The Battle To Salvage Our Educational Sector!

The last might not have been heard of the protracted ASUU strike. Even if this recent round of madness seizes, there are no guarantees that this will be the last of its kind. However, it is a futile venture to debate over who is to blame for the over five month’s academic redundancy that undergraduates of public universities have been condemned to. Enough punditry already exists in dissecting that, and opinions remain polarized.

However, the decadence in our educational sector is beyond the ASUU strike, and all the union’s demands. In this sector, we have truly lost the way. It is now a mantra that we produce graduates that is not worth their certificates. It has been said, and not without reason that education is not meant to fill the mind, it is meant to open the mind. It should not just teach one how to make a living, but how to live a life. Thus, education is a better safeguard than a standing army. For over two decades, our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, have specialized in producing men and women that are not armed with the prerequisite skills to face the many demands of our generation. Our curriculum has outlived their uses. Our laboratories are havens of scientific archives. The entire system has become too obstinate, and adapting the culture of our universities to meet the challenges of today, has proven to be abortive. Today, there is a hue and cry over how thousands of our youths now pursue the Golden Fleece abroad. The statistics are startling. A report in 2010 reported that Nigerians fuel the UK educational sector to the tune of 246 billion naira; over 60 percent of the Nigeria 2012 education allocation. The figures in 2012 suggest that Nigerians studying abroad spends a total of 1.5 trillion naira annually. No doubt, the economies of Ghana, United Kingdom and the United States are the biggest beneficiary of this fortune. These realities give the ASUU Movement some impetus, but one wonders if the current modus operandi of the movement is the best path to thread.

It’s worth saying that it is not only our universities that have brought about a state of debacle in our educational sector, the primary and secondary schools share a part of the blame. Many of these schools are below acceptable standard. There is a huge level of lukewarm attitude in our public secondary schools that needs sacrosanct attention. The apathy of many of the teachers towards their jobs is a testimony to why all sorts of unwholesome activities now take place in our schools. Suffice it to say, one should mention that despite government efforts to ensure that teachers of public primary and secondary schools are adequately remunerated, a lot still needs to be done in that regard.

Surely, the educational sector is one area of our national life that cannot be treated with kid gloves. All stakeholders must be sincere in their quest to salvage our education. We must understand that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.


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