A 16 years old 100 level student of Microbiology at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife committed suicide. According to students and a neighbour close to her, she killed herself due to a poor grade and emotional pressure. This is a highly worrisome story because an educational system is meant to nurture its talent and not destroy it.

However, I am certain that Miss Mercy Afolaranmi the 16 year old student was pretty brilliant and had a very high IQ. Who knows what would have become of her if she had not committed the act. Maybe just maybe Nigeria would have boasted of a renowned microbiologist in the future. This disturbing accounts are numerous. Also there are tales of how students faint and collapse as a result of exam pressure.


This is a familiar story any Nigerian student in higher institution can relate to no matter your level of intelligence. The question is what is the Federal Government, Ministry of Education and the various institutions doing about this anomaly, the sad but true answer is nothing.Our major focus are higher institutions but rest assured every area from primary and secondary schools will be highlighted in this discuss.


The problem with Nigerian educational system asides from poor leadership all points to the same thing the system forces a pressure filled life, demanding excellence in the form of external reward- which in this case are marks.I call it the “we are going after mark system”. A system that emphasizes on student report card rather than a student perceived ability and knowledge.

Take this illustration for instance, a student that gets an E in a course is perceived as dumb or even stupid while the other with an A is seen as a genius, thereby making a student report card the supreme focus in his life not caring whether he has other abilities. “A you should rather be studying always lifestyle instead of dancing or singing”. A system hinged on making self worth dependent on marks as you are only worthy if you get the highest grade. A system that fuels the myth that your present grade will determine your future status in life. No doubt any student who is raised on this principle will always feel unworthy when he fails.

However, as we begin a new year,I plead with every Nigerian student that they should not equate self worth with marks, rather self worth as it implies comes from self. Also we should not fail in our duty to be each others brothers keeper by encouraging our colleagues who are larking behind academically. Likewise to all stakeholders in the educational sector, it is time the Nigerian educational system gives room for inner growth and development.

It never concerns itself with whether or not student’s understand and apply what they are learning. Education should be about understanding and applying knowledge. Education should be the core policy of the government as it is the key to unlocking our recess economy into a booming economy. It is the best investment and until we realise this our country may not move forward.

Name: Nwadike Chisom M.
School: OAU
Discipline: Law (400L)

Author: Maurice Nwadike