Revitalizing the Nigerian Education System
During a recent inquisitive research of mine: I came across an epic Yorùbá magazine popularly known as “Gbédègbeyò”, often found in most of the secondary schools’ libraries of the old Ondo State as at the late 70s and 80s.
Amazingly, i saw a rectangularized public announcement at the page 15 of this particular edition of the publication, encouraging students to get paid by becoming a columnists in the magazine, (see the attached image) as interpreted below:
“Announcement! Announcement!! Announcement!!!
Earn 5 Naira for every writing you send to us, it could be eventually shortlisted for publication, but such content should not be less than 1000 words, except it is a Tale, Poem, Lesson Learnt, Eulogy or jokes”.
In the Nigeria of today, the 5 Naira of that era has an approximate monetary value of about 3000 Naira to 5000 Naira which is just the present 1/5th of some Nigerian States’ minimum wage.
I am also sure that this same 5 Naira can no longer buy anything again in Nigeria, not even a tom-tom or a kuli-kuli in any aboki shop.
You can infer several other conclusions from the above facts.
How i wish the culture of reading among the Nigerian Youths could be sustained till this present era. The truth of the matter is just that: “na who book don epp for Naija?”.
An average Nigerian graduate is no longer assured of job security in his or her field of study after passing through the pains of the harsh educational environments. How will such citizen be encouraged to engage in research-oriented education or to contribute to national development.
Also, the rapid decline in the Nigeria’s educational standard is a great impedance to the actualization of an effective National integration Strategy in Nigeria. (A topic for another day).
Circumstantially, Nigeria experienced the oil-boom era but made a mistake of establishing an un-diversified mono-centric economy. Decades after gaining independence, not boastful of any competitive export product with an un-industrialized economy. These are the foundational underlying facts that have led to the present unemployment rate and other wailing societal challenges in Nigeria.
Taking a further flip through the pages of this epic magazine, i saw a Yorùbá proverb that depicts the law of karma.
“Sisé sílè ni àbòwábá, ení su sónà á bá esinsin nígbà àbò”
(see the attached image)
Interpreted as “What goes around comes around” or further explained as “as you sow, so shall you reap” which is the basic law of Karma.
Can you now see the beauty of the Nigerian culture?
Do private schools still have some Nigerian languages in their curricula?
Undoubtedly, culture, tradition and history are crucial heritages of a Nation, if you want to incapacitate these people, make them forget these legacies.
Permit me to note that most of wailing societal challenges in various Nigerian communities can be traceable to the rapid decline in the Nigerian educational standards, cultural shift, moral decadence, ignorance of the citizenry rights and the lack of exposure to their history.
As we all know, education is the backbone of the development of any nation, one of the recurring challenges in Nigeria is that most of the figure-heads are educationally half-baked breads, leading to their infinitesimal respect for education. You cannot give what you do not have.
Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. – Kofi A
I need to also note that the National Orientation Agency (NOA) also has an obligation to reorient and educate Nigerians on their citizenry rights i.e. what the Government expects from them, and what their constitutionalized duties as citizens.
If i may ask, how soon shall we get out of this dungeon of under-development in Nigeria?
Jawolusi Oluwaseun Solomon