De­bate the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor please

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

It is ap­par­ent that Nige­ria as a na­tion is now be­ing guided onto the path of na­tional re­birth. The mid­wife is pre­par­ing the en­vi­ron­ment for suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery. For decades, ‘pro­ject -Nige­ria’ re­mained an idea which pre­vi­ous suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments’ pre­ferred not to con­sider.

Cor­rup­tion with all its cor­ro­sive ten­den­cies was cel­e­brated and en­trenched. It em­bed­ded our na­tional char­ac­ter and psy­che, de­stroy­ing ev­ery in­sti­tu­tion in­clud­ing the most cher­ished and co­he­sive-the fam­ily. Lit­tle won­der that Nige­ria be­came fer­tile en­vi­ron­ment for the growth and spread of in­se­cu­rity, in­dis­ci­pline, in­ef­fi­ciency, and in­ef­fec­tive­ness in ev­ery­thing we did.

For decades the na­tion lost its char­ac­ter (in spite the cam­paign:”Not In Our Char­ac­ter”), bear­ing and even pur­pose as fed­er­ated peo­ples. The poor, down trod­den and a few from amongst the elites are re­li­gious and godly so they turned to God. Ac­knowl­edged, even the po­lit­i­cal class is re­li­gious, but it tends to dis­card that in its crav­ing for power and po­lit­i­cal con­trols.

We have started notic­ing this change, lo­cally in our fill­ing sta­tions, power sup­ply, fight against ter­ror­ism, and in­ter­na­tion­ally Nige­ria has re­turned to its place in the comity of na­tions. Nige­ri­ans abroad are proud to carry Nige­ria’s pass­port. All these within the last four months. Nice.

How­ever, there is another Augean sta­ble that needs im­me­di­ate na­tional at­ten­tion. The ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor. It is grat­i­fy­ing that the Kaduna State Gov­ern­ment has taken the gaunt­let to de­clare a state of emer­gency in the sec­tor. This dec­la­ra­tion and fol­low up ac­tions should go na­tional. And the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment should also the fight against Boko Haram, care­fully draw up a team of se­ri­ous and prag­matic ed­u­ca­tion­ists and ed­u­ca­tors to tackle the de­cay in the sec­tor.

Let it be clearly stated that ed­u­ca­tion is nei­ther school­ing nor the vice-versa. School­ing is a ve­hi­cle or means for pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion. In Nige­ria to­day, cor­rup­tion has de­stroyed the three ve­hi­cles for ed­u­ca­tion, namely the fam­ily, the school and the com­mu­nity. The school has be­come dys­func­tional, the fam­ily is im­pov­er­ished and the com­mu­nity has lost its val­ues.

It is ob­vi­ous that in Nige­ria to­day there is no cur­ricu­lum, school­ing is hi­jacked by some ‘in­sur­gents’ in the name of pri­vate schools. The ‘schools’ pro­pri­etors in ac­cord with the ‘Par­ent-Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion’ have banked on the ab­sence of a func­tional school sys­tem to churn out the pri­vate schools, ex­tort par­ents by not only pay­ing high school fees but also forc­ing se­lected books (which in many cases were never made use of in the class).

We can­not claim ig­no­rance of the ex­is­tence of ‘mir­a­cle cen­tres.’ They are all over the coun­try.

The fight against ter­ror­ism, cor­rup­tion and bad gov­er­nance can­not be won and sus­tained with­out sound ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem through which those cher­ished na­tional val­ues and pa­tri­o­tism can be in­cul­cated in the minds of our ever grow­ing num­ber of youths.

Mr Pres­i­dent, Nige­ria needs func­tional ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion first and fast.

Muham­mad A Muham­mad sarki­maje@ya­hoo.com

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