One can write endless pages, theses, dictionary-sized essays about the dismal public sector of Nigeria, of which education has come to have the worst of. But I’ll try to keep it simple no matter how seemingly impossible that may be….
The truth is that we don’t have public schools in Nigeria. Teachers come to school as they please and strike incessantly, students don’t yet recognize the importance of academia, the government doesn’t give a hoot; after all your average senator’s son goes to school in Cambridge. It’s the same on all academic levels; primary school to secondary school to tertiary institutions. And from what I see, no signs of alleviation are imminent. If we know we want to genuinely substantiate our claims of international superiority, we have to do something about this as a nation. And fast.
A couple of suggestions have been made to this effect. The first suggestion here (a suggestion which, quite frankly, I’m getting tired of) is that we privatize education in Nigeria, just like that. The people who argue in this direction see commercial Nigeria as an unwavering messiah of efficiency. Not that their wrong necessarily, but you can only go so far combining commercial interests and welfarism. In fact, you hardly can. I’ll leave you to think about that one. Another school of thought touts that we involve the more ‘developed’ nations in our education sector by either importing expatriate educators or exporting students to give us a taste more refined education. Good point, though very consumptive. An even more authoritative opinion pool believes that a government decree be enacted to see to it that no Nigerian be allowed to send his child abroad. That way, we’d be forced to work on ourselves.
You may not realize it yet but sound, concrete education for all Nigerians would change this country unimaginably. The potential is there, all we need to do is tap it. I think it would be really cool if Nigeria as a whole was educated to a point where we’ll have brainboxes in media, engineering, medicine, creative arts, and even more importantly, where there’d be an unignorable collective spirit of national solidarity.
Now sing it with me!