Following an assessment exercise that involved entries received across twenty-one (21) States in Nigeria, Sigma Club, University of Ibadan hereby announce the winners of the Sigma Tertiary Essay Competition I as follows:
1ST PRIZE WINNER: MSONTER ANZAA, BENUE STATE UNIVERSITY
2ND PRIZE WINNER: EMEKA EZEKWESIRI CHIGOZIE, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN
3RD PRIZE WINNER: DAHUNSI JUWONLO EMMANUEL, OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERISTY
The Sigma Chief and the entire Sigma Club, University of Ibadan congratulate the winners on their applaudable feat while also abundantly commending all entrants for their insightful expositions. Every participant’s entry represents, in varying degrees, a meaningful discussion of the circumstances discouraging the pursuit of formal education among Nigerian youths. Some of these were identified to include: influence of the media and popular culture, high graduate unemployment, poverty, poor quality of education, duration of study, desire for quick and easy wealth, misunderstanding of the purpose of education, rigorous admission process, glamorization of the street (a metaphor for all out-of-school pursuits aimed at achieving success) misplaced social values, among others.
The authors also recommended solutions which encompass creation of skilled jobs, overhaul of the current educational system to reflect instructional quality and practically relevant disciplines, sincere incorporation of entrepreneurship and talent-based pursuits into formal education, creation of equitable and affordable access to formal education especially at the tertiary level, proper incentivizing of the academe and so on.
To further amplify the entrants’ perspectives, the winning entries will be published across print and online media in the coming weeks, while striking excerpts of randomly selected entries will also be periodically shared online- with due citing of the authors.
Finally, Sigma club joins the participants in asserting that the street is not in itself uncongenial to national growth. As evidenced by the experiences of the world’s comfortable countries and developed economies, neither the street nor the school is an exclusive catalyst of nation building. Thus, for holistic and sustainable development to be achieved, both entities need to be harmonized through the functioning of real schools: Standard, Complete, Happy, Obtainable and Operable Learning (SCHOOL).