Things have never been the same from the very moment we were told we are the leaders of tomorrow. This is because every unfolding event, as well as the body language from those that held on tightly to this saying, cannot be reconciled with the truism of the undeniable agonisingly tough reality that we sleep and wake up with.
Our education has been reduced to the point that it is not even attractive to the illiterates again. Every administration has only succeeded in drawing and drowning this sector into the Mediterranean Sea. We have not only lived in the deceitful kissing of these Judas Iscariot but have also realised that we are at the mercy of being crucified.
This cannot be distant from the lack of a deep sense of leadership quality that every citizen of a country expects from their leaders. A trait found in men like Nelson Mandela whose watchword when it comes to education remains; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Developed countries have something in common: They are perpetually in the business of investing heavily in their education sector. This is because they understood the resultant effect of quality education on their youths. These investments gave birth to men and women with revolutionary ideas. And it is with these ideas that they rule the world.
Ever progressing while we are here dreaming and wishing without an action that is commensurate to achieve the same feat. Funny enough, we are still busy beating around the minimum requirement given by the UNESCO that is expected to be earmarked for education in our yearly budget.
This is the problem of having leaders whose bellies are their gods. Men who lack visions and foresight for the hope of the future and whose mouths are bigger than their cerebral grandstanding. While the future of the nation is rotting away, possessing luxuries and gallivanting the four cardinal points of the earth is all that burns in their hearts.
Why won’t our neighbouring country, Ghana become a better place to school than ours? Every year, the numbers of students leaving the shore of Nigeria for schooling is unarguably embarrassing. Yet in all of these, they call us the leaders of tomorrow and emphasise the beauty of education even when it is obvious that they are killing that same future on the altar of today.
This story is applicable to virtually some of the Nigeria institutions especially the government owned institutions, starting from the primary school to the tertiary institutions. The more reason I insisted that our problem is basically fundamental and foundational. The system that should be the hope of reviving the spirit of creativity and innovations in students has suddenly become a butchering ground – dwindling the morale of the students.
In the 21st century, we are still satisfied with blackboard, chalk, and duster. The system is so old that it tends to corrupt fresh brains. And when the environment is not conducive, nothing thrives. These bitter scenarios finally walked throughout universities and other tertiary institutions. The testimony that you have come to school is that you used more than expected numbers of years in the university, not because you failed but because of what has turned to be an annual expected event– that is the incessant strikes.
For a session to pass without strike makes it look as though the academic calendar of that session is not yet complete. Students can be out of school for months if not year, it means nothing to the spiritual forces and power that be. As a result, the students have seen this abnormality as a norm to go on strike and if attempts are made to protest, it is done at the expense of their lives. It is either they are victimised by the school authorities or be faced with life gun as though they are Christmas chicken. University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) could be a recent example to relate with amidst the innumerable occurrences we have witnessed over the years.
The fate of the public institutions is at stake in this nation. If it is being treated with this level of absurdity and trepidation, expect private institutions to take over in years to come. This was not actually a surprise when the governor of my state compared LAUTECH with BABCOCK University. I was poised to ask if this was a nightmare or a product of accidental leadership. How can you use a private university as a yardstick for the State University? This is a school, on approximately seven months strike and everything seems as though nothing is happening.
Their change mantra is nothing but a fluke from all indications. To say that students and lecturers should go and have a sanctuary of reasoning on how they will finance the school sounds sympathetic. But this is all we have come to live with, leaders of tomorrow in the hands of the killers of today.
We are at a stage where things are no longer at ease. Those who burn themselves to light other people’s ways are being maltreated. No salary yet their task masters called leaders forced them to work by threatening them with sack letters. How many times have any governor or politicians ever protested of not being paid their salary? It is these same people who do not care that formulate our educational policy. What an irony of life! You then began to ask how many research work thrives in Nigeria? How productive, innovative and creative are our tertiary institutions?
We can continue like this and remain the same or put up the necessary measures and join the league of developed Nations. Enough of politicking education in this country! It is high time we started to engage technocrats and scholars with capacities to help rebuild the falling wall. Making it a priority to fund the system by supporting research works will help us as a nation to be great. Until then, we would only live in the fool’s paradise of having a fortified educational system. Of most importance is for every student to equally take their destinies in their hands. Whatever you can take out of the school system not minding its poor state, do in order to better yourself and your future as well as your society.