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HOW EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANCY CAN CONTRIBUTE TO NATION BUILDING

By Olagunju Juwon Abraham

 

My first encounter with an educational consultancy was with a particular Management and Educational Training Limited (M.E.T) in the year 2014.I was in my final year in Secondary School and they had come to create awareness on the many scholarship opportunities available abroad for Nigerians,regardless of whether one was very rich or not.Many saw this as sheer humbug and some even viewed it as a fraudulent scheme.I was one of the few five who explored their offer and saw a whole new vista of opportunity oblivious to many Nigerians,especially young people.Although, I was unable to go  the whole hog due to personal reasons,two of my contemporaries later got  juicy scholarships to Howard and Cameron Universities respectively.This narrative is not just storytelling; it is aimed at proving how educational consultancies can help Nigerian students in obtaining qualitative education,which will not only benefit the individuals personally but particularly the Nigerian Nation as a whole.The case for Educational consultancies is further established by the fact that Nigeria not only lacks the proper quantity of universities, but also the necessary quality.In 2015,for example,only about 0.5 million applicants were able to gain admissions into Nigerian universities out of a total of approximately 1.5 million applicants.Not only are Nigerian schools mostly poorly funded,but also inclined to yearly strikes which frustrate students and their teachers.It is only rational for a young person to want the best and this is where educational consultancies come in.The most important part is that the Nigerian Nation can also benefit from educational consultancies like Crystalinks,and this essay will focus on proving this proposition together with advice on how Crystalinks and other consultancies can thrive in Nigeria.

Firstly, educational consultancies create the process through which Nigerian citizens can obtain standard educational training especially in the areas of finance,industry and technology from top universities in the United States Of America and The  United Kingdom.These citizens can then return home to contribute to Nation building by managing the most important sectors of the Nigerian system.An example is Dr.Okonjo Iweala ,an Harvard trained economist,who is unarguably one of the the most intelligent ministers to ever head the Nigerian finance sector.

Educational consultancies can also contribute to the  Nigerian Nation by providing the avenue for world citizens to emerge.These world citizens with their proper blend of foreign and local cultures will influence more diversity when they return home, especially in the areas of art,music, and even food.

As incredible as it may sound, consultancies can influence Nigeria’s external image.By helping young Nigerians to school abroad,they are making the world to know how hardworking and good Nigerians can be,especially in  the face of disturbing news coming out of Nigeria.The world appreciates Nigeria when,for instance, a Nigerian comes out top in their educational programmes abroad,a common achievement for Nigerians in diaspora.

Finally,is the fact that educational consultancies can provide fulfilling employments for Nigerian teachers,travel agents and even technology savvy individuals.

 

On a different note now is the question of how educational consultancies,especially ones with proven track record like Crystalinks can thrive in Nigeria.The major issue for me has always been one of inadequate awareness creation.Nigerian students simply do not know enough about these opportunities and think they are only for ultra wealthy clients.For an educational consultancy like Crystalinks,enough emphasis must be laid on information dissemination.They can send agents to big secondary schools,be extremely active on social media sites like Facebook,especially the aspirants forums which sometimes have thousands of members.They can also work hand in hand with major educational blogs like myschool and myschoologist to make students aware of these opportunities.Even forums like Nairaland must  be adequately explored through advert placements and threads discussions .This will provide more Nigerians with these opportunities for qualitative education to serve the Nation in future and also generate revenue for the consultancy outfits.

Also,educational outfits like Crystalinks should be able to help clients plan ahead to thrive.For example,Nigerians like to have an estimate of what things would cost and the consultancy outfits must be ready to provide accurate information about how much their services would cost.This planning must also include estimations of cost of living, cost of education,if any,and amount of  money to be shown in personal account at the embassy.They can also provide accommodation advice and even career advice.

It is not enough for an agency like Crystalinks to provide only services connecting them and their clients alone.They should be able to help with even third party issues like prompt collection of needed credentials like transcripts,testimonials,certificates from third party institutions.These documents can be difficult to get on demand due to red tapism and corruption in Nigeria.The consultancy must be ready to wade in between their client and a third party by writing letters to schools and institutions who are holding information vital to the success of the client’s goals.They can even send agents or representatives to visit these schools to ensure speedy processing .This will encourage Nigerians to increase their patronage because all these steps help to reduce client’s stress and travails ,all of which can  lead to frustration.

Finally,educational consultancy firms must be aware of the needs of Nigerians and tailor their services to meet them.For example,they should know many Nigerians, especially those on scholarships, want to make some money while studying.It is natural that they will need to be helped to secure programmes which encourage these.

In conclusion,Educational consultancy agencies like Crystalinks are not only important because they  provide educational opportunities for future builders of tomorrow,but also due to their capacity to create a better image for the country,encourage diversity and even provide employment opportunities.It would not be outrageous then to claim educational consultancy indeed offers a lot to a nation like Nigeria and can even offer much more,provided the consultancies themselves create enough awareness of their activities ,provide information and even help their customers through the whole gamut,regardless of third party connections of institutions like schools and so forth.