The possibility of free higher education
The importance of education in the world is massive and the reason why many people think it is overrated is because of the high expectations we place on it. A lot of people still harbor the mentality that when you are educated, it is a must that you are successful.
When education came to Africa, people who took it became elites. They were few and the knowledge they acquired which is the purpose of being educated made them very valuable. Slowly their number increased and the opportunity available for them in the society decreased and today, the population of educated people globally can't and won't fit into the available opportunity.
Today education doesn't guarantee success but applying the knowledge you have spent years acquiring can make a huge difference for you.
Despite what some people think about education, a lot of people are still trying everything to ensure their children get educated. Every morning, I see different sets of students trooping out of their homes to school and you can tell how many parents still believe so much in education.
Primary, Junior, and Senior education have been made easy to an extent due to having many government schools where students pay less or nothing in tuition fees. In Nigeria, there are lots of secondary school graduates who couldn't continue their education just because higher education doesn't come at a cheap price.
The cost of acquiring higher education is on the high side and it doesn't surprise me anymore when people talk about how long they were at home before they could go to the university. I spent 5 years after secondary working just to acquire higher education and everything I saved in five years wasn't even enough for my first year, it happened that there is always a small increase in tuition fees every year.
Is free higher education possible?
Many times, I have thought about the possibility of free higher education but the truth is that I don't see it happening 100 years from now. I learned that there are a few countries that run free higher education but the truth is that it is not completely free.
The citizens of those places are the ones responsible for tuition, some parts of their taxes are used to cover those expenses.
Free higher education is impossible especially in my part of the world due to some reasons.
- Corruption is one of the reasons why education can't be free. I see no reason why education should be a source of revenue for the country, ensuring that the youths are educated should be one of the country's priorities but it is the other way around.
Despite making so much money from different sectors, the greedy people in power still want to drain people financially just because they want to acquire an education. In the end, this money is been embezzled.
- Insufficient taxes is a genuine excuse for the government to deny us free education and they are right.
Aside from the value added tax (VAT) that can't be avoided at the point of purchase, I believe that most Nigerians aren't paying their taxes. The economy is tight and that money used for tax can still be used to purchase some kilos of rice so why do I have to pay?
It is truly not encouraging to dish out a particular amount of money every month for tax when we hear embezzlement stories everyday.
There are lots more reasons why a free higher education won't work and we can't blame the government alone, we all have supported the impossibility of this thing one way or the other.
The effect of free higher education?
There will be positive and negative effects if free higher education comes into existence.
The good side
A lot of people, especially the less privileged will have access to higher education.
There will definitely be growth in the country because there are lots of people who after going through higher education can come up with great ideas that can boost the country's growth and development.
illiteracy will reduce which is a win-win situation for the government and the people.
The bad side
some students will take free higher education for granted. Most times, people don't take things they get for free seriously and that might be the case as well.
Some students might not study well since they won't be paying for an extra year if they fail. Remember the fear of carryover is the beginning of seriousness.
I see the government using free higher education to cover their dirty games. Don't be surprised when they tell the citizens that half the country's revenue is used to sponsor education and that's why the country is stagnant.
The impact of free higher education on the standard of teaching.
The impact on the standard of teaching will be drastic, it will get worse especially here in Nigeria. If ASUU keeps going on strike despite students paying enormous tuition fees, what's expected when they are not paying anything?
Infrastructure will be zero, equipment won't be available for students and even lecturers won't be eager to work when pay doesn't come as expected.
Instead of free higher education, the cost of acquiring higher education can be reduced globally. The government can make this happen if they stop putting pressure on the education sector to boost the country's revenue.
Whatever is generated from the education sector should be just to cover the expenses of school infrastructure, equipment, maintenance, and other important things needed in the institution.
That way, the student will have less to pay which automatically makes education affordable.
I do agree with you that the government may use the idea of free higher education as an excuse not to help move the country forward. As students are paying school fees the country is on a rapid downside, I only wonder what will happen if tables are turned.
Thank you for sharing.
If governments in other countries don't do that, Nigerian gov will do it because of greed.
Free education is just an excuse for them to loot more money and lie that they are spending too much on the education sector
You have spoken well in reviewing the positive and the negative side of this topic as regards to Nigeria . I think if reduced education fee will be applied, it will go along way in giving majority of people access to Education and that will mean a better society for all
You got my point well and the only thing I see happening is reducing the school fee so that education will be affordable for more people.
It is for the country good but our government will never allow that to happen.
I just think Education should be made affordable for all, of course we would need to consider some factors to do that
Yeah, education should be affordable. When it is affordable, more people will surely have access to it than they do now.
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This is interesting.
This is very true. When government are looking for excuses to back up their dirty games, using free education wouldn't be out of the list and that is it for them.
Free education can't be possible in a country where corruption, insufficient taxes and not taken things seriously is of high rate.
It is impossible in Nigeria because of the wrong leaders we have up there. If some countries have half of the wealth in the country, I am sure they will run free education in such country.
I totally agree with all your points, the bad sides are more than the good aspects. If education is free, some school would have collapsed before the government will notice. Even now that there is school fees payment, some of the schools aren't up to standard. I think the only thing that should be done is just to subsidized the School fees.
We are not seeing the impact of the high tuition fee we are paying at the moment and things will only get worse if education because free.
Yes, very true.
I believe that education is fundamental in the growth of a boy and certainly helps to form the people of tomorrow.
As far as I'm concerned, I am in favor of classical education but I believe that there are also many other unconventional ways that can achieve similar objectives ... let's say different models of education.
In any case, whatever the model, I believe that education should always be free as it is a right that everyone must have access to.
It would be great if education is free but there are lots of factors that will make that impossible except we are ready to pay through other means or be ready for a huge setback in other sectors especially in Africa.
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You made valid points here. And I agree with your hopes that higher education will become more affordable for all.
I hope so too, having more educated people who do the world lots of good.
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