By Ajibade Felix
ALL the entities that make up Nigeria are indisputably displaced. We have progressively, 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 these important sectors in education.
The necessity of education in a country can hardly be overstated; education is the mold in which the societies’ offspring are cast, and the quality of today’s education is the determinant of our tomorrow. Just like Abraham Lincoln said, the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.
Then why has this indispensable entity of our society been neglected? The significance of education in our country seems to have fallen into oblivion. Students (even the parents) only seem to care about the grandiose certificates and not about the integral knowledge: we have lost sight of what is and disregarded what should be treated as imperative. We have become virtual time travelers destroying the future before it has arrived.
There are quite a lot of instances where Nigerians have disregarded the value of quality education for ‘certificates’. Examination malpractice has been a rampant and resilient antagonist of quality education for as long as education itself was established but the speed at which it rises is higher than ever now. What is mystifyingly disturbing about the act is its general acceptance in our societies today.
It is no longer surreptitious that many secondary school students are aided by their teachers and their principals to engage in unfaithful and demeaning acts during their WAEC and NECO examinations. In most cases, the students are requested to pay for the supposed ‘Expo’ and their parents, supporting them blindly fund them with cash to pay.
It is even more disturbing to realize the official supervisors assigned by these examination boards to overview and regulate the examinations and avoid malpractice mostly aid the acts once their pockets are filled. And these unqualified, unprepared students get inaugurated into universities with those results knowing fully well it is a facade.
Unlike in the past when results are evidence of excellence, they, no longer, are not. The depraved students are deprived of the confidence to exercise the tenability of the piece of paper they carry around thereby leaving them defenseless at job proposals because they lost their M16 and bullet-proof vest a long time ago.
Moreover, the insignificance of education can easily be attributed to the government’s nonchalant attitude towards the education of Nigerian students. The Nigerian government is openly showing disregard for education; owing ASUU trillions of naira, decelerating the speed at which the dispersion of valuable education to Nigerian students occurs. Staying home for months, even years reduces the citizen’s regard for quality learning.
The government also, by not providing sufficient employment opportunities, reduces the significance of education for Nigerian students because they spend more than expected years on a course without any hope of being employed. The lack of necessary and standardized equipment for learning in both secondary and tertiary institutions, making schools more boring and unsophisticated, also contributed to this nemesis.
The drastic fall in the significance of education in Nigeria opened doors for other malignant insurgencies. This discomforting situation in education results in the engagement of idle students in illicit and impermissible activities like cyber crimes, armed robberies, and murdering people for ritualistic purposes.
Some even drop out of school and become available instruments used by politicians or the highest bidder for evil acts. Sometimes, the depraved and unqualified students engage in politics becoming our leaders without being neurophysiologically ready and equipped enough to run a state of affairs. The situation is, therefore, metastatically cancerous.
The government, the students, the parents, and the country at large need to revive the dying significance of education in this nation. We lay the foundation of tomorrow’s mansion today with quality and effective education serving as the mold with which the bricks are cast. Students need to prioritise learning over grades and certificates.
The mentally sophisticated individuals that will thus be produced will improve this country significantly.
Felix is a student at LAUTECH’s Department of Medicine.