About Osun Defender

OBSERVATION: Like Education, Like Politics

BY ADEMOLA YAYA  EXCEPT we have concluded to continue to live in self deception and ignorance, our education system is in shamble and it is getting populated and administered by those who have no business in the system.   For education to be of value, it must have meaning and function. In Nigeria, the value…”
March 10, 2023 6:49 am


EXCEPT we have concluded to continue to live in self deception and ignorance, our education system is in shamble and it is getting populated and administered by those who have no business in the system.   For education to be of value, it must have meaning and function. In Nigeria, the value of education is so little even at the best of times because it is neither problem conscious nor solution oriented from the beginning. The best we have made of our education is schooling and certification – without skill acquisition, genuine education and the development of deep imagination. Put differently, our schooling system has little educational value for our society as the products of it, with few exceptions, could not stand out in culture, character and usefulness to themselves and society.

Apart from other factors which may not be stated here, one of the contributing factors to comatose in our education sector is examination malpractice. This is not a recent development. It is as old as Nigeria itself. It began in early 1970s popularly known as ‘expo’ among students. The effect of this is that those who are supposed to be qualified for jobs are actually not qualified as they cheated all through the system. Under this circumstance, your guess is as good as mine – efficiency, creativity, etc will be lacking. The most devastating aspect is those who cheated in the education system and fraudulently got certificates but stay in the system to work as teachers. Elementary or Primary school is the bedrock of education as it is where kids get started through their formative years but it is riddled with incompetent hands. Like the saying in Latin “Nemo dat quod non habet”- one cannot give what one doesn’t have. The assessment tests conducted by Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for the elementary school teachers in the state in April 2014 are a classical example. There were teachers who could not spell or write their own names! What knowledge would such ‘teachers’ impact?

In 2018, Kaduna state government fired 21,780 teachers who failed competence test and replaced them with 25,000 newly recruited. In December 2021, three years after, Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board conducted another competence test for 27,662 teachers.  Of this number, 165 performed woefully and 233 had fake certificates. This happens everywhere you go but most state governors are not bold enough to conduct such an exercise either for re-election bid or having skeleton of forged certificates in their own cupboards.  This partly explains why poor parents swallow extra pain to pay high school fees in private primary and secondary schools for their wards, having realised that public education is suffering from hemorrhage. But this is not a solution as same fate befalls these so-called private schools. As a matter of fact, some private schools are worst than the public.

At the secondary school, students are not the only ones engaging in examination malpractice especially for external examinations like WAEC, NECO and UTME. Parents, teachers and school administrators do conspire to cheat the system. The more nauseating is that some of those who cheated to pass venture to go to the tertiary institutions to further their ‘studies’; most nauseating is that some of them still want to be retained as teachers in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, having survived all the hurdles via same malpractice as we witness few cases of ‘sex for marks’, among numerous corrupt activities that compromise quality education.  As I write, staff of many of our universities that are supposed to be bastion and botanical garden of knowledge now engage in voodoo and mumbo jumbo, more than it is obtainable in backwoods villages, to compete for ‘juicy’ administrative positions!

As with Education, so with Politics.  For Politics to be of value to society, it must have lofty ideals and patriotism as these are where the vision, passion and commitment to public good emanate. As Dwight Eisenhower said, “If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.” Today, we have politicians and political parties that clearly know the meaning of “a cause that is right and that is moral” but have jettisoned that foundation for conspiracies to merely seize power for all kinds of self-centered and clique interests deleterious to public good. When political malpractices are now joined to lack of vision, lack of patriotic cause and lack of commitment to the popular good, the result is a do-or-die affairs between politicians and parties that are as different from one another as six is different from half-a-dozen. Under such circumstance, the people are left to simply choose the best among several evils presented them.

That is where Nigerians find themselves today as victims of mal-politics devoid of any good but riddled with monetisation, ethnicity, religious bigotry and malpractices across board. The solution, however, lies in the hands of the people, never the political elite that don’t mean well for them in the first place. They can start out by reflecting on what Chief Obafemi Awolowo told ordinary Nigerians in 1986, “As long as Nigerians remain what they are, nothing clean, principled, ethical and idealistic can work with them. And Nigerians will remain what they are, unless the evils which now dominate their hearts, at all levels and in all sectors of our political, business and governmental activities are exorcised. But I venture to assert that they will not be exorcised, and indeed they will be firmly entrenched, unless God Himself imbues a vast majority of us with a revolutionary change of attitude to life and politics or, unless the dialectic processes which have been at work for some twenty years now, perforce, make us perceive the abominable filth that abounds in our society, to the end that an inexorable abhorrence of it will be quickened in our hearts and impel us to make drastic changes for the better.”

Related Posts

See All