EDUCATION: THE RIGHT PRESCRIPTION FOR FRACTURED NIGERIA
The history of Nigeria from the amalgamation of 1914 to independence in 1960, is very familiar to us and need to repetition.
However, my concern in this write up is not the history.
I am concerned with the levity that has crept into to our Educational system which is crippling almost every facet of our National life.
We do not need to look far to know why our nation has seemingly lost her soul, since Education which constitutes the backbone, the central nervous system of every nation has collapsed in our country. It is not as if the system has been taken over by bad men and bad women, no! it is a case of complete system collapse triggered by years of military rule, which had total disregard for systems and processes. It is not that bad or unpatriotic that soldiers governed us, on the contrary, with all the derision and criticisms, we have had some of the most patriotic who actually were convinced that there were doing their best for this nation. Sadly enough, there were like men driving expensive cars, driving real hard, but in the wrong direction. This has resulted in the society with no clear navigational aids to education.
Today from top to bottom, the damage is noticeable. These noble ideas behind the federal government’s involvement in Education have been compromised by a combination of wrong policy options and poor vigilance. This noble ideas for national unity are seen in the establishment and funding of institutions like the Federal Government Collages, Federal Collages of Education, Federal Polytechnics, Federal Universities and so on have been reduced and seen as domains of patronage to the local elites and supporters of the ruling party. Recruitments, appraisal and promotions have been hijacked by agents of political appointees and elective members who see these Educational Institutions as opportunity to extend their political dominion there by sharing any available position that exist among themselves not because the measure up but because of nepotism.
The result is that the sense of common citizenship and nationhood that is suppose to guide these vision has been severely compromised.
However, the only way forward is for our leaders at all level of government to have ethical and attitudinal re-orientation and thereafter, address the need deliberately plan how to raise up huge army of professionals covering all fields especially in sciences, developing expertise to address our domestic and international needs. This means that government must turn to schools from basic education to tertiary and immediately free them from the strangle-hold of politicians and deliberately seek how best to return the educational system to its days of glory as an incubator of new ideas to drive progress.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world (Nelson Mandela).