CLEMENT OKPANI

Education is simply defined as the process of teaching people, usually at a school or college, or being taught. It could also mean teaching the public about a particular issue. We have adult education, further education and higher education. For the purpose of emphasis, we shall be constrained to the application of education in nation building. Studies have shown that an average educated Nigerian tends to be sectional and confrontational on issues of politics, religious belief, socialization and economics.

This is not unconnected with teaching technique and professional inefficiency. Traditionally, some parents raised their children with ethos and values of the society. Great teachers at that time never neglected societal ethos and its finepoints. The above observation made teaching profession a vocation but not a hobby. From cradle, children were taught on how to produce, handle and use a particular tool for their benefit and that of the society. There comes corporate existence culminating in trade by barter. This form of informal education envisaged and emphasized hard work, selfless service, unity, mutual respect and love.

Modernism has gotten it all wrong because there is a disconnect between the human person and the society. The dividing line is the quest for materialism without a trace. Competition is on the increase on who owns the best mansion or car.

Is it that the school curriculum is faulty or that the interest of teachers is entwined with a transient gain? What use is that person who has finished or graduated from school without a job to the person who did not go to school or finished schooling and is gainfully employed in the society ?Is it the school or the society that gives job? The above questions demand an answer, because if you are not taught well, you can not learn very well.

Bridges and roads are collapsing, patients are dying in the hospitals, cases are adjourned unnecessarily; mostly at the judge’s discretion, political, economic and social sectors are at the mercy of time and graduates are rolled out on a yearly basis to pressure the society more. The future is uncertain as paper qualification is exalted above talent and ability. This future may lead to exile if nothing is done urgently

Moreso, if the value of teachers could be monetized, pupils or students might take advantage. Some pupils and students are in the same secret cult with some teachers. Over familiarity and lack of professional ethics have leaked question paper or awarded undeserving mark or grade to  pupils or students.

The few pupils or students who struggle to make it genuinely are seen as aliens. The school curriculum and admission process may be faulty.  The merit list is either thwarted or twisted into classifications. Mostly, it favours the rich ranging from the three arms of government. Before it trickle-down, the society is already lopsided. One could be right to say that education is a burden to us a nation.

As a burden, it is already creating a society of confusion and despondency even in its pursuit. In our time education is no longer a privilege but a universal right. The argument is this, if students could finish school without creating a job opportunity for themselves or available jobs, then, teachers have failed in their responsibility. By the time government positions are made unattractive, many people will remember this argument. The value of the education and humanism cannot be the same.

The way forward could be to build a synergy between the students and the society. There should be incentive for teachers and students who truly deserve it. Time should be created for pragmatic talent show-casing to constrain personal frustration which is the chief source of social breakdown and political instability. Some students may not be good in education, but could be useful to the society. Paper qualification must be de-emphasized. Ability should rather be sought than paper qualification. Inspectorate department in the Federal, State and Local Government in the ministry of education should resume work immediately. In their absence in the case of logistics, Headmasters/mistress, Proprietors, Principals, Provosts, Rectors and Vice Chancellors should be held responsible for poor educational performance and societal neglect. How far have the average educated Nigerian applied what he or she learnt in school?

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