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Is The CGPA The Correct Classification Of Intelligence?

Nigeria is a country in which titles are taken at a high value, most people in Nigeria are respected
by the number of titles they possess. A university degree is an example of such a title, as we all
know our degree here is graded into four major classes namely; First class, Second class upper,
Second class lower and Third class. Some companies, businesses, lecturers, parents and even
students believe the higher the class of degree the more intelligent the student is, in some cases
that ideology may be true but, nowadays students that graduate from universities are changing
this ideology, they are proving their worth irrespective of their class of degree.
The first-class students are termed as ‘the scholars’, they are supposed to be the epitome of a
true student, showing how intelligent, focused, diligent and time conscious students are meant
be, after all, they had the maximum numbers of A’s and a few B’s in their schooling journey.
Some lecturers believe they are their true students maybe because they understand what is
being taught to them faster, they follow the simple instructions, they pass their courses or the
track record these particular students have. In some cases when these first-class students score
low grades like an E or an F in a particular course, are given the benefit of the doubt unlike
second class lower students or third class students, the first thought that may come to the minds
of some lecturers or students would be “maybe it was a system error”, “the lecture is single
lining this student”, “it must have been a mass failure”, “he/she might be going through a tough
time physically or emotionally” or “maybe he/she didn’t seat for the exam”, it does not usually
come to their minds if these class of students just failed the exam based on their inability to
understand the particular course. But, we could argue that he/she understands the course
because they literally take tutorials so, how do they fail a course they clearly understand? And
how do other students they took for tutorials pass those exact courses? these are some of the
questions that back up the ideology. In some cases, first-class students are used to judging the
the failure rate of a particular course, if the department should check and see the first class students
do not really pass a particular course, the course can be reviewed and the grades will be
upgraded. From time immemorial, companies have used the class of degrees of graduates to
weed applicants for a particular position in their organisation. This may be due to the fact they
have so many applicants, or they feel the first-class graduates are the best students in their
respectable fields of study, some people may argue that not all first-class students are
technically sound in their field of study because some of them just know the theoretical aspects
of said fields and can not put their knowledge of said fields into the application, they say the first
class students only cram to pass and they don’t fully understand their field of study. Although
they have a point, we can not say it is entirely true because the first-class students normally
get a good internship or industrial attachment jobs during their time as students, they gather
working experiences while being students and they can apply what they are being taught
into real-life situations, this counters the nay sayer’s and kind of justifies companies for giving
preferential treatments to first-class graduates.
The second upper students are known as ‘the Guru’s, they are above average if we can put it
that way. They also have good grades like first-class students, some are even regarded as first-class students if they consider their CGPA, they score A’s but a lot more of B’s or maybe C’s.
They are also referred to as model students, they also organise tutorials, even more than first-class students. Some say certain second class students and graduates are more technically sound
than those of the first class, this is because, some Second class upper graduates initially start
their university journeys as first-class students but, along the way they engage in either work-study or apply for internships to gain working experience, the mental and physical
stress of combining their work and schooling mine have a toll on them thus, them dropping a few
grade points into the second class upper. One can argue that this an excuse because there are still
other students that finish with a first-class and they interned in various companies if they were
that good they also would have been able to cope with the pressure. In the university and also
in the outside world second class upper graduates are been classified into two groups, we have
the ones between a 3.5-3.9 CGPA and the ones between a 4.0-4.49 CGPA, these settings are called
the 4pointers. Even when they are drafting out their CVs they fall back to this classification to have an edge when applying for job positions. Even today some companies clearly
state in the requirements for some of their job openings that they are only looking for either
first class or second class upper graduates.
There are the second class lower candidates, they are known as the ‘party planners’, they are
average or a little bit above average if we are putting it that way. During their journey in school
they had few A’s and B’s, a lot of C’s probably had D, E and F. They are sometimes classified
as the unserious types or the ones looking for lecturers favour, they are thought to as the ones
who managed to pass difficult courses. During our time in the university, lecturers told us to
try and finish school with either a first-class or second class lower, they said second class lower
graduates already have the odds stacked against them when looking for jobs, that may be true
but, let’s ask ourselves ‘is a second class lower degree useless?’. There are cases whereby
graduates of second class lower degrees have to augment their degrees with a master’s degree
to get jobs. Because, of this stigmatization, quite a few of these second class lower
graduates become entrepreneurs or go into the entertainment industry, due to no job
opportunities and they have to work twice as hard as the previous classes of degree holders.
We could say they eventually do well for themselves as entrepreneurs but, some also hire
mostly the top students in their respective fields and then start the cycle all over again.
We also have the third class students, they are known as the ‘waka pass’, meaning they only
attended a university and didn’t gain anything worthwhile. They are assumed to be the
unserious set of students who do not value the opportunity that was presented to them, they
hardly have A’s, C’s or C’s and have more D’s, E’s and F’s. Some of these classes of graduates
resort to getting a master’s degree to secure good job openings but, some universities
do not even accept third-class graduates for their master’s programmes so, they have to first get
a diploma. Aside from all the shameful criticisms about the third class students and graduates,
studies have shown that some of them have such poor grades because they are working-class
( e.g entrepreneurs, actors, actresses, musicians e.t.c.) , married people or elderly people who
just want a degree. If we consider these studies, we could come to the conclusion
that the mentioned above people do not need the degrees to get a job, they might just
need for a status symbol or to prove a point.
We could make a case for graduates or students with degree classes lower than first-class or
second class upper, that they were victims of various circumstances that hindered their chances
of finishing the university with higher degrees, or their class of degree should not be a
classification of their intelligence but, like the saying goes “what is worth doing, is worth doing
well”, this is the mindset a lot of our elderly ones have and it may not be a wrong ideology
because it has proven results. Recently companies are starting to be more lenient with the
applicants they hire and are hiring candidates based on their experience or what they can offer,
some even organise graduate trainee programmes, to fully integrate the new employees
into their organisation or field of work. Now we are left with a posing question ‘has an employer would you go through the stress of reviewing countless CVs irrespective of the class
of applicant’s degrees but, on what they can offer? Or will you cut down the stress and weed
applicants based on their classes of degree?”

Countributor: Titilope Agbaje
Phone number:07053646828
LinkedIn: Titilope Agbaje

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