How Should U.S Society Deal With Increasing Language Diversity Essay Nigeria At 50: The Way Forward For Her Education

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Nigeria At 50: The Way Forward For Her Education

It is no longer news that the failure rate in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations; the two main exams that students have to take to finish secondary school, and to qualify for entry into higher learning institutions, have increased tremendously over the years. The failure rate as Nigeria turned fifty this year is so alarming that more than 70% of students who took the above mentioned exams failed Mathematics and English Language; the two main topics that a student must pass to be admitted to most courses in higher institutions. A question must be asked; Should our education sector improve or decline as a nation?

These recent events have confirmed the insensitivity of those who are put in charge of our education sector in recent years to the rotten nature of the sector. Each of the decision-makers in the sector present their policies as soon as they assume power, and this has led to the instability of our education as a new program and styles are employed every time there is a new decision-maker in the sector. Interestingly, the current Minister of Education following the recent failure of students in the Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), suggested that the number of subjects offered in these examinations could be reduced from nine (9) to five (5) as he believed that the enormous nature of most of these subjects could be responsible for the students’ failure. Unfortunately, we may wake up tomorrow and discover that their opinion has become law. I strongly disagree with his opinion and I believe many well meaning Nigerians would do the same. In fifty years, I believe that Nigeria would have got it right, at least in this important sector, but obviously, we have not.

We all believe that young people are the leaders of tomorrow. Unfortunately, we are doing almost nothing to ensure that the future is bright. Education is more than just teaching, reading and passing exams. Perhaps, this is where we got it all wrong. If Nigeria is to achieve anything great, more attention needs to be paid to the education sector. We may not need professors to build this sector as we all know how corrupt the world is, and anyone could have become a professor in any way – I will be correct, however. We need people who are passionate about the future of Nigeria, people who will be ready to leave their comfort for the nation, people who are visionaries. We need leaders, not managers. Leaders work by vision, leaders work by sight.

Our educational system is obviously headed for fatality and the future of our nation is in danger if people who understand education as teaching and training the mind and character, and not just passing exams are not allowed to run. Saving our education is the only way to save the future of Nigeria. Future leaders need to know what leadership is all about, their character needs to be built. This can be done through education. We must save our education from savage decision makers.

I don’t know if I’m the only one who noticed that not only the decision-makers kill our education, but also the corporate bodies do not help. In the past, schools were interesting for bright students that other students strive to be better than them in other things to find a balance. This is how great men in many fields were born in the past. There were many contests and competitions that saw a healthy rivalry develop between the students, and that brought out the best in many.

There is a disease in Nigeria now that sees corporate bodies and individuals only doing things that others are already doing. Maybe it existed then and probably that’s why there are many companies that sponsor a lot of competitions in schools. The spotlight shifted to entertainment some years ago and it had been difficult for our education sector as many talent hunt shows and competitions emerged every day with big corporate bodies as sponsors. Almost all companies that do well and that sponsor things in their plan to give back to society have left the educational sector. The youths win millions of Naira in various talent hunt shows across the country and their counterparts who struggle to maintain the challenge of focusing on education despite side distractions are swept away. No one seems to expect what the future will bring if they continue to do well in their education when there is an opportunity to win millions if you can prove your talent. The era of educational contests and pageants seems to be dying out. We are now hearing headlines like “21-year-old wins N2.5 million in talent show”. MTN “Who wants to be a millionaire?” It seems to be the most popular and rewarding educational show, but how many young people in the 16-25 age group have won something substantial in the show?

Young people seem to lose. There are general knowledge books, motivational books, and the like. How much have you bought in the last three years as a teenager? There are organizations with educational programs such as talk shows, competitions, etc. Have they ever had a chance to get good sponsors? Some young people showed me the prospect of their organization and were impressed to know that there are still young people who have a lot going on. Unfortunately, since then I have not been able to connect with a sponsor.

I am not saying that talent hunting is bad, nor am I saying that it should be stopped. I am just a crusader for change who believes that we can use more sponsors in the educational sector to support organized essay contests, subject quizzes, poetry contests, etc. Let’s give youth education our best shot and watch what becomes of our great nation.

As the elders say; “What an old man sees sitting down, a child cannot see even if he climbs a tree.” We listen to the old people who have always been there and follow their good advice. They may have seen what we can never see.

Nigeria is fifty years old. Let’s join hands and work hard to make this country a better place for those who come.

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