Beyond the hydra-headed malaise known as corruption (and the shameful argument and defeatist submissions being put up in defense of persons who have been ‘suspected’ or ‘accused’ of committing them and the dwindling economy of the sleeping giant called Nigeria, I think there is a greater danger rearing its ugly head in the land in form of Education.
Education which produces over 90% of today’s word leaders faces extinction and sadly so, the situation is irredeemable. A writer once wrote that when visionless leaders want to lock down a society, they first make children disrespect their parents and then they kill education. Technically speaking, education has been under attack through the inactivity of successive governments over the years. What do I mean by inactivity? In the 80s, 90s and the early parts of this millennium things were a bit okay in the public schools but like the ‘big bang’ the public schools ‘died’ a natural death as a result of poor funding and neglect while the private schools which are not ‘regulated’ or monitored waxed stronger.
Today in Nigeria owning a school is never driven by passion anymore, in most cases, it is strictly business and so are most of the churches in the land. Carpenters, engineers, lawyers, doctors without any calling or training, be it formal or informal now take to these 2 thriving trades. The danger inherent is that the chances of a child from an unprivileged background amounting to anything in this society are getting slimmer, if not impossible. Growing up, we had classmates and some of them, their parents were governors, commissioners, teachers, farmers, artisans, business moguls, and who cared! We were all equal and happy. The sky was a stepping stone for all then. But today, if your parents are not ‘influential’ in this society there seems to be no hope for you. Is it the fault of these hapless souls that their parents have never had the privilege of stealing government funds?
For me, any government that wants to rid this society of crime and a timebomb that may destroy the nation in no distant future must invest in education and extend qualitative and functional education to all, regardless of the circumstances surrounding his or her birth. At this rate, we are leaning towards feudalism.
If we continue at this rate, the children of the deprived ones will make this society ungovernable for our kids whose folks steal and stash away ill-gotten wealth from the country.
By Olakunle Tayo Fapohunda