Cutting Edge

Observation on Age Factor in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions

I find it quite interesting that people who get into any Federal/State University or any other Government owned Tertiary Institutions in young ages (15-17) may be quite brilliant academically but find it difficult to cope with the pressure in these higher institutions of learning.

They are more often than not easily influenced to be too social, too religious (not necessarily Godly), too engaged in flirting or worse still, too played into having sex recklessly by the opposite sex of which most victims are girls.

For the young folks in that age who have wealthy Parents or have access to cash, they do more of the spending when they are in the midst of friends who mostly are older than they are and quite more experienced negatively or otherwise. In some instances, these young boys do not get allowed to dictate the pace in the school either at departmental level, faculty level and even social-political formations in school – They are looked down upon and they themselves cannot muster the spirit to fight and assert their presence.

Advantages of Young Age

Entering into Government owned Schools in Nigeria sure has its advantages such as the possibility of graduating at a young age despite series of strike actions which can delay one’s graduation. Age limit for jobs is another advantage for these young ones.

OBSERVATION

I have taken time to associate with Undergraduates and Graduates alike even while in the university, and I must say, almost all the comaparatively very young undergraduates and graduates I have associated with are lacking in composure, decisiveness, experience and skill. Many of them impress me a lot with their brilliance and diction but they don’t often go beyond that except very few of them.

These young ones are like Endangered species in Government Tertiary Institutions here in Nigeria. They are just too weak, just not ready to compete much less win in University battles with those of older age bracket than they are. Well, I don’t blame them, many of these young ones if not all, have never had any form of independence or responsibility before entering higher institutions. They come straight from the Secondary Schools into the Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics. Most of them still watch cartoons, play video games and barely know what is going on in Nigeria. They don’t even know what is going on around them except Social Media activities.

I feel higher institution of learning will be better for them if those in the older age bracket leave or are gotten rid off from the schools to allow equality in some sense. The problem here is that even after this utopian system where only their age bracket is in school, they soon with their inexperience and timidity join the outside world where lions and lionesses are.

As for those young ones (14 years- 17years) in Private Universities in Nigeria, their weakness is not easily known within the walls of their campuses, afterall they are almost all of the same age bracket. Whenever I see and hear them talk or perform some actions, I just imagine how vulnerable they will be if persons of older age bracket and higher experience are put in their schools. I can only imagine the exploitation they will face without suspecting a thing.

Back in NYSC, I saw how much vulnerable they are to peer pressure. Some can’t even stand to communicate their intentions. So timid yet some of them are brilliant.

Problem With Old Age

Old age in school also has its problems. It comes with frustration and quest to achieve things at all cost. It’s crazy to be old and still be an undergraduate. Believe me, schooling will not appeal to you. All what you will have in your head is getting out of school, get a job, get money, marry or become a celibate. So annoying. You always fall into denial.

My Conclusion:

Just to make up for being young, prospective Tertiary Institution Students should have at least a year of post-secondary experience in a job or something opening them up to realities in Nigeria outside what they have been used to. This could help them to be well adjusted in Nigerian Universities.

Be young but not so young. Be old but not so old.

Anyway, life is funny, who knows?

Iweajunwa Princewill

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