This is not just an article that highlights the complete decay in the Nigerian education system, it is a wake-up call to all those responsible for fixing the rot. There is no better way to put this; the decay in the educational system in Nigeria at all levels is heavily overwhelming and hopeless. This article takes a critical look at the graveyards our citadels of learning have since degenerated into from various perspectives ranging from infrastructure, capacity building, motivation and amenities.
In the mid-eighties, a popular quote was on the lips of every Nigerian; ‘If you think Education is expensive, try Ignorance’. The deep meaning buried in this simple sentence alone is enough to make a 60year old illiterate cry to the grave. Education is not just your right; it is what makes you feel alive. Lack of quality education is dehumanising, distasteful and usually degenerates into impoverishment. Now some school of thoughts will start citing names of illiterate billionaires and I simply wonder how a drop in an ocean can be regarded as the ocean itself.
Enough of the intro let us get down to brass tracks. I want to start by stating that no public school in Nigeria can boast of a complete set of all the basic infrastructure and amenities that make up a good school, yet these public institutions admit the highest number of pupils and students annually. Various governments have set up committees to address this perpetual lack but all have been to no avail.
From the PTF to the ETF, all have yielded no significant fruits just like the biblical cursed vine.
Let us start by citing examples. How can our leaders be so nonchalant as to allow primary school pupils remain in a school with makeshift toilets built right on the septic tank?
Why should students get sacked by heavy rains during school hours or roll up their pants to cross an ‘artificial river’ to school? I don’t think I get the rationale. Some schools in Nigeria carry out titration process in the chemistry laboratories using water as the acid and base components. Teachers poor out their frustration on students as though that will lead them straight to the bank.
The government must come alive to its responsibilities and take the bull by the horn in fixing educational institutions nationwide. It must see this investment as the most rewarding investment towards sustainable growth and development of the country. No country can move an inch forward without investing huge sums of capital in human capacity development.
Only a martial law on education can save this nation from the fast-growing decay in that crucial sector. –
By Obiorah Emmanuel ‘2001 set (DADA)
(The article was a contribution to the 2012 Alumni Magazine publication.)