Nigeria spends N1.5 trillion annually on students studying abroad- group

Exam in progress... Photo Credit: National Mirror

Nigeria loses N1.5 trillion naira to foreign education

Nigeria spends over N1.5 trillion on students studying abroad, the Exam Ethics International, a non-governmental organisation, has said.

The chairman of the group said, annually, Ghana gets N160 billion of Nigerian students’ funds, while Nigerians spend over N80 billion on education in the United Kingdom.

The Chairman, Ike Onyechere, who said this in Abuja on Wednesday, said that the amount covers monies spent on scholarships, private and government owned institutions, and individuals.

Mr. Onyechere said there is a need to stop the trend to “prevent this huge economic loss.”

“This is the greatest negative balance of payment any country can suffer,” he said.

He attributed the development to the decay in the country’s educational sector and the incessant strikes which had disrupted schools’ calendar. He said the development has caused the country huge economic losses and seriously contributed to the under-development of the sector which is key to driving other sectors.

He stressed the need to overhaul the education sector, saying “unnecessary experimentation by those saddled with the responsibility of developing the sector would (not) prevent it from imminent collapse.”

The chairman said part of the overhaul should include the scrapping of some examination bodies that were making things worse.

“A body like the Joint Admissions and Matriculation (JAMB) for example is nothing but a calamity for the country. Check out the top 50 universities in world, how many of them have parastatals that regulate admissions?

“JAMB has gone through series of metamorphosis, yet it has nothing to show for it if not making access to education more difficult,” Mr. Onyechere said.

He said the introduction of an e-testing for candidates is another wrong step in the wrong direction.

Mr. Onyechere said every good education policy should take at least four years gestation period before its implementation process.

“For JAMB to just wake up one day and say it is introducing such a test is laughable.

“The idea of one body solely responsible for the admission of candidates into the many higher institutions we have in the country is totally unacceptable,” he said.

JAMB, had on November 1, launched the e-testing, a Computer Based Testing for candidates sitting for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME).

The education body said only a few percentage of students sitting for its examinations will use the e-testing in 2013 while all are expected to use it by 2015.

The Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufa’i, had during the launch of the CBT described it as one of the transformative efforts of the government towards revamping the sector.


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  • Etim, l

    Refer to your story “Nigeria spends N1.5 trillion on students studying abroad” and note that Mr Onyechere’s statement that among “the top 50 universities in the world”, none “of them have parastatals that regulate admissions?” is NOT correct. Before anyone is admitted into any undergraduate programme in US, they must take the SAT (Scholarstic Aptitutd Test), for postgraduate programme in management one must take GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test), for all other postgraduate courses it is GRE (Graduate Records Examination). All foreign students which English is not their mother tongue must take TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Where the candidate does not look for the institutions scholarship, they may be allowed to take the exams on arrival. It can never be waived because waiver will “render your file incomplete”. Medical doctors from other countries must take ECFMG (Educational Certification For foreign Medical Graduartes) before they can do a postgraudate course or practice in the US. Nurses must take first the qualifying exams of the CGFNS (Commision on Graduates of Foriegn Nursing Schools) and pass before going on to take NCLEX-RN (Nursing Certification Licensure Exam – registered Nurse). Since these exams have been standardized over the years, their results are used to reliabily categorize and often reward (eg schoarship offers) student based on their performance.The problem is NOT that JAMB is not relevant or useful, it is that JAMB has not been able to live upto expectations. The solution is therefore not scrapping but helping it meet its mandate. Prof Lawrence ETIM