The tertiary education in Nigeria has experienced some setbacks over the years on its course to equipping individuals with the skills, knowledge and ability to contribute positively to the economic, social and political development of the nation.
There has been commendable efforts towards providing quality educational services by the tertiary institutions but there is need for improvement.
Tertiary education simply refers to post-secondary education or an academic pursuit after secondary school or college The tertiary institutions basically include universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
The progressive decline in the ability of tertiary institutions to provide quality and affordable education is alarming and calls for concern among the Leaders and citizens in the country. Some of the challenges hindering the provision of quality education in tertiary institutions are;
Lack of adequate funding for infrastructural development, research and timely payment of salaries and incentives of academic and non- academic staffs.
Poor educational facilities and amenities, little or no technological advancement, and in-conducive environment for learning in tertiary institutions.
Periodic and incessant strikes by the academic labour unions due to failure of the government to meet the agreed requirements between the two parties.
Outdated, Irrelevant curriculum and system for training the students for the labour market.
Inadequate quality staffs and expertise to train the students in the institutions.Insecurity in the learning environment and corruption among the leaders in the tertiary institution.
Low number of tertiary institutions in the country admitting and training the overpopulated youths.
These challenges need to be addressed to achieve a milestone in the improvement of quality education in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
There should be review and re-evaluation of the academic curriculum in all the tertiary institutions periodically or every 2 years by the government and trained educational experts in the country.This will help to address defects in the teaching and learning system and also equip students with the knowledge and skills to compete globally. This will also help produce valuable human resource to the labour market.
The government should set-up and implement policies to ensure that the academic and non-academic staffs employed in the tertiary institutions are well trained and able to work effectively. Educational conferences and work seminars should be organised regularly by the ministry of education for the staffs and there should be incentives for performing staffs.
The periodic strikes by the academic labour union is very devastating and should be addressed immediately. The government should apply diplomacy and negotiate properly with the academic labour union to end the incessant strikes. The government should also do well to fulfill all the agreed requirements tabled by the labour union to prevent further re-ocurrence of strikes. This will help proper and effective running of academic activities and manage time and resources in the tertiary institutions.
The government should collaborate with private enterprises and Non-governmental organizations to create a safe and conducive learning environment for the students in tertiary institutions.
There should also be opportunities for students to network and gain working experience while in school. Educational conferences, seminars and competitions can be organised with an attractive incentive to encourage the students.
The government, business ventures and private enterprises can also provide scholarship opportunities and even students loans with low interest rate to help poor students access quality and affordable education at the tertiary level.
Improvement of quality education in tertiary institutions would contribute significantly to the growth and development of Nigeria.
The government, academic and non-academic staffs, public and private stakeholders of the economy and the students need to work together to improve the quality of tertiary education.