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FME blames tertiary institutions over unqualified NYSC members
By Olubusuyi Adenipekun & Umoru Henry

Vanguard Thursday, July 12, 2007

Both the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) are, right now, preoccupied with the task of arresting the fraudulent practice of mobilising fake and unqualified “graduates” for the mandatory one year national service.

This task has, more than ever before, become very urgent, given the rising number of unqualified persons being mobilised for NYSC yearly by tertiary institutions across the country.

The shocking news about this crime came to public consciousness very recently when the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier-General Yusuf Bornoi, raised an alarm on the increasing number of unqualified corps members being mobilised by tertiary institutions.


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The Federal Ministry of Education reacted to this ugly development by setting up an administrative panel of inquiry and followed this up last week with a stakeholders’ meeting with heads of tertiary institutions across the country where they brain-stormed on how to sanitize the mobilisation of corps members by tertiary institutions.

At the stakeholders’ parley, government blamed tertiary institutions for operating a process which makes it possible for persons without the prerequisite qualifications to be mobilised for the national service, adding that if the objective of establishing the NYSC must be sustained, they must desist from mobilizing fake and unqualified “graduates” for the programme.

While addressing delegates to the one-day stakeholders’ meeting, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Dr Aboki Zhawa, cautioned tertiary institutions against being perceived as aiding and abetting crime. He stressed that if the act persists, it would have negative effect on the nation’s image.
According to Zhawa, if the nation’s tertiary institutions fail in their responsibility of mobilizing qualified students for the NYSC scheme, then, something is wrong with the country’s educational system.

He said: “If this development is allowed to continue, we would be heading for a collapse that will take decades to be revamped. Therefore, it is our concern that we meet and brainstorm on how to curtail the problem before it gets out of hand. We must salvage the situation, we cannot continue to mobilise fraudulent students for NYSC. It is not right and it is a serious indictment on all of us.”

The administrative panel of inquiry, which the Federal Ministry of Education set up last April to look into the allegation of unqualified “graduates” being mobilised for NYSC programme, came up with some shocking findings.

First, the panel discovered that compilation of students’ results in tertiary institutions is totally entrusted to junior staff, many of whom could easily be bought over by students; a development which makes the entire certification process susceptible to manipulations.

The panel’s findings also revealed that some departments in some institutions manipulate results already approved by the schools’ senate, with some institutions indulging in half- hearted verification of students’ entry qualifications prior to NYSC mobilization exercise, leading to final mobilization of unqualified persons for the scheme.

According to Bomoi, these and other sundry problems which attend the NYSC mobilisation process in some institutions need urgent solution in order to ensure the integrity of the scheme.



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