Collecting a transcripts from the universities from which students graduated (especially federal and state-owned universities) is one of the most difficult and terrifying processes many Nigerian graduates have had. Getting a transcript from a public university is like traveling through the needle’s eye, from the frustrating procedures to the many palms graduates claim they had to grease, to the extended periods of time they had to wait and the rude personnel they had to deal with.
Many graduates have missed out on life-changing opportunities, scholarships, and employment as a result of institutions refusing to process their transcripts, failing to process them in a timely manner, or sending the wrong documents.
Many graduates have had to wait for their transcripts for up to six months. Some people have been deceived in the process of processing their transcripts faster. Some people have died as well.
Ayobami recently revealed that his cousin, who flew to Abuja to obtain her transcript, was discovered dead in a gutter.
The need that you be physically present at your (former) university in order to obtain your transcript reflects many aspects of our educational system that are still outdated, overly demanding, and hostile to many citizens. We are in the year 2021, and to be honest, the hassle that people go through in order to obtain their transcripts from Nigerian colleges is completely unneeded and needless. We don’t always have to struggle and suffer to get even the most basic things.
This reflects our incapacity to adapt to changing circumstances, innovate, and properly integrate technology into our educational system. There is no need to be physically present to obtain one’s transcript in today’s world, as technology is being used to streamline all operations. People should be able to register online, pay with credit cards, and have their transcripts delivered to them or to the school.
We also live in dangerous times, with kidnappers and bandits roaming our streets and people getting murdered on a daily basis. Have these universities ever considered that asking someone to travel from one state to another only to retrieve their transcript is really risky?
Why haven’t these processes been reviewed and changed? This problem has been for a long time, and Nigerian graduates have complained about their difficulty to collect transcripts for many years. What can we do to put an end to this?
What We Can Do to Help?
To begin, all procedures should be digitalized. Do you see those bulky files scattered across the dean’s or HOD’s secretary’s desk? They are completely unnecessary. Many times, students’ files have gone missing, leaving the student to face with the consequences – which may include retaking an exam, receiving an extra year or years, or being forced to leave school, depending on the type of file that went missing. This would not occur if all academic processes were made computerized.
Let’s start with the registration procedures: there’s no need to spend days chasing down the dean of student affairs only to sign a course form or to stand in line for hours in the sun to get a library card. Allow for the digitization of all procedures. Allow students to purchase forms online, register online, select courses online, and apply for extracurricular activities online. The only time they should meet with the dean or the HOD for anything should be when it is absolutely required.
You will not only lessen the workload of non-academic staff, allowing them to focus on the students, but you will also have a digital database of all students, past and present, as well as their activities. When you need to look into a student’s academic record in the future, you’ll be able to do it with a single click of the mouse. It is unfair to both the student and the worker to have to search through piles of dusty files that have become brown over the years and are already shredding at the edges for a student’s record. See, we don’t have to make things complicated just to let others know we’re working; technology is here to make our lives easier, so let’s take advantage of it.
Universities should also provide transcripts to students after they graduate. If all procedures have been digitalized over time, this will be practicable. Students should be able to apply for transcripts in their last year and receive them as soon as they graduate. This will alleviate the stress of having to apply for transcripts years later.
Every institution (particularly in the public sector) should be required by the Ministry of Education and the NUC to establish a functional online site where students can apply for their transcript, make payments, and receive it within 14 working days. Many online transcript-collection sites aren’t working, and many have reported that their transcripts haven’t arrived months later. Many online transcript-collection systems aren’t working, and users have reported that they haven’t received their transcripts months after applying and paying, forcing them to go to their schools to handle it themselves. Creating a functional portal for this isn’t difficult.
We must also fight corruption while accomplishing all of this. Transcript collection is a money-making venture for many institutions and staff. Some people pay as much as $100,000 – which is not the official amount – only to have their transcript on time; you’ll have to pay one secretary in one office, then another secretary in another office. If you don’t pay, you’ll be walking about the school for months while your transcript snoozes peacefully in a certain office.
Many Nigerian youths have already been hindered by a system that refuses to innovate; we cannot allow this to continue much longer. We are limiting the country’s growth by making life difficult for our graduates. Unhappy youths are unable to re-enter the country.