Project writing is a compulsory course for students in their final year in Nigerian universities. It involves researching to solve underlying problems in the community. Or gathering information about those problems and giving future researchers data to work with. Project writing in Nigeria can be a mentally draining process. As it requires hard and dedicated work if the research is going to be successful. Therefore, students are supposed to be given all the help they can get.
In universities, students are assigned to lecturers in their departments. The lecturers are called supervisors, and the students are called supervisees. This article is going to focus on project writing for undergraduates.
In a working education system, the lecturers are supposed to put the students through the step-by-step process of research writing and data collection because undergraduates are still new to the world of research. However, this is different in Nigerian universities, federal universities especially. Students are left alone to decipher things independently, leaving them frustrated.
Let me paint a vivid picture of this disappointing situation to you.
Problems Related to Project Writing in Nigeria
A final-year student is given a topic to work on and assigned to a supervisor. He is eager to get started and work with his supervisor. However, when he gets to his supervisor’s office, he meets the supervisor occupied with various activities. And he is told to go and start his project on his own without any guidance. This excited student is still unfazed at this point, so he starts on his own, but along the way, he gets stuck.
He goes back to his busy supervisor to ask for help, but he is not given enough attention to get him through. Now, he’s left at the mercy of his fellow students and the wide internet with several pieces of information that make it easy to get lost. As time passes, he is disappointed, his morale diminishes, and before he gets to the last chapter, all his excitement is gone. At this point, he just wants to be done with the project and be out of school. The story of this boy depicts the situation of many undergraduates in Nigerian federal universities.
Another problem related to project writing for undergraduates is printing papers for corrections. In a world that is growing technologically, corrections are supposed to be made by sending the project document to the supervisor. However, the reverse is the case in Nigerian universities. Students are required to print out every chapter they work on and submit it to their supervisors. The supervisor corrects their mistakes on the paper, and supervisees are expected to implement these corrections, reprint them, and submit them again.
This cycle continues until the supervisor is satisfied with the work. While doing all these, these students spend a lot of money on printing, making them unnecessarily frustrated. These unnecessary struggles are supposed to be things of the past because the world is evolving, and everyone is moving fast. However, it seems like lecturers in Nigerian universities are choosing to remain stagnant.
Solutions to the Problems of Project Writing in Nigeria
Resolving the strenuous process of project writing in Nigerian universities is simple. However, lecturers need to recognize and accept these problems and be intentional about solving these problems.
First, the lecturers(supervisors) must be actively involved in the project writing of undergraduates. They need to be available to answer the questions of their supervisees and provide the necessary guidance they might need. This does not mean that the supervisors should spoon-feed the students and do all the work for them. However, they are to put them through what is expected of them and provide necessary guidance.
Supervisors can plan a schedule with the supervisees of when they would meet to share ideas and answer questions. Also, supervisors can make their social media platforms, such as Whatsapp, accessible to their supervisees on days when they are not available to meet with them physically. Showing concern about the student’s success and helping them to achieve it boosts the morale of the students. Especially the hardworking ones and it makes them more excited and committed to their work.
Furthermore, to curb the wastage of resources that results from printing papers for correction over and over. Supervisors can adopt the use of their mail to receive their supervisees’ project documents for correction. The supervisees can also share the link of their documents with their supervisor and the supervisor can make comments on the things that should be corrected. Adopting this method makes the process of correction seamless and cost-friendly and both the supervisees and the supervisor are relieved of a great deal of stress.
In conclusion, when students are guided aright in their project writing process, it adds to their knowledge and prepares them for the future if they decide to further their education up to Masters and Ph.D. levels.