There are many Courses to Study in the University other than Law and Medicine

There are many endemic problems facing us as Nigerians: terrible political, leadership and administrative climate, corporate and attitudinal corruption, virulent religious fanatism, religious and cultural fallacies, lack of amenities, hostile environment, lack of opportunities, alarming unemployment rate, acute poverty, inordinate quest for survival and poisonous social order. When we take all these into consideration, Nigerians are the strongest breed of human beings on earth – living and reproducing in the valley of death!

All these sturdy problems influence the way we think and behave and the relationship we established between ourselves and our environment. The ultimate thought in the mind of an average Nigerian is how to make money; how to become rich, stay above these problems and stride with the privileged class.

Hence, we give thoughts only to those things that translate to immediate ‘cash’: from riding Okada – obviously the largest industry so far across the country –, to producing three hundred movies in one month, flooding the ministries of education with substandard publications for approval, joining politics and leading a sycophantic mantra for compensation, to most famously today, establishing a church.

For those who have the option of going to school, they make clear distinctions between what should be read and what shouldn’t be read. They have an economic balance to measure the monitory value of a course and calculate how that course, if studied will add value, not to their minds or to their intellectual being, but to their pockets.

While the need to make a choice is normal and professional in the pursuit of ones’ academic career, when the choice of a course in the university is influenced by ‘the need for wealth’ other than ‘the need for wisdom’, the outcome is usually disastrous, and the aim of the certificate is defeated!

In the above scenario, what we usually have as outcomes are unhealthy speed and the quest to cut corners by the students, a sophisticated degree of examination malpractice, fraud by the heads of department and university administration and finally a serious damage to the society that the university was established to serve.

Ideally, passion and admiration should influence a course of study. As we grow in the natural environment, exhibiting our core traits of communication and actions, there is always that part of us that is effortlessly inclined to an aspect of life with unexplainable interest and satisfaction.

Because we are naturally inclined to it, it forms part of our habit and we, many a time, do not need any encouragement or inducement to undergo that behaviour. It could be singing, dancing, drawing, designing, tailoring, photography, acting, adventure, makeup art et cetera. That is our passion!

But mostly, we don’t study what we love because, often, we feel it is not among the mainstreams; famous titles will not be accorded, and we will not make conspicuous wealth out it. Therefore, we abandon what we love and go for what we literally hate, just to feel among and be counted in the society, when in reality, we have nothing to offer to the society.

Furthermore, interest in the knowledge of a subject area should influence a course of study. Passion is driven by the quest for knowledge, discovery and thereafter, overwhelming satisfaction. When there is a driving spirit of curiosity, teaching and learning become fun and students can learn, create and innovate, hence, satisfying the requirement for scholarship.

In the light of the above explications therefore, seeking and gaining admission to read Medicine or Law when the candidate’s driving curiosity is to the understand the secret behind making melodious music with cello and saxophone impedes learning and destroys the student and as an after effect, destroys the society that the student was supposed to build.

Many a time, parents commit the heinous crime of choosing a course of study for their wards and going further to facilitate the admission process. Mostly, the parents’ choice is often for reasons of class and peer pressure (Who will they say my son is?) wealth creation (Where will you work after reading such a course?) and title (I want my son to be an Engineer, a Doctor, a Barrister.). With this undue influence, the child is conditioned away from his/her passion and given a different objective.

The problem takes a dangerous dimension when a child compelled by his/her parents to read Law does not have any flare for reading lengthy materials and thus performs extremely poor in Literature, Government, History and Christian Religious Knowledge classes.

Though the said child is perfect with numerics and summation and would love to read Business Administration, the parents induce his/her teachers for marks in Literature, influence the child’s external examinations and buy admission for him/her in the Law Faculty. The outcome is always a product who has no good command of the legal profession, and who, on the other hand, is robbed of his/her passion and natural abilities.

However, on the other hand, we are often greeted with people who are graduates of Law, but who are making waves in music, acting and in many other courses unrelated to the profession they studied in the university. Some may even graduate to hate the profession the studied. The paradox is that they would have made stronger waves if they were trained in what they loved and practised with ease than fighting for space in the so-called professional field.

In reality, there is no course in the university that is not professional; all courses in the university are professional courses. There is no course that is superior to the other neither is there any profession that is superior to the other – all courses in the university are streams of scholarship crafted to serve the society in its different needs and functions. And those who study them are supposed to be changed behaviourally in order to serve the society.

More so, those in the Faculty of Sciences are not more intelligent than those in the Faculty of Arts and there is nothing superior about a medical doctor neither is there anything inferior about a tailor. They are all prestigious intellectuals in their own respect except where they fail to carry out their respective responsibilities appropriately!

In the field of scholarship, excellence is not defined by the name of your profession but by how best you have mastered your profession and have established novel productive strides behind your name – strides that can serve the needs of the society. A lawyer that can barely lead a sound argument without fallacious colourations remains an incompetent person while a musician who can craft out a beautiful blend of instruments, voice and performance remains a professor, likewise, a hairdresser who can makeup faces of their clients more beautiful than they came!

Beside Law, Medicine and Engineering, there are many courses to study in the university.

From the Faculty of Arts to the Commercials, Education, Environmental Sciences and Agriculture, hundreds of courses littered the university begging for students.

Government and Government agencies should close the gulf created among the different cadres of workers with respect to professions. Rather, mouth watery incentives should be given to persons who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields, the name of profession notwithstanding.

Idiongo Ebong

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