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Education: A lost Priority in Nigeria

by Modupeoluwa Ayangbenro

“Education is the best legacy”, so the adage says, but it has lost its importance in Nigeria. Education is majorly the tool that allowed our forefathers to gain our Independence because, they were enlightened and were aware of the importance of being free, so they came out of their ignorance and fight for our freedom because they were educated. Unfortunately, this legacy has long lost its importance in the same country, its saved from bondage.

It is so sadden to see Nigeria governments neglecting education and viewing it has less important, the only way their eyes are drawn to the educational sector of the country is when there is strike actions. ASUU and ASUP strikes occur often because the governments refuse to perform their responsibilities to the sector. One of the basic need that is expected of the governments in Nigeria to provide for its citizens is education, if not to tertiary level but at least primary education. But, even the primary education provided by the government is nothing to talk about.

Education, that was as cheap as anything has now become an expensive commodity. Average Nigeria parents who are passionate about sending their children to tertiary school have to save up to at least 70% of their income or borrow money from cooperative, banks and others so that their children can be educated. Because of how expensive education is in Nigeria, some average parents do not send their children who are fit for higher education all at once to school, they make it one after the other; the eldest child will go first and finish his or her education before sending the next child in order to cut expenses, and this arrangement causes delay for the next child.

Some we say, why not go to federal institution instead of private? Entry into higher institutions own by both federal and state is like a rat trying to pass through the needle, it is very difficult. You need connection before you can enter. You can imagine how heartbreaking it is for a child, who passed both his jamb and post jamb examination and he is not given admission all because he has no connection, like not knowing a lecturer, the rector, the chancellor, the registrar, the dean or head of department in the school he applied for. That how corrupt and unfair Nigeria institutions have become, even after knowing someone, you have to pay heavily before they can process your admission. So, for you to get education in Nigeria, it is not about how brilliant you are but how well connected and wealthy you are.

Poor facilities are another thing inhabited by Nigeria education. After you might have narrowly gained admitted into Nigeria schools, you have to dwell with the facts that you will be getting to class very early in order to get a sit before lecture start, you might be disappointed not to get a sit even after getting to class early. You have to adapt to learning in the darkness during evening and night classes, that means no electricity supply for night lectures but night lectures are still fixed. Moving down to public primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, students make their tables and chairs themselves, if the student or pupil can not afford it, he or she will have to sit on the floor. When it is raining, the students are soaked and freezing because there is leaking and damaged roofs on their heads. Nigeria did not only suffer you to get education but put you in danger and insecurity when you insist on get the education.

Nigeria education is just stagnant, no going back neither moving forward. The syllabus has been the same like the national anthem. No review, no addition, no subtraction, no adjustment, it just remain the same. Governments in Nigeria do not think of improving the standard of education, instead they make it worse by allowing strikes to occur all the time. Because of strike actions, the already stagnant syllabus will not be fully covered. That is why schools have no choice but to produce half baked graduates who find some things strange or difficult to operate in the labor market. Nigeria education is just in a big mess.

Appreciating academic excellence is another issue entirely. Nigeria education lack appreciation of outstanding performances. After a student successfully survived all the ups and downs in schools and came out with good result, what he or she expect is to be appreciated for a job well done. But it is in Nigeria that you will see the overall best student in an institution awarded with ten thousands naira only. I wonder if the student will not blame himself for doing excellently for nothing. Some schools will even promise the student scholarship and will not fulfill the promise. Recently, other countries such as United State of America are the one awarding scholarship for the best graduating students in Nigeria schools because they know the importance of excellency. Is this not a shame to Nigeria? All the good products that Nigeria is blessed with, are taken away right in her presence. No wonder a lot of Nigerian parents, who are buoyant enough, are sending out their children to study abroad. Most of the students who are opportune to study abroad are making a lot of good waves academically.

After you have eventually succeed in getting education in Nigeria, another thing you will face is unemployment. There is no assurance of getting a good job after you have struggle to achieve your degree, that is why a lot of students have lost interest in education in Nigeria. Some students prefer doing business than getting educated because business is sure than education in Nigeria, so the legacy in education is no where to be found. Nigerians are tired of laboring in vain, education is not a sure thing anymore, it does not guarantee success anymore. Education in Nigeria is now an option and a 50-50 chance business.

Nigeria is totally losing it educationally, what can we do?

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