The destiny of over 16,000 Nigerian college students in america is at present hanging within the stability because the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) strikes to deport international college students whose colleges will change to on-line courses because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The event, nevertheless, has drawn the ire of the Educational Employees Union of Universities (ASUU), which blamed the Federal Authorities for neglecting Nigeria’s instructional system.
The Pupil and Trade Customer Programme (SEVP), which is run by ICE, in a brand new rule launched on Monday, had stated international nationals enrolled in U.S. instructional establishments must switch to in-person colleges or take on-line courses outdoors the nation. In any other case, they are going to be deported. Additionally, the Division of State will not challenge visas to college students to attend colleges that provide on-line courses solely.
The assertion reads partially: “The U.S. Division of State not points visas to college students enrolled in colleges or programmes which might be absolutely on-line for the autumn semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Safety allow such college students to enter america.
“Lively college students who’re at present in america and enrolled in such programmes should go away the nation or take different measures, corresponding to transferring to a college with in-person instruction to stay in lawful standing. If not, they must face immigration penalties.”
However in a phone interview with The Guardian, ASUU President Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi recalled with remorse “a time international college students had been coming to Nigerian universities. College students had been coming from South Africa, Egypt and Ghana.”
In keeping with him, “At this time, the reverse is the case. In Ghana, greater than half of the international college students there are Nigerians. So, we are able to see that they’re simply harvesting our sources to fund their tertiary training. Why ought to Nigerians be going to the Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Togo, and Sudan to hunt college training, to not discuss of U.S.?”
ASUU’s incessant strikes are within the curiosity of scholars and their dad and mom, he insisted, stressing that each one the union is saying is: “Repair our laboratories, inventory our libraries, renovate our workshops, provide services for e-learning and supply buildings. Are these not the issues they’re having fun with there?”
The ASUU President stated additional: “In fact, the ruling class that may afford it are these sending their youngsters to these distant locations in America and Europe. The kids of the poor are left to attend universities which might be with out services, universities that aren’t adequately staffed, and universities whose capability for analysis have been dwindling. We predict this is a chance for the Federal Authorities to sit down again and tackle the issues in our college training and certainly Nigerian training as a complete.”
Additionally, former Minister of Training Prof. Chinwe Obaji puzzled how programs like engineering and sciences that require practicals could be taught on-line. He referred to as on authorities to make the schools engaging to Nigerian college students overseas by tackling its many challenges, including that COVID-19 is a short lived setback, which all nations would surmount in the end.
On his half, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju, former Vice Chancellor at Caleb College, Imota, stated: “The reality is that this example is peculiar. It’s unprecedented. It’s not sustainable. In the end, we are going to conquer it. We as soon as conquered the pandemic in 1819, Ebola, and we are going to certainly conquer COVID-19. Nothing is everlasting. It’s true that on-line instructing would all the time proceed however it could by no means take away the problems of face-to face interplay. For instance, these college students finding out engineering in American universities and lab-based sciences, would they do all these issues from a distance?”
He added: “We should always modify our curriculum to mirror the fact, primarily that we have now to rely increasingly more, now, on on-line instructing. Secondly, we have to present extra infrastructure of on-line studying, ICT infrastructure basically.
“Thirdly, we have now to coach individuals who can handle the infrastructure and people who need to educate on the platform as a result of you possibly can’t educate on the platform the best way you educate in standard school rooms. This isn’t a everlasting scenario however the world has to adapt to it.”
Most U.S. faculties and universities haven’t but introduced their plans for the autumn semester however various colleges are taking a look at a hybrid mannequin of in-person and on-line instruction whereas some, together with Harvard College, have stated all courses might be carried out on-line.
Nigeria at present has the best variety of college students from Africa finding out within the U.S. In keeping with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Nigeria had 16,039 college students as at 2019.
The company stated: “There are over 36,000 college students from Sub-Saharan Africa finding out within the U.S. As of March 2019, there have been 16,039 college students from Nigeria finding out in america with 54 per cent male and 46 per cent feminine.
“This is a rise of three,342 college students over 12,693 college students recorded in November 2018. Undergraduate college students constituted 34 per cent; Masters college students 36 per cent; doctorate fashioned 12 per cent; whereas affiliate was 12 per cent. Non-degree and others fashioned 5 per cent.”
In keeping with the company, the highest 5 states for Nigerian college students within the U.S. embody Texas with 2,713; California, 856 college students; Maryland, 827 college students; New York, 818 college students; and Florida, 753 college students.
Additionally, the over 16,000 Nigerians at present finding out within the U.S. contributed $514 million to the U.S. economic system in 2018, in line with official knowledge from the 2019 Open Doorways Report on Worldwide Academic Trade launched by the Institute of Worldwide Training (IIE) and the U.S. Division of State’s Bureau of Academic and Cultural Affairs.
The report signifies that Nigeria was the 11th main homeland for international college students within the U.S. as of the 2018/2019 session. It accounted for 1.2 per cent of the whole variety of 1,095,299 worldwide college students within the nation.
A breakdown of the determine reveals that 5,689 of Nigerian college students had been on the undergraduate stage; 5,274 at graduate stage; 367 had been non-degree college students; and a pair of,093 had been on Non-obligatory Sensible Coaching (OPT).
OPT is a interval throughout which undergraduate and graduate college students work for one yr on a scholar visa towards buying sensible coaching to enrich their training.