Tag Archives: Nigeria

SCOURGE IN THE NIGERIAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

By: Adekunle Adewunmi

 

“Government shall strive to eradicate illiteracy…..(a) free, compulsory and universal primary education (b) free secondary education (c) free university education and (d) free adult literacy programme”

     Section 18, sub section 3 of the Nigerian 1999 Construction

 

 

The above provision is entrenched in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But, can we say the law is still very relevant today? The answer is as you have right in mind.

Literacy has over the years been termed a way out of many world problems. With education, the key to success in the outer world is assured, they say. Having garnered much strength by parents to send their children and wards to school, it is believed way that the road to such child’s success is certain while others bend themselves to low-esteemed jobs out there to become part of the beneficiaries of the leading trend of education that births success. It is however, sad that the delivery of such brings tears to one’s eyes.

Political office holders take pride in rearing their own children in wealth and affluence to study in pocket-screaming tuition amount, in the best private schools in the country and abroad, not minding the conspicuous lack of equipments and study materials cum capable hands in exerting knowledge to the tomorrow’s future in our schools, with the jaundiced state of the Nigerian Academic Standards, community, and syllabus.

Re-calling the months in which students have had to sit at home due to recurring strike actions that had always emanated from paying lip services to teachers’ rights, which occurrence has not been well tailored still, with LAUTECH students still languishing at home, no thanks to the strike actions.

Teachers and Lecturers have been found with oodles of ways in bringing disrepute to the Nigerian educational community due to government’s neglect. They have resorted to the saying which goes by: ‘oga ta, ogaota, owo alaaru ape’, thereby lessening the standards of the impartation of knowledge, skills and wisdom. Lecturers on the other hand, had been found selling textbooks to students even when they are sub-standard, and coercing students to by them with various threats to fail them if they fail to buy books. This is bad but, government and Ministry of Education has influenced these happenings. I’m not saying what they are practicing is good, rather, some of them have been found in it because they have to look for alternative ways to make ends meet.

Neglect of the majority minors screams in all corners whilst policies and Constitutions, bent and maligned.

No gain saying the fact on how the Federal Government had brought in JAMB that is used as a means of milking the citizenry dry every year just because of the much necessity thrown at us, by the society of getting educated. Not relating anymore with the fact that enough scholarships are far-cry as rampant in other countries that helps the minorities who are intellectually sound and want to study but for which free education for all has become lost in transit.

Our Leaders and Politicians has been found guilty of sending their children abroad and brag, about the same. Many of them flaunt their wealth and keep spitting lies about how they bag certain unknown degrees in Institutions outside the country. The Senate President has been found doing the former, with many others swimming in the latter.

In spite of all, despite all of these, Nigerians have kept mum!

The will to learn has been on the increase amongst Nigerian youths and even the adults are not left out, as they are being found heightening and widening their intellectual horizons to keep themselves away from being tagged ‘Dinosaurians”.

The recent news that trends around the Nigerian educational community is the increase of tuition fees not minding the pocket-tearing admission fees demanded by most schools.

I for one believe that at this crucial moment where our country is experiencing downturns in most sector, the educational sector should rather be given a boosting morale instead of dampening the hopes of people seeking to gather knowledge.

Little wonder why many do all in their capacity to study outside the country even if it demands borrowing. They have studied this nation and have seen that anyone who wants to attain the desired height of greatness either scholarly or in any other fields, mustn’t await the government of this day, for all they delight in is to sweep the nation’s wealth in their well embroidered white Agbada apparel and receive many with their white teeth smiling on the outside.

Nigerians are fuming, they have a very good resistance habit but when their “shock absorbers” gets worn out and they get back to the government in any possible way of revenge; either wars or mutiny, they shouldn’t be blamed, for they have well waited for a bettered but given a battered change.

When people have chosen to find succour in the government institutions but neglect and heart break is what they get in return, then it is nothing but shame on the ministry that umbrellas this sector!

Let me quickly ring you an alarm of remembrance if you have forgotten that, plethora of the governing body had enjoyed from the free education given to all during the Awolowo times because your parents were also like many of ours but, you scaled through ignorance vis-a-vis illiteracy and here you are today, in lucrative positions not willing nor wanting others to prosper. You claim that you want to be called a success after all but, can there ever be a success without a successor? How are you mentoring others? Let that keep in ringing!

Someone had said that Nigerians are suffering from poverty. The Westerners had tagged us as being poor. However, we aren’t poor at all be it materially, intellectually, name it; only that we are being deprived of showcasing what we’ve got and can do for Nigeria, Africa, and the world by Nigeria. We see our people in countries like UK, America and other developed countries; developing things and making things work for other countries other than ours because we have refused to take responsibility to develop and brush up our tools (students); we are sound upstairs. Our system is sick upstairs due to bad, haphazard operators.

Government shall direct its policies towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels, Government shall promote Science and Technology- Nigerian Constitution, Section 18(1).

For Polytechnic graduates having to go through the process of Post Graduate Diploma or Conversion programmes before being certified to obtain Masters Degree form, is it not sickening? It is really barbaric for some graduates to delve into the next level of education straight, on a platter of gold, in the name of paper (Certificate) while others go through a useless process before doing same. What disturbs and disheartens me the more is the fact that graduates with low, pass marks in University takes this process in which Polytechnic graduates with Distinction is also obliged to sit for. It has gotten that bad!

A Third Class University graduate being likened to an assiduous Distinction, Higher and Lower Credit graduate of a Polytechnic lacks meaning and any sound explanation as defense; it is becoming unacceptably incessant.

However, many of us are ever ready to #Standwith9ja though we are out-cast, yet will we stand if and only if this country is ready to make the wrongs right and continue to right the rights.

Re-positioning our academic standard cum parlance will involve procreation and disbursement of more educational equipment to all state and federal institutions, improved payment of teachers’ salaries and allowances without any hiccups, employment of fresh graduates to both administrative and teaching part of Education, re-work of syllabus at all levels, respect for Polytechnic and Technology based schools graduates, with many other right actions; we shall reach our desired height of academic excellence.

EDUCATION is Light, help us gain access to this light, and we’ll make Nigeria shine brighter than all! Give us the opportunity to learn, and we will become great and illuminate the dark path in the life of the country; thence shall we re-affirm the real saying that, EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.

Also, government should not fail to do the needful, adhere strictly to the dictate of the Nigerian constitution. Human development is worth more than infrastructural stride.

May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

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MISUSE OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE IMPLICATIONS

By: Moshood Muhammed

Social media, facilitated by the internet technology and made popular at the turn of the millennium by the emergence of platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook opened a vista of opportunities in every area of human endeavours. This has undoubtedly enhanced effective information dissemination and communication in a way that has never been experienced before, globally.

However, social media has not only opened doors of opportunities for business expansion through online marketing and sales of goods and services, it also fostered the practice of citizen journalism, enhanced interaction among people globally, at social, economic, political and other fronts.

To this end, the importance and relevance of social media globally cannot be over emphasized, especially in the area of information dissemination and social interaction.

However, while some people reasonably adopt the platforms in promoting their businesses, social causes, and interaction, others have at one time or the other, consistently used the different platforms in spreading lies, unfounded rumours and speculations about persons, organizations and their activities.

This development has the capacity to cause unrest and civil disturbance. Sometimes, outdated information and irrelevant messages are sent on social media without verification of their authenticity.

Moreso, some people use the platforms to show off, by virtually releasing all information about them and their families online, a practice that is steadily gaining ground.

Some kidnappers and robbers have often revealed during investigations that they get information about most of their victims from their social media activities and are able to trace them, based on the information made available on the cyberspace.

Nigerians should note that aside the security challenges, those who release virtually all their travel details, achievements or generally misuse the social media may unknowingly be sending wrong signals even to prospective employers. This is because recruiting organizations now search the social media, to gauge and understand the lifestyles of their recruits to determine if it aligns with their companies’ goals. This gives them an insight into what the prospective employee can offer their establishments.

Also, tertiary institutions also rely on social media for a background check on their prospects. This is unknown to many people who have in the process lost jobs and admission opportunities.

To correct these anomalies, it behooves on the relevant agencies including the National Orientation Agency in collaboration with Nigerian Communication Commission, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to continuously sensitize Nigerians on the proper use or way to operate these platforms and possibly facilitate reasonable legal framework to check abuse.

This move however, should not be an excuse by the government to gag the people.

Also, parents, guardians, religious leaders, social groups and the Nigerian media should sensitize the people on the need to make judicious use of the social media rather than use it to cause harm to themselves and the country.

 

 

 

 

​OUR MANY TRAVAILS AND THE NEED TO CONSOLIDATE OUR DEMOCRACY

By: Moshood Muhammed

Generally speaking, the people constitutes mainly the element, admissible and permissible in democracy, the Nigerian system of government, with whom the decision of who becomes what, get what and at what time is taken and for.

With reference to the definition a former President of United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, participation of people, who are an indispensable element of government and leadership of a country, is believed to be non-negotiable. But, reverse is sharply the case in the issue of Nigeria, the most populous black-skinned people country in the world.

The rare magnanimity of the then military ruler and Head of State, Rtd. General Abubakar Salami saw Nigeria return to democratic rule in 1999 with Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo as the democratically elected President. After he exited office, Nigeria has successfully transferred power from one leader to the other and most recently, from a political party which Nigeria started with, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a very peaceful and uncommon manner, alien to the African politicians and its many years of political sojourn. This remains one of the feats we have achieved as a country.

On return to democracy eighteen (18) years ago, expectations were high, no thanks to the ‘nightmares of military rule’ and having seen what democracy infers in other climes. Nigerians could not hide their joys when the Obasanjo administration came on board; many were promised with very infinitesimally done so far and nothing done in many cases, even by successive occupiers of the Aso Villa and other public positions in the yesteryears up till now.

Power supply has remained consistently out of supply in many homes, villages, cities and factories, forcing Nigerians to make darkness their neighbours, while many businesses went out of operation, with others relocating to neighbouring countries; education is yet to recover from the colossal damage done to its structural and administrative hitherto strong rooting. Same is the case with Agriculture, which was formally our source of national financial muscle depleting into a business of very few with little concentration from government, not until recent time. The list is endless.

As much as it incontrovertible that all is not so well, coupled with corruption fast becoming regalia of our political actors, it does not translate to the end of the road for the country. The country has despite the political upheavals that greeted the preparation for last general elections among other issues emerged, a united country, though with affray from some parts of the country.

As Nigerian democracy gets a year older, concerted efforts must be made by all in seeing the birth of the new and assuring country Nigerians would be proud of.
Now, the leadership of the country and government structures across board must be sanitized and made to work in the interest of the people, while the trademark of corruption on most political office holders is ‘confiscated’. Our leaders must be aware that if everyone who has at one point or the other occupied the office did not leave, they would never have the opportunity to get there.

Furthermore, the central government must not surrender in its struggle for a well respected country in Africa and beyond, flush out, in sincerity the demonic corruption tendencies, that has almost brought the country on its knees, out of the country; wipe out the inkling Boko Haram insurgence stint, rescue the remaining Chibok School girls, get back home Nigerians leaving like foreigners on the own soil, neighbouring countries. Also, our economy which somersaulted must also be revamped, with the diversification plan executed speedily while ensuring an enduring, stable and uninterrupted power supply to all nooks and crannies of the country. This will do doubt help recover our hailing economy and set us forthwith on the path to prosperity.

On the other hand, Nigerians must see The New Nigeria project as a collective assignment, on which the destiny of millions of our country men and women are tied to, and indeed that of many generations yet unborn. Should the war against corruption be won, proceeds recovered and ultimately pumped into the economy, Nigerians can be certain of a speedily developed country. Hence, everyone must resolve to join the campaign, reject proceeds of crime and never be involved corruption. Charity they say begins at home.

Similarly, our parents, families, religious leaders, teachers and schools must note that they are either partner in crime or partner in progress, depending on what they make of the flock in their care. There is therefore a great need to have them support government and by far, the popular view, rid the country of many rots she has found herself in. This implies that the song of anti corruption, transparency, accountability, hard work and perseverance should be continuous on their lips.

The truth is, should we fail to augment our resolution for the ‘hell-lots’, vent our displeasure with the widely affirmed abysmal state of things, by participating meaningfully in the affairs of the country, our complaints would be mere noise. In other words, our political affairs, call for accountability, responsive and responsible government should not be left in the hands of politicians and the acclaimed ‘opposition’ parties, we must all make Nigeria work for our good. The rumoured military take-over is not and will never be in the interest of majority of Nigerians. As such, we must all defend our democracy and make it stronger.

Though, all may not be rosy for us as a country, it is never a time to give up; our participation in governance should be strong, defiant of oppression tendencies of any public office holder, bad governance, misrepresentation among others, like never before. Surely, we would get there.

If you are not participating, it is not making sense. #Standwith9ja

God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria

MOMENT LOVE TRAVELS OUT…

By: Moshood Muhammed

Overtime, I have had to discuss with Nigerians from different ethnic background. One thing that is peculiar to most of them is that they do no longer care about their root – village or hometown. The reason is not far-fetched, pointing towards the same direction.

They had, at one point in time been told scary, totally bad and ridiculously sad stories of their parents’ ordeals, associates and relatives in the hands of their kinsmen or family members, while they held sway in their hometowns, villages or when they were all in contact with their progenitors.

Hence, many of these people have refused to go back home while offspring, most of those have personally interacted with, now fully grown up don’t know their roots.

Thanks to the internet facility which has earned us all global citizenship. The opportunity available to us to equally settle anywhere we wish is nothing but a good one. But, the Yoruba aphorism; omo to ba so ile nu, so apo iya ko, meaning (he who neglects home risks misfortune) may not be totally irrelevant to those set of people.

But, would one say because you don’t want to lose your place in the family or root get seriously ‘africally’ dealt with by one’s supposed brothers or sisters?

Asides the fact that children of people in this category will not know their homes, they may never be able to have anything to do with their people, culture, norms and values, relatives, especially those who are not fortunate to access the town nor have access to the use of the media in reaching them.

Why can’t we as Africans and Nigerians accept ourselves warmly, encourage our people to visit home so that we can collectively make our villages or homes great, without having to sell our collective heritage in terms of rich culture we are blessed with? The sad story is, most homes in those villages and towns have been badly overgrown with weeds or less taken care of while many have deserted those places, leaving their people in penury and abject poverty.

As good as technological revolution is, it is capable of robbing us treasures through the internet, social media, films, music, that we are long known for in exchange of chaff.

By and large, envy and unhealthy rivalry will continue to water our downfall and fuel our generational retrogression, leading us to remain in perilous condition. The truth we must hold is that no amount of developmental goals can come to fruition in the absence of love, unity and peaceful co-existence.

Also, our rich culture and tradition is due for extinction should our people continue to flee unabated.

The implication of an ordinary African’s greediness has cost the continent a lot. It is important for us, as a people learn to accommodate ourselves and use whatever power we have to support the other man who is struggling while disbanding the thoughts of hurting those who have in one way or the other made headway, not even at a time things have become so hard for people, owing to economic pressure. This has seen many people commit suicide while others are faring sorrily in destituteness.

Our lives run on different journey path; it will be better each and everyone runs his/her race well in the face of destiny.

We will all arrive at our destinations at the appropriate time. Let’s give love a chance!