In the days of our fathers, there was zeal for education. People went to school to acquire knowledge. When you saw those who were educated, you surely knew. It was almost written on their foreheads. They talked like it, they walked like it and they were it – the educated ones. Fast forward to 2016 and I can tell you with all sincerity that the opposite is likely the case. But the graduates of 2016? Oh my sweet Lord! Some of them cannot spell their names (And I mean this literally). I keep wondering why the educational system in Nigeria has become so faulty: it’s like an old house whose foundations have begun to fail it, with so many cracks in the wall — but then not just cracks but leakages that let in all sort of unwanted guests.
Nigeria’s educational system has been destroyed by the destroyers. The ills in the Nigerian educational system can be attributed to three destroyers and in no particular order: the government, the lecturers and the parents. There is a bonus: you. Don’t worry. You will see how all of these have distorted the school system.
Destroyer 1: The Government
As usual, the government’s dereliction of its duties will always be a bone hanging in the throats of Nigerians. You cannot swallow it neither can you spit it out. Ask yourselves: how many Nigerian elites have children who school in Nigeria? If there is any, they are in the top private schools in the country while those who have their children in federal schools are only 1 in 10,000. Because they know how awful the school system in Nigeria is. And they would never do anything to remedy the situation. They refuse to renovate, refurbish, and equip the schools. And when lecturers get angry, they go on strike. Who are the sufferers of the act? (Drum roll please!) Of course, it is you the students. And let me just clear you up. The government does not care! You can go on a 1-year strike for all they care. They have no business with your future. In fact, the government likes the poor educational system. The more uneducated you are, the better for them. At least no intellectual can stand up and challenge them. Sad? Yes? True? Double yes! The government is indeed the sickness of this nation.
Destroyer 2: The Lecturers
Lecturers! Lecturers!! Lecturers!!! Where do I start? If I was to grade the problems, these people would be gracing number 1 on the list. Most Nigerian lecturers are lazy piece of…(Please pick offense for all I care). They’re so lazy that the handouts most of them use to teach their students in 2016 were written in 1956. They do not carry out researches, they do not refresh their knowledge, and most of all, and they are allergic to correction. They hate bright students and prefer to teach dummies. They make sure you do not think outside the box for their words are ‘Yea and Amen’. Dare challenge a lecturer in a Nigerian university and you would keep writing that course till Jesus comes. They want exactly what they said in class word for word and leave no room for new ideas and exploration.
Then they transferred their laziness to the students. ‘You cannot read and cannot afford to fail? Pay me some money.’ They wear the typical Nigerian robe of corruption. Worse still, the ones with the extra spice of stupidity trade sex with their students for better grades. Some even fail you on purpose so that they can make you trade sex. How low they stoop! Sorting is simply lecturers way of saying ‘You can use what you have to get what you want because the brain in your head is but another part of the body whose function is probably exaggerated.’ Lecturers especially in northern Nigeria (now I must say no offense) have the ‘let my people go attitude’ where they let you go to the next level and the next level and the next level… without caring if you actually learned anything. Here they teach you in your preferred language (after all English is the white man’s language and not your mother tongue).
Destroyer 3: The Parents
This is what you get when parents get involved in the school system. They start prying into affairs they should generally not be prying into. ‘My child failed? That’s not possible. She is supposed to pass. I am a big donor to this school, I am high and mighty.’ They come around to talk when their children have been asked to retake a class or a course. The result? The school lowers its value or bends the system to accommodate such students. Other times, parents sponsor examination malpractice for their children as a way of rendering ‘help’. This type of help that did not help you and did not help your child keeps me wondering. Your baby comes out an empty vessel and I hope you know the cause. So long as parents reinforce that their children do not deserve to fail even if stupidity is gushing out of their brains, the school system will not grow or move forward.
Destroyer 4: You
You’re the architect of your own problems. You want to sort all the lecturers, cheat in all the exams, and follow all the sneaky ways and underground movements. You come out without knowing what even happens in your field. You say you read chemistry and the simple component of water is a Hercules task to you. You are part of the problem. In short, you are a problem.
Now that we are done stating the problems, I will not give you the solutions. You should be able to deduce them by now. And if you cannot, go back to school.
For more of Nkechi Nwitte-Eze’s articles, visit her personal blog by clicking here.