Wed. Oct 23rd, 2019

Scientific Projects In Our Tertiary Institutions: A waste of time?

By Hussaini Umar

Every year there must be graduates from our universities, colleges of education, polytechnics and what have you. And the different researches were carried in the field of science and technology, languages, communications, humanity, education, environment and many others, but where are the research projects? That was a question asked to a recent graduate from one of the universities in Kano state, and the answer he provided was not good as he said ‘he just want to graduate and he graduated then what else?”

His researched is a very good one because I read it and he did a wonderful scientific research on ‘chemicals used by local dyeing industries, it harmful towards humans around the dye areas’ and what I realized was that the graduate wasn’t ready to use his project for the benefit of the society but just to ‘graduate’ and he graduated then what next? Job, as he replied.

I visited school of technology sometime in Kano where I saw hundreds of projects dumped in the school’s library and other offices of the HoDs, Deans and others. I saw even some in open scattered in premises of the school were rain and heat of sun making them weary and incapable.

I asked myself why this, is this a waste, or what? In fact, the students who did the projects spent their precious time, money and resources before they arrived at the conclusion, but, why the neglect, or is it because the nowadays projects are ‘copy-copy projects? As some called them?

Being a classroom teacher in junior secondary school teaching basic science I instill an interest in my student’s to develop the habit of innovating new things most especially in science and technology. So, if our students in tertiary institutions are wasting their ‘hard to be projects’ for nothing, what of incoming generations?

Indeed, the schools have a role to play in assisting their would-be researchers on their projects research. Since we believed that most of the projects are ‘copy and paste’ as some scholars refer them, the lecturers have to assist their students in conducting a new research project that will make them a batter graduates after graduation. There are many research areas that are not even explored why assist and encouraging them to explore?

For example, in this era of climate change crisis in the world and Africa is not left behind on the dangers of it, what our universities, colleges and polytechnics doing on creating new ways of mitigating the impact of climate change for the betterment of our continent (Africa)? Our farm land are threatened by climate change, our environments are keep on polluting as a result of gas emission form our ‘un organized industries’ soil erosion is drastically wiping out our places, in terms of diseases,  and other matters, what our research learning institutions are doing to mitigate the suffering? I think these are some areas our scholars must delve into by guiding our students to tap opportunities out of them.

Though, I had a conversation with one of the lecturers in which he told me that ‘funding is the main problem that militating against the teaching and learning in Nigeria most especially in our tertiary institutions.’ And he even laments the enrollment of dullard students into tertiary institutions because they (students) lost background knowledge since from the beginning that is primary and secondary schools education.

I reasoned with him too because I am in the system and I knew exactly what is going on, in our secondary schools and primary respectively. I am in contact with teachers that are not qualified to teach because they supposed to be re educated but unfortunately they are recruited as teachers in our basic education schools.

To tackle this problem government and general public have to play an important role by recruiting qualified teachers most especially in the primary and secondary schools and also enough funding has to be allocated to the tertiary institutions for a proper utilization of the research projects that our graduates produce every year.

However, the universities and other institutions have to establish a center in their schools for finished research projects available for external organizations for implementation. Also special assistance has to be offered to students who have a very good scientific research that will benefit humanity and environment.

Lastly, all hands must be in deck in order for our students researchers to be among the best in Africa in terms of research, and government as well as all stakeholders must provide an enabling environment for effective scientific  research outcome and get rid of ‘copy and paste projects’

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