We should care enough

Sometimes in 2000, miles away from Nigeria, a friend and I, during our many stories from home said to me ‘our children will have to fight that out, our generation didn’t benefit much from that country, no point even talking about likely solutions to its never ending drama.’ She pointed to her then seven year old daughter saying it is her generation that will go back to Nigeria to fix all the wahala. 

I did not have any child at the time so really can’t stretch my imagination to seeing my children dealing with issues that I can’t be bothered with.

The video clip below shows protesting students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho (LAUTECH) after 8 months straight of strike by the university’s staff – same story of non payment of salaries by the government.

The video of Oyo governor addressing protesting students is too upsetting, but not at all unexpected. Here is the link for that one. Sometimes, it works when a public official shows a little bit of concern, this guy, Governor Ajimobi doesn’t give a damn as he displays in the video.

According to a family who lives in Ibadan,  Ajimobi is known for speaking like eni ti ori re ti gable (simply put: a jerk), sadly calling him names don’t help, what will help is for these students to continue protesting peacefully until their school is opened for studies.

LAUTECH is a university caught up in the middle of two states – Osun and Oyo so it is easy for both governors to play ping pong with funding. I am still not sure why Osun can not wash off its hand in this school leaving all for Oyo to deal with.

Anyway, what I have learnt from Nigeria government from the 80s is that there is no real care for public education. Ajimobi’s key point was that there is no money to pay salaries that he has accumulated for 8 whole months. My question is, why not work with the school management 8 months ago to find working solutions so students can stay in school, even if it has to be increase in tuition?

I know why – for someone who started his political career as a senator and now a two term governor. I doubt any of his children has ever walked into any public school system in Nigeria. The state is ‘cool’ enough to govern but he is too much of ‘Constituted Authority’ to relate to the challenges of what people have to contend with.

I read somewhere that one of Ajimobi’s daughter is presently in the UK studying – next time another Oyinbo says Nigeria leaders are Fantastically Corrupt, rest assured they knew exactly what they are talking about. Who else would hate his/her own people so much and refused to invest in public education?

Now I have a better answer for my Seattle based Ibadan friend who thinks kids born in diaspora are the ones to change Nigeria. My own kids will have to read and do thorough research in order to sift through layers of lies and unfulfilled promises. It is not their job, it is all of ours especially those who have lived though the system.

Even for today’s adults, we still give benefit of the doubt to many who didn’t deserve it  – hence we have President Buhari (GEJ isn’t an option nonetheless) However, those that have lived through decades of deterioration of public education in the country are the ones to revolt against unfair system – hence I really feel for LAUTECH students, no one but themselves can figure out better ways to revolt against unfair system. Others will follow when they lead.

I know politicians would say just about anything to get into the office but I think the blatant neglect of public school system in Nigeria is very bad – they just don’t see the effect as their own family aren’t affected.

More power to LAUTECH students. I don’t think Ajimobi will change overnight, but I sure hope these students continue to disrupt their endless meetings.

 



Categories: Education, Nigeria

Tags: ,

11 replies

  1. Solutions will have to be sought out.
    Passing the blame from one generation to the next only for the same problem to persist is no solution, politicians in America call it ‘kicking the can down the road’.
    Of course removing the politicians and replacing them hasn’t really provided a solution as now that precedence has been set for the next lot to abuse the system.
    Education for education sake is not all it’s hyped up to be. For the professions – like law and medicine, it makes sense – but not all students are those seeking to enter those professions.
    Choices are to take on-line courses, or look more into self-employment.
    The major one I think is to guarantee reliability ie making the parents bare the burden of finance and private industry (who want new recruits for their fields). This way you will have less students wasting their time and lives in a system that is not working. Those that can afford it will pay the fees on time and the university will scale down to become more efficient and deliver better quality for those courses it will continue to run (many others will have to be axed).
    Those that qualify for a scholarship from private companies will have their funding secured by those companies. This way everyone will have a clearer picture as to what university education entails and what the responsibilities are of those who are involved.
    Skimping or completely neglecting education is a recipe for disaster and will guarantee that Nigeria will be facing the same issues today, tomorrow (the only difference that they will be more acute ie more people to cater for with less to go round). The age of robotics is fast approaching, yet in Nigeria we have the age old problems of power, water, education and lack of employment, yet we talk of a brighter tomorrow without tackling these basic issues and kid ourselves that it will be better for future generations when the opposite is closer to the truth. Your blog has highlighted countless times the neglect of education starting from primary school up to tertiary level given this state of affairs it comes as no surprise that the nation is not equipped to deal with it’s problems.
    I can’t but help think that the nation is heading for a disaster at this rate…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you jco.

      No doubt about heading for a disaster especially if southerners don’t start challenging public office holders and hold them accountable. On education, they (gov, senators HOR etc) have enjoyed too much of pitching ordinary people against our perceived enemies when in fact, our own enemy of progress (diverting resources to showoff events) are right in the midst.

      Like

      • You’re right FK, ‘diversionary tactics’ are used by those in authority to make ‘mumus’ out of the general public, that is why I advocate completely cutting off funding from the government and making the universities independent. This will bring the present recurring log jam to a halt, the downside is that many will lose their jobs, but they lecturers etc aren’t being paid anyway!! The other thing is that the Federal government is already experiencing diminishing revenues, so this will feed through to the universities even if the state governors are bypassed. This is why I would advise a clean break, and let the universities restructure themselves to meet the needs of the current climate.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I like your idea of making universities independent – if the government focus on improving public primary and secondary schools I can see many opting for technical schools afterward, if they are so inclined.

          Having said that, the danger of this is that we will keep having few minorities leading us on all important offices, people at the bottom ladder will never be able to afford higher education to get their foot in the door except if we have scholarships in place for talented kids from poor backgrounds, strictly monitored of course.

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  2. Hehehe… Constituted authority…. I laugh in Lautech language! But seriously our leaders do not understand that leadership is about serving and leaving things better than they met things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think education is really at risk all over the world. It’s as if they don’t want an educated electorate. Notice that it is the people at the top who have no problem getting paid but the teachers are the ones that have to take the hit. Great post Fola. Education is so important that we have to fight for it.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

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