Social sciences is a field that housed many fascinating professions. Its activities are not like that of pure science nor art. It is a field that deals with social phenomenon. The relationship of men and their environment. No doubt, it is one field that makes the society livable for men.
In the faculty of social sciences in Kogi State University for an instance, there are departments such as sociology, economics, mass communication, political sciences and geography and planning. These are not all the departments you can find under social sciences as the list can go on and on depending of the capacity of various schools.
The faculty of social science as reported is always the most populous faculty in most schools across Africa. This could be for the fact that there are no much calculation courses. And may be because the courses under study here are not quite brain cracking courses. Though no one can do well in social course without being intelligent.
As I progress further in my studies under the faculty of social sciences, I began to see lapses that spell doom for any student under this faculty if extra measure is not taken. The courses in here are basically theories and little practical. Except in mass communication where things like film production, and photography are being taught. Even at that, one is hardly grounded in such technical scheme because of lack of facilities in most schools. The effect of this is part of the reasons why government at all level is placing premium on science. I mean pure science in terms of scholarship and other educational subsidy programme.
When you check most scholarship boards, you will find out that most courses available for scholarship are that of sciences both for under graduates and post graduates studies. There is a reason for this discrimination. The world is after skills.
The shortcomings of studying a social science course became even clearer to me, when I see a friend of mine fetching money for himself while on break or strike but on my side, I have no such ability. He is studying Electrical Engineering. He fixes electrical connection errors for neighbors and offices for a pay. He installs electronics for people too. On my own side I have no avenue of such. Am only studying communication and the social psychological effect so how do I apply this as an undergraduate to make money. Yes, there are few ways available but one needs to be grounded to gain acceptance.
The scaring aspect is that if you don’t acquire any skill from your course of study that can market you as an undergraduate what then are you going to show off as a graduate? Your certificate? Don’t forget that many people have gotten that certificate too.
You will also agree with me that most students undergoing studies under social sciences do not have plans to practice it after school. If it were to be that good, why would anyone think of leaving a field he majored after school?
We were all lambasting the former president Chief Olusengun Obasanjo for making a statement that undermines the important of social science courses in the society but looking at it critically from his point of view, Obasanjo only said a truth that is bitter. Obasanjo argues that, “some people came to me and they said they have two Masters degree and yet cannot find a job. Then I asked what did you read and they replied mass communication, the other one is sociology. Then I told them you are un-educated. You now have to go and be re-educated to create value for your skills.”
The media and other practitioners accused the former president of denigrating mass communication and sociology. However, the question is what is the value of such theoretical skill in this our technological trending world if the students are not well grounded in the technical aspect?
I am not saying that social sciences is a no going area for aspirants, neither am I saying the students under social sciences are making a huge mistake, however, the shortcomings of social courses are too numerous for one to start considering going for valued skills. In all, let our passion guide us while we put employ-ability into consideration.
Onoja Johnson Baba
Department of Mass Communication,
Kogi State University, Anyigba.
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