeria is one factor bedevilling the nation’s development. It has become even worse after the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Most Universities raise part of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through postgraduate tuition fee, thus the reason for the unquestionable hike. This has affected students who are eager to learn and most of them decline admissions simply because they could not afford the tuition.
University managements nationwide should understand the fact that without these students, there can’t be a university and they must strive to encourage these brilliant ones to contribute their quota to national development,perhaps who knows, a scholar’s research might lift up the nation from its economic mess.
Also, the low availability of scholarship opportunities and research grants from both academic and non-academic institutions has not contributed to the growth and success of postgraduate education in the country. Another giant factor holding down the success of postgraduate education in contributing to national development is the menace of industrial action on the part of the academic body.
Both the academic and non-academic staff unions in our universities believe that the only language the government understands is strike action without considering the efforts of the students. This in turn wastes students’ time making them to spend extra time in school. It is worthy of note to say here that some lecturers leave their work undone and invest their time in private businesses at the expense of the students. These are issues that need to be looked into.
Another problem on the part of the students is lack of seriousness and determination to pursue novel and rewarding researches in unflooded areas. They are always building on what researchers have done in the past. This obviously cannot push the nation forward. Upcoming researchers need to start breaking grounds towards national development.
Having a country that encourages postgraduate studies helps to keep the society under control, which then helps contribute to national development. This is a crucial prerequisite to national development because the more a people become enlightened, the more they would abstain from practices that will endanger the nation’s efforts at development.
Finally, education according to Nelson Mandela is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world and I make bold to say that for Nigeria to develop, postgraduate education is the golden key to unlock the door of our freedom from poverty, political apathy as well as societal misconduct.