Nigerians spent $1.5tr on foreign education in 2016, says Canadian varsity teacher
An Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada, Oyedele Adeyi, has disclosed that about $1.5 trillion was spent in 2016 by parents to send their wards to universities in foreign institutions.
Adeyi listed Canada, United Kingdom and United States of America as three top countries with the largest number of Nigerian students.
The professor of Liver Pathology in an interview with The Guardian lamented that the huge investments on foreign education by Nigerian parents have not yielded any profitable returns to the country in terms of human capital development.
He said, “If you look at the appropriation bill of the entire country for 2017, it is N7.4 trillion, expending $1.5 trillion on foreign education is huge and calls for serious concern. Having spent so much, the question is what are the returns for Nigeria? What are we gaining from such a huge investment? Sadly we are gaining nothing.”
On whether the exchange rate may dissuade some parents from further sending their wards to foreign universities, Adeyi warned that the situation may get worse if government fails to act promptly.
He said, “Nigerians are the most resilient people, 10 years ago, if you ask that if the naira exchange for 360 to a dollar, will people still be travelling overseas, everybody would probably have said no but as bad as the exchange rate is, the number of people travelling overseas have increased. Nigerians value education inspite of the terrible system we have, people will sell their houses if that is what it takes to send their children overseas. If we are using the exchange rate and all the regulations on foreign exchange to stop people from going overseas, that is criminal because we have a government that is not providing the enabling environment for learning and using regulation to keep children in the same environment. ‘’
According to him, the “solution is not trying to make things difficult for people to go overseas, but to make it difficult for people to choose to go overseas. If we have the needed facilities, why do we have to spend so much sending our children out of the country to study?
“Sending a 17-year old away from home is a lot of sacrifice, no parent would want that if things were well with our educational system, but they are left with no choice, its either that or a bleak future for their children.’’
To address the rot in the system, Adeyi said Nigerians must stop celebrating corrupt leaders, instead must hold them accountable. He also canvassed the private sector involvement in education and other sectors to enhance the nation’s growth and development.
According to the scholar, Nigeria must move away from the level where government is in charge of everything, as it is impossible for any government to effectively fund the sectors, while the private sector must rise to support.
No Comments yet