On the challenges of the education sector
ALL entities that make up Nigeria are unquestionably displaced. We have gradually, through decades of corruption, economic recession, poor leadership, insecurity, acts of terrorism and more ineffable acts, depleted the quality of the sectors that constituted our values. One of those important sectors of education. The need for education in a country can hardly be overstated; education is the mold in which the offspring of societies are cast, and the quality of education today is the determinant of our future. Just as Abraham Lincoln said, the philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. So why has this indispensable entity of our society been neglected? The importance of education in our country seems to have been forgotten. Students (even parents) seem to care only about grand certificates and not about integral knowledge: we have lost sight of what is and ignored what must be treated as imperative. We have become virtual time travelers destroying the future before it arrives.
There are many instances where Nigerians have ignored the value of quality education for ‘certificates’. Exam malpractice has been an endemic and resilient antagonist of quality education for as long as education itself has been established, but the rate at which it is growing is greater than ever now. What is mystifying and troubling about this act is its general acceptance in our societies today. It is no longer surreptitious that many high school students are aided by their teachers and principals to engage in unfaithful and degrading acts during their WAEC and NECO exams. In most cases, students are asked to pay for the supposed “Expo” and their parents blindly help fund them with money to pay. It is even more troubling that the official supervisors charged by these examination boards to oversee and regulate the examinations and prevent malpractice mainly help the acts once their pockets are lined. And these unqualified and unprepared students are ushered into universities with these results knowing full well that it is a facade. Unlike in the past where results are proof of excellence, they are no longer. The depraved students are robbed of the confidence to wield the durability of the piece of paper they carry, thus leaving them defenseless when offered jobs as they lost their M16s and bulletproof vests long ago.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THESE FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE
Moreover, the insignificance of education can easily be attributed to the nonchalant attitude of the government towards the education of Nigerian students. The Nigerian government openly shows contempt for education; in front of ASUU trillions of naira, slowing down the rate at which the dispersal of valuable education to Nigerian students occurs. Staying at home for months or even years reduces the citizen’s consideration for quality learning. The government, by not providing enough employment opportunities, also reduces the importance of education for Nigerian students as they spend more years than expected on a course without any hope of being employed. The lack of necessary and standardized equipment for learning in secondary and tertiary institutions, making schools more boring and unsophisticated, has also contributed to this enemy.
The drastic fall in the importance of education in Nigeria has opened the doors to other malign insurgencies. This uncomfortable situation in education results in the engagement of idle students in illicit and impermissible activities like cybercrimes, armed robberies and the killing of people for ritual purposes. Some even drop out of school and become available instruments used by politicians or the highest bidder for evil deeds. Sometimes depraved and unqualified students enter politics by becoming our leaders without being neurophysiologically ready and sufficiently equipped to handle a situation. The situation is therefore metastatically cancerous.
Government, students, parents and the country as a whole must revive the dying importance of education in this country. We are laying the foundations today for the mansion of tomorrow with quality and effective education serving as the mold with which the bricks are cast. Students should prioritize learning over grades and certificates. The mentally sophisticated individuals thus produced will greatly improve this country.
- Félix is a student in the Department of Medicine at LAUTECH.