Monday, 20 June 2011

So, you made a 2:1. Then get a job!

I made a 2:1 and I am unemployed...

So I am sitting on my bed pondering over what happened the other day with my staff. I employed her because she said she needed the job, even though I felt she was 'over qualified' for the job. I mean who has a 2:1 and works in a liquor store? Only in Nigeria. I made it my mission to help her find a better and more respectable job in a good firm, with the chance of career progression. On her CV, she studied accounting and made a 2:1. I spoke to a couple of people and in a week she got an interview with a reputable firm. I was certain she'd get the role...until the interviewer (and uncle) asked to see me the next day. The day after he interviewed her.

"The girl failed the interview big time. She couldn't even define accounting" He cried. "she is the dullest person I have ever interviewed in my entire life. I cant even make her an office assistant let alone a trainee accountant" I cringed in embarrassment. I mean what sort of person did that make me if I had a poor sense of judgement? I was furious! This is the sort of problem we face in Nigeria and yet people scream unemployment. It begs the question, how can someone so daft make a 2:1 in Accounting or even a 2:1 in applied gardening? if not for the appalling state of the Nigerian educational system. So how did she make her 2:1?

I remember someone in my department who made a 2:1 and when we went job hunting she was too frightened to go for the shell interview she was called for. Does it mean that only a handful of people in Nigeria today are truly deserving of impressive grades? For instance in some Universities I know of, the lecturers may deliberately mark you down unless he is bribed or unless you buy his hand-outs which you do not need. Some Nigerian citizens are quick to point their fingers at the government for underpaying lecturers and the poor state of the schools. But what about the students and their parents who fork out thousands of money so they can buy an impressive degree? Then later cannot defend the said degree to get a good paying job. Isn't it worrisome that most parents now send their children abroad for a better education? Even the Presidents, Governors and Minister's of education send their children out of Nigeria to study. About 50% of people I know have one or two foreign degrees because it's now the way forward and because of it's authenticity. Is anyone doing anything to turn this around? 

Apparently a tiny number of employers in Nigeria are now more comfortable employing people who make a 3rd class (or someone with a foreign degree) or Pass as opposed to 2:1 as they know some people who make 2:1 now is because they can afford to 'block' or bribe their lecturers. So what hope is there for people who cannot send their children abroad or bribe their lecturers? What a shame!

M'je

24 comments:

Prism of an immigrant said...

We still have to blame the government and not the rich parents who fork over thousands of Naira. The parents are only doing what they think they have to do in order to create opportunities for their children.

@ilola said...

Its such a pity that Nigerian eductaion has come to this level. But we can find comfort in the fact that there are still one or two reputable Federal universities that this would never happen. Unfortuanately, not cannot accomodate everyone

Mamuje said...

Prism of an immigrant: So if what the children wants is detrimental to themselves and the society is it still OK for the parents to let them have it? I guess different parents have different moral standing. Mine are the sort that would make you repeat a class if you failed, not bribe for their children.

Ilola- wouldn't it be a miracle of suddenly all universities in Nigeria suddenly turned a new leaf?

Vyvyka said...

It is indeed very sad. I think the employers are to blame. The 2.1 grade has been so over-hyped that its real essence has been lost. Therefore the lecturers capitalise on it, students who dont want to study,bribe to get it, those deserving of it get marked down and as for employers;no 2.1 no job.Until there is an over-haul of the Nig. Edu. system,things will continue in that trend. We will no longer be crying about half-baked graduates but 'unbaked' ones

Anya Posh said...

This is so unfortunate. I met a girl who came to Canada for more school after getting a 2:1 in Nigeria. The babe couldn't read properly! I mean, simple words like "melancholy" or "strategic" were difficult for her to pronounce. But she came with her flashy Nigerian transcripts. I was embarrassed, to say the least

Sisi Yemmie ™ said...

I made a 2.1 from Igbinedion Uni in 9ja and people used to yab me that I must have bribed the lecturers.lol. I dunno Y. Nobody 'respected my 2.1. Well I came to the UK and finished my masters with a Merit which is like a 2.1 equivalent and that was when I finally had 'peace of mind'. I'm still job hunting tho...but I understand the situation you are talking about. The education system in 9ja is such that you only read to pass exams, when the exams are over, everything disappears! lol. So I guess that's what happened to her.

Myne Whitman said...

It's really a shame. My mum runs a school and some NCE teachers she employs are better than the 2.1 graduates who apply. For employers, aptitude tests are the way to go. And you should have studied your employee/applicant for at least two months before recommending her. Bad interviewers soon start reflecting poorly on the recommender.

doll said...

i understand what you mean, i interviewed a babe. 2.1 last week, it was ridiculous. i was so ashamed. I made a 2:1 and i worked hard for it. the shaft would always be sieved out always.

SO everyone work hard at school and keep your head up

Yankeenaijababe said...

Haven't any of you on here watched the movie "Blackberry Babes" ...o pls! You should all know by now what the university structure in Nigeria is, people just go to campus to show off and would do anything to get high grades. Na grades persin go chop, Naija don tire persin o.lol

Prism of an immigrant said...

@Mamuje, buying your education is not the moral thing to do. You can't place a price on intellectual development.

But based on the current situation in Nigeria, I think it is an advantage when a parent or student buys their grade, and not a detriment. In the long run, the employed students with the fake 2.1 might be detrimental to the development of the country, but I think it's better than having students with genuinely achieved third class roam around the streets of Nigeria jobless.

Lily Johnson said...

I have seen 2:1 graduates who can rarely make a sentence without a huge grammatical blunder. The lecturers just collect money from these students who don't even study for a split second and give them high grades and they come out with the said 2:1 with nothing in their heads. Its crazy but that how it is here. If you are a brilliant student with no money to 'settle' the lecturers, you just might end up with a pass.

Lara said...

The employers are to blame...the parents who pay to make sure their kids get good grades are not left out.

Then there are the crammers, they cram it in and give it back to the lectures, but tell them to elaborate the point or another point of view, na there wahala go start.

The companies made it a pre-requisite, that is why everyone is rushing for it...yes I graduated with a 2.2 but I am so proud of it because, i worked hard for it.

Mamuje said...

You've all made valid points, as a system I believe we are all part of the grave problem at hand. (I guess we've delved into the root cause of unemployment in Nigeria)

Myne- I accept total responsibility for my poor judgement. What i required for my business was a sales girl and not a graduate. But the girl I got spoke very well and I felt she was too good for the position she was currently serving. It was only until after she failed the interview I realized she was a total waste of space. Besides faffing about on my computer she had no clue how to do anything, I trained and trained until I had to let her go.

Amy said...

Like yankeenaijababe mentioned I watched Blackberry Babes on youtube and though I know it is probably an oversensationalizaation of some of the problems with university girls in Nigeria it really opened my eyes to situations I never knew were problems in Nigeria. I went to a public university in Texas and I would never ever have the audacity to even try to bribe one of my professors. The fact that it is so rampant in Nigeria is a major problem that I hope our society will focus of fixing.

LG said...

lol@applied gardening..
knew We were in trouble when i met a graduate dat didnt know d meaning of marital status :(

Mimi B said...

You know i used to think employer's were exaggerating a great deal until the day a staff in my office's Personnel department showed me a hand written letter, written by a corper (i.e graduate) asking to be given a referal letter to serve with us.

I was appalled!No punctuation marks, no paragraphs, poor sentence construction and grammatical errors all over the place. It was really bad, i couldnt believe it.

God save Nigeria

Mimi B said...

You know i used to think employer's were exaggerating a great deal until the day a staff in my office's Personnel department showed me a hand written letter, written by a corper (i.e graduate) asking to be given a referal letter to serve with us.

I was appalled!No punctuation marks, no paragraphs, poor sentence construction and grammatical errors all over the place. It was really bad, i couldnt believe it.

God save Nigeria

Ginger said...

I wouldn't want to believe that 2:1 is always necessarily bought. Some people just apply themselves to reading, cramming and passing their exams so yeah, she has a 2:1 she doesn't understand nor can apply. Moreover education is so much more than the books.
On the other side, I do get downhearted when Nigerians are so quick to blame the govt for poor education standards. Parents who pave the way for their kids by bribing are contributing to the evil of bribery and corruption chikena!

itsjustmedaringtodream said...

Not familiar with the tern 2:1, but the situation of you sticking out your neck for someone else and it not turning out positive doesnt sound too cool..sorry sista..

Phury Mackeltar said...

My cousin came out with a 2:1 in law, and a 2:1 in law school. She is one of the most brilliant people i know. But everytime she went for job interviews she always flunked them. Of course she passed the GMAT and GRE tests. But she is not a people's person. Not everyone who makes a 2:1 did not deserve it. Some are good when it comes to written stuff than oral stuff

Adura Ojo (Naijalines) said...

I'm appalled at any suggestion that buying degrees is ever justified in any shape or form. Not only is it morally reprehensible, it is very damaging in economic terms as wrong people are recruited to top jobs. It affects efficiency and productivity. How does that help the education and employment systems in Nigeria.

BTW, the 2:1 minimum standard is not only demanded by Nigerian employers. It is the same in the UK too. It is not an excuse to buy degrees. Employers simply want the best and the country's universities should support them in doing so.

olaoluwatomi said...

You should read Okey Ndibe's article on Sexually Transmitted Degrees!

os said...

I'm with Adura Ojo. I can't believe believe things have come to this. But I really hope it's more about people being good with written tests and flunking the oral interviews, and not just about buying degrees. That is just so destructive for the whole country in the long run.

The Relentless Builder said...

It's a real shame that the Nigerian educational system has become what you described here, but there is still hope. There was a time when several Nigerian universities were citadels of learning that were recognized internationally, and I believe we can even still surpass that. But it is going to take A LOT of work. Unfortunately, as far as I know, very little is being done and what is being done is NOT significant enough to make a difference.