Where’s the Dignity in Higher Education?

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In the 90’s University Students were the creme of the society.  They were regarded as the most respectable and most learned members of the community. Securing a position in the highest institutions of learning on the land was the height of achievement. Everybody would struggle with no success. The community would carry out a fund raiser to support whoever qualified to join a University. The Government would dish out what was commonly referred to as ‘boom’ to anybody who qualified to join a University. These individuals would do everything to behave their status; to display their prowess in the education sector.

where's the dignitySave for village fund raisers and boom, everything has changed. It doesn’t matter whether you passed or failed in your KCSE. With Universities turning into money-making institutions, your grades are secondary requirements for joining a University of your choice. It doesn’t matter whether you are the creme of the society or not. What matters is the size of your parent or guardian’s pocket. What matters is your relationship with a certain administrator or manager at a University. What matters today is the position your parent holds in the country.

As a result, College students have continually lost their respect in the society. It’s no longer prestigious to join campus. In fact, you have no guarantee that you will get employed after your studies. Not unless it’s in your parents’ company. University students have continually proved to the nation and everybody else that campus is just another place to pass time. Ignorance has taken over the mediocre mind of university students. With every Tom, Dick and Harry joining institutions of higher learning irrespective of their KCSE Grades, Universities have been turned into institutions of mediocrity.

Overcrowding is a common sight in Universities leaving the mentally malnourished students with no choice but struggle for the few facilities available. In fact, some colleges upgrade faster into universities before preparing themselves infrastructure-wise to handle the responsibilities that come with the upgrading. As a result, half-baked graduates are produced with some being denied accreditation by the various professional bodies – which are headed by the old guard who went to school when school was school.

With the mentality that they will find a job and the lack of enough exploratory space, the students have no room for innovations. In fact, those who try to innovate are either met by bureaucratic university management consequences or ridiculed by their colleagues who are in fact supposed to be supporting them. The students are left with nothing but a sleep-lecture hall-library-eat-sleep-exam-go home cycle.

Consequently, a would-be footballer ends up in an office dealing with insurance. His boss is complaining of his incompetence. A would-be professional actor ends up in a hospital dealing with the sick. Many people are dying in his hands. A would-be driver ends up in a class room somewhere as a teacher. Students are finding it hard to understand any concept he tries to explain to them. A would be professional boxer ends up in an Engineering firm. Breakages are doubling up.

University education loses meaning in the society. No body wants to point at a graduate as an example to the children because there’s no difference between that graduate in the village who went to campus via the famous back-door and came back a drunkerd. Children would rather look up to that footballer who is playing at the world cup but never went to campus than aspire to be like so and so’s son who went to campus but has lost three jobs in 6 months.

With the rate at which colleges and training institutes are being given charters, things will grow from what they are now to something worse. The dignity campus students possessed will be wiped out completely. Only time will tell…

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6 responses »

  1. The all time high demand for university education is testament to the fact that campus has not lost its meaning. Things that have lost meaning quickly go out of demand the way telephone booths went out of fashion at the advent of mobile phones.
    However, being a university student has lost its shine ; which is expected considering the high enrollment. The glory of being a university student is now shared between hundreds of thousands the end result being campus students have become so common they are almost unremarkable.
    The tragedy of our times is the commercialization of higher education. Anybody can get any degree provided they can afford tuition fee and show a passing interest in the discipline.
    Is there any hope of products of such a liberal era revolutionazing university education in the near future? I think not.

    • I agree with you that University education has lost neither demand nor meaning…it has however lost it’s dignity thanks to its commercialization, corruption and increased need.

      There’s no hope that it’s gonna change any time soon. However, there’s need to detach University education from success.

  2. In fact most people no longer have respect for university students.Gone are the days when parents would point to a certain university student and tell the children to emulate him/her.

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