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Of education and capital flight

I T is no longer news  that Nigerian parents pay about $1billion as tuition annually for their children studying abroad. This is part of the strain the naira is facing at the moment, which has made it so weak against other world currencies.

We need to ask ourselves why we have failed to upgrade our education system. To know how terrible this situation is, one needs to visit public primary and secondary schools around the country. One will weep for our upcoming generation. In our tertiary institutions, the lecturers go on strike almost on a yearly basis; in fact, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) recently called-off its strike.

In our educational institutions, most of the buildings are dilapidated, and it is not uncommon to find students learning on the floor, or under trees; this is more common in public primary and secondary schools.

It is unfortunate that our government does not know that there is something called education tourism. This is when students flock to a particular country to access education.

I believe President Muhammadu Buhari is out to change the situation of things in this country. This is a sector that can generate billion of dollars for the country. When we have standard tertiary institutions, then foreign students will apply to study here, thereby bringing in a cash-flow of dollars.

Today, the top destinations for students as far as education is concerned is the United States and United Kingdom, and the reasons are obvious. Nigeria can do the same as well with the commitment of our leaders.

Apart from the US and UK, some smaller nations are now thriving through education, thereby experiencing an influx of foreign students and capital. A good example is Ghana, our West African neighbour. We now have a huge population of Nigerian students studying in Ghana.

Nigerians students also travel as far as Cyprus, Ukraine, Malaysia, Singapore, China, among other countries to access education, and with this comes huge capital flight from our country.

Therefore, it is important for the government to stop this huge capital flight by reviving our education sector.  We can imagine if all our students study at home, then the over $1billion leaving this country every year to foreign countries will be boost our local economy.

  • Jeremiah Galong,

Jos, Plateau State.