Vandalism of public structures regardless of what caused the grievances is something that I can never understand.
To see how bad Nigeria education is, one need to pay a bit of attention to school buildings, both state and many of the so called private schools alike – abysmal is a polite word here. I know the problem didn’t just start today but to vandalise the ones that are still standing should never be tolerated. If government didn’t maintain schools for decades, how is burning it down going to do anything better?
I still get a bit squeamish when I seen the level of poverty that many school kids have to live with. I know there are one thousand and one reasons Nigeria students from kindergarten to university should be really mad at the government and school authority, however, burning down school buildings is never a good way to show anger to authority for whatever reasons.
So this school in Oyo town, because quite a lot of students failed to meet the cut off mark for promotion decided to vent their anger by burning down their classrooms – what a way of life?
The new policy set by the state government means that students must meet the 50% pass mark for promotion to the next class, obviously the kids are too cool for studying hard and not too surprising, for repeating class – if they can’t move have it, destroying it for others is the way to go.
In the past I tend to be critical of unruly kids in schools, I am not making any excuses for these students at all, however, it bothers me that whenever a few students destroy school properties, everyone suffer needlessly.
In this case, no one is arrested yet, but the school is closed indefinitely – if this is the same Nigeria that I know, indefinitely likely to mean, ver long time from now.
Lots of questions remain unanswered; What is closing down the school going to change? Why must everyone suffer for offence the few? Why can’t we for once fish out the culprits and punish them all alone, including making their family pay for the damage done to public property?
The students burnt down their classrooms because they fail to perform to a set standard, even if they were promoted ‘let my people go’ style just so there are spaces for the incoming students, what really is the future if the quality of education continues to slide and we did nothing is done about it?
Then I wondered what the reactions of the parents were when they heard their kids’ school had closed until further notice. Most kids that remain in our public school system are kids of parents in informal sector so the assumption that school and the government know the best is one reason they’ll likely not question the blanket punishment on all students.
Sometimes I wish parents who falls in this category realise this is where their voices are needed the most, even if to make the school authority investigate and bring those that are involved in the vandalism alone to face the punishment they deserve. Maybe one day.