Education system in Nigeria today is in such a state that the decay is obvious everywhere you go in the country. The nation’s education system is in shambles.
The on-going strike by the ASUU got me thinking. Who is fighting for the future of this country? I mean the future of the common citizens? Whenever there is a strike action usually by the academic bodies, who do you think is mostly affected? Well, if you can ponder on this for a moment, and see whose education and livelihood is on hold, ONLY affected people in this mess are the youths whose tomorrow is blurred. In the long run, everyone is affected regardless of class or social circle.
According to Prof. Festus Ajayi, the former president of ASUU, the strike is largely due to the fact that the government failed to fulfil their promises to provide funding for academic research, resources for teaching aids and lecturers’ allowance. In his article, that I encourage you to read by the way if you haven’t already, he points out the key areas in which universities across the nation is lagging behind in a way that teaching and learning is frustrating for all concerned.
I think the problem of education in Nigeria is like eru amukun.
ASUU is mobilising, making themselves heard in the hope of getting sympathy from the public. Citizens were stating their opinions regarding a sector in society sitting at home refusing to work until their requests are attended to. This, by the way is not the first time ASUU will embark on strike action for the same reason. Last time they went on strike, in the end the government invited some delegates into a closed door meeting, the result? – strike was called off and the main reason for the month long strike action remained unresolved.
The lecturers will be paid fully for the months they didn’t work. By the time the strike is called off, students will face enormous pressure to start and finish a semester within a month, the result of this is half decent degrees all round. Evidence of this is obvious around us.
If ASUU has students interests at heart, then the union is mature enough to find a way to resolving the issues raised with the government in a way that will not leave thousands of our youths roaming the streets aimlessly.
To the government, what can I say, when any government shows no interest in the generations coming behind them, here is a couple of what to expect:
- In 2012, Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola sent 98 students from Uniosun to study in Ukraine, costing the state 146 million naira. The beneficiaries are 300 to 500 level medical students. He came to this decision because Uniosun was not equipped to have faculty of medicine. More on the subject here. Why were they allowed to have a faculty they could not support in the first place?
Here is what the former VC of Uniosun, Prof. Sola Akinade had to say regarding the governor’s decision to spend 146 million naira of state fund on 98 students:
“The government believes closing down the programme and sending the students to a university in Ukraine is a better option. We were prepared to take the upgrading of a state hospital in stages, commensurate with immediate needs. Indeed, if the money being expended on sending the students to Ukraine had been released for upgrading the State Hospital, Asubiaro in Osogbo, or the General Hospital, Ilesa, which we were prepared to use at some point, the people of the state would be benefiting from improved services to be offered by the emerging teaching hospital”
- Government funding for study abroad – If private citizens pay from their earnings, this is no problem as practice existed all around the world. However, in the case of Nigeria from federal government to state level, they are all actively avoiding any investment in education so they take the easy way out by providing funding to families of special interest group to study abroad. Here
According to the Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Dr. Wale Babalakin, he states that Nigeria spent over 160 billion naira to send 75,000 students to study in Ghana, this was in 2012 alone! Large proportion of this funding comes from the government. Now, go figure!
And here comes the blame game – no be this administration’s fault o
Coming to the point I stated earlier on, who is fighting for you and I, to be sure we don’t end up on the street. Most Nigerians could not afford to send their children to study abroad, their children would never be among the ones hand-picked by the government to study abroad as they don’t have the right ‘connection.’
Watch above clip for inspiration – you and me, the sons and daughters of ordinary Nigerians can put end to this. Everyone is affected in one way or the other during time like this, let us get our stories out so we can put end to this and generation to follow us will never have to go through this ordeal.
If you think 98 medical students in Ukraine will come back home to give back to the community in any sense, please think again. Remember, there will be no hospital equipped well enough for them to put to use their newly acquired knowledge, they probably do the same that most of our doctors have done – practice anywhere but Nigeria.
I wish the lucky students all the very best in their studies. And looking at their video, they will spend the rest of their lives indebted to Aragbesola.
Well, I try to maintain a balanced view, however, it is obvious most of us don’t know what our rights are and of course I am aware that Aragbesola has done more good than bad in terms of education especially when compared to his predecessors. His passion, I think should go along with common sense when making decision that involves spending huge amount of state fund.
My father told me once ‘omo eni o gbon, a ni o ma ku, kini o pa bi o se aigbon e?.