Higher education in Nigeria is a crucial stage of academic and professional development for young individuals. It provides them with the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills, and experience that will enable them to compete effectively in the global job market. However, the higher education system in Nigeria is currently facing a significant problem- cultism. Cultism has become a menace to the Nigerian educational system, especially in higher education institutions, and it is increasingly affecting the academic performance and safety of students, lecturers, and other stakeholders. In this article, we will discuss the need to remove cultism from higher education in Nigeria and the various ways in which this can be achieved.
What is Cultism?
Cultism is the practice of belonging to or participating in a secret organization or group that is characterized by extreme devotion, rituals, and the belief in the superiority of the group over others. Cultism often involves the use of violence and intimidation to achieve its objectives, and members are expected to remain loyal and obedient to the group at all times, even if it means breaking the law. Cultism in Nigeria is mostly prevalent in higher education institutions, with students forming different secret societies or groups for various reasons.
Cultism in Higher Education Institutions in Nigeria
Cultism in higher education institutions in Nigeria is a major problem that has been affecting the academic performance and safety of students, lecturers, and other stakeholders. In recent years, there have been several cases of violence, harassment, and intimidation perpetrated by cult members, which have led to the loss of lives and property. Cultism has also led to the disruption of academic activities, and many students have been expelled from universities due to their involvement in cult activities.
One of the main reasons why cultism is prevalent in higher education institutions in Nigeria is the lack of adequate security measures. Most universities and colleges in Nigeria do not have adequate security personnel, and the few security personnel available are poorly trained and equipped to handle the challenges posed by cultism. In addition, there is a lack of political will on the part of the government and university authorities to tackle the problem of cultism head-on.
Another reason why cultism is prevalent in higher education institutions in Nigeria is the lack of opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities. Most universities in Nigeria do not have well-structured extracurricular activities, which has led to boredom and frustration among students. As a result, some students have resorted to cultism as a means of finding excitement and belonging.
The Effects of Cultism on Higher Education in Nigeria
Cultism has had several negative effects on higher education in Nigeria. One of the effects is the disruption of academic activities. Cult activities often lead to the closure of universities and colleges, and this affects the academic calendar, leading to delays in the completion of academic programs.
Cultism has also led to the loss of lives and property. Several students and lecturers have been killed in cult-related violence, and many more have been injured. Cult activities have also led to the destruction of university property, such as classrooms, laboratories, and hostels.
Cultism has also affected the academic performance of students. Students involved in cult activities often prioritize the interests of their cult groups over their academic work, leading to poor academic performance and, in some cases, expulsion from the university. Cult activities also lead to fear and intimidation among students, which affects their ability to concentrate and perform well academically.
How to Remove Cultism from Higher Education Institutions in Nigeria
Removing cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria is a complex problem that requires a multifaceted approach. Here are some of the ways in which cultism can be removed from higher education institutions in Nigeria:
1. Improved Security Measures
The first step in removing cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria is to improve security measures. This involves increasing the number of security personnel in universities and colleges and providing them with adequate training and equipment. Security personnel should be able to identify cult members and prevent them from carrying out their activities on campus. In addition, universities and colleges should install CCTV cameras and other surveillance equipment to monitor the activities of students and prevent cult-related violence.
2. Sensitization and Awareness Campaigns
Another way to remove cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria is through sensitization and awareness campaigns. These campaigns should target both students and parents and should focus on the dangers of cultism and the negative effects it has on academic performance and safety. Students should be educated on the need to shun cultism and to focus on their academic work. Parents should also be sensitized on the dangers of cultism and the need to monitor their children’s activities in school.
3. Provision of Well-Structured Extracurricular Activities
Provision of well-structured extracurricular activities is another way to remove cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria. Universities and colleges should provide students with opportunities to engage in sports, clubs, and societies that are well-structured and organized. These activities will help to keep students engaged and prevent them from seeking excitement and belonging through cultism.
4. Strict Enforcement of Anti-Cultism Laws
Strict enforcement of anti-cultism laws is also crucial in removing cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria. The government and university authorities should collaborate to enforce laws that prohibit cultism and impose severe sanctions on students caught engaging in cult activities. This will serve as a deterrent to other students who may be contemplating joining cult groups.
5. Collaboration with Community Leaders
Collaboration with community leaders is another way to remove cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria. Community leaders such as traditional rulers, religious leaders, and opinion leaders can play a significant role in sensitizing their communities on the dangers of cultism and the need to shun it. They can also help to identify and apprehend cult members who may be operating in their communities.
Cultism in higher education institutions in Nigeria is a significant problem that needs to be addressed urgently. Cultism has had several negative effects on academic performance and safety, and it is crucial to remove it from higher education institutions to ensure that students can focus on their academic work and develop their careers. Removing cultism from higher education institutions in Nigeria requires a multifaceted approach, including improved security measures, sensitization and awareness campaigns, provision of well-structured extracurricular activities, strict enforcement of anti-cultism laws, and collaboration with community leaders. By adopting these strategies, higher education institutions in Nigeria can be rid of cultism and become safe and conducive for academic and professional development.
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