The quest for human development and the concept of quota system in Nigerian Tertiary Education: A critique
The basic objective of human development is to create an enabling environment for people to live long, healthy and creative lives. It has mostly been argued by scholars that in order to advance, human development growth ought to be participatory, distributive and sustainable. The purpose of development is to create an environment in which all people can expand their capabilities, and opportunities can be enlarged for both present and future generations. It is believed that Nigeria as a nation, in the quest to achieve human development has adopted the concept of quota system. Quota system in the tertiary education ensures that all the federating units that make up Nigeria are represented in the admission process. This is necessitated by the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of the country. Good as it may sound; the quota system has raised series of questions which include: is the effort geared towards uniting the nation or dividing the nation? To what extent has quota system shown us our unity or our differences? Is sustainable human development achievable through quota system? Going by the view of justice as fairness, to what extent can we say that quota system in the tertiary education is fair to all concerned? Is it possible for quota system to create healthy educational competitiveness amongst the students? This research explores these questions, and concludes that quota system, thoughtful as it may look, is counterproductive within educational system. For, instead of encouraging students towards hard work, it has created laziness and led to mass production of mediocre. Though, it may be a good option, in other sectors, it is only but an avoidable option in the education sector, especially; the tertiary level.
Keywords: Quota system, Human Development, Education, Nigerian Tertiary Education.