“Education is what remains after forgetting all that one has learnt”. “A lecture is the transfer of lecturer’s notes from his/her book to a student’s book without necessarily going through the student’s head”. These are some of the quotes phrased by my former comrades that always come into the fore after interacting with the current crop of “test-tube” graduates and students. The more the Universities churn out these “test-tube” graduates, the worse our economy will be.
A “test-tube” graduate is one who has got nothing else to show that he/she has got a degree apart from the certificate that he/she has. This is as a result of the student graduating while half baked because of University system or the individual student. You can easily spot one from far because they poses unique characteristics. What they don’t speak screams louder that you can’t hear what they speak. In short, their audio is not in sync with their video.
John graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from one of our local Universities. As he walked with confidence into the interview room of a specific firm after a successful Accounting job application, the interviewers were more than impressed with his confidence. He answered the interview questions correctly with precision and ended up securing the job. But two weeks into the job, the firm’s HR manager discovered that they had made a big mistake. John could not perform basic accounting tasks despite him having an impressive CV and qualification. The firm relieved him of his job in the long run.
This is just one scenario among the many scenarios that HR managers have to pensively go through. One of the factors that contribute to the exponential increase of these graduates is the Alma maters lack of water tight exam policy. With Google at the disposal of every student in exam rooms and lackluster invigilators, the only thing you can expect is graduates with first class honors who can’t tell a “B” from a bull’s hoof. When it comes to courses that require research, these students will come up with the best research reports that will elicit jaw gaping grades. Unbeknownst to us, the research work would have either been outsourced to the best researcher in town, or 100% plagiarized from the internet.
Gone are the days when we used countless books and journals as references for our research reports. Copy-pasting was a foreign terminology since we didn’t have the luxury of technology. Since we didn’t have the luxury of owning smart phones, mwakenya’s were the only savior for those who were less prepared for exams. Facing the panel of professors and doctors to defend your thesis was dreaded. It wasn’t weird to find one taking over three years to complete a Masters Degree course. These tough conditions inadvertently made us to be fully baked before coming out of Campus.
Nowadays technology has changed the intellectual landscape in our Campuses. Am not totally against technology because it also has many positive impacts, but we should find a way of squaring the circle. It’s high time that all institutions of higher learning should come up with a common software that will be used to detect plagiarized work. With this software, students will be required to hand in their proposals in softcopy for them to be uploaded in the software. The software will then give the percentage of plagiarized work. This will discourage students from copy-pasting other people’s work.
The proliferation of satellite Campuses countrywide for commercial purposes should also be vehemently discouraged by the government. These Campuses are famed for lowering the threshold of University admission hence watering down the quality of graduates who come out of it. Nowadays, we are witnessing an increase in the number of admitted students while the University infrastructure is conspicuously constant. The lecturers become overwhelmed while the libraries burst at the seams. If the status-quo is maintained, “test-tube” graduates will continue being churned out and our economy will be the hardest hit.