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Elite Education In Naija: Between What You Spend Vs The End Product

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By Michael Ayotunde

Nigeria’s education system, is no doubt, in shamble.

Whatever that is left is nothing but a carcass of a once boisterous sector that has produced eminent personalities – people who are doing wonderfully well in their respective fields of endeavour.

Saying there is endemic disruption of education system in Nigeria is an understatement. Incessant strikes among Nigeria’s public academic institutions have crept into our system and they have steadily been accepted as norms.

This, certainly is not unconnected to the reasons usually put forward by most parents to justify why they send their wards to private schools.

The question now is – has the private education system fared in any way better? Today, if your son is not abused or bullied to join secret society, introduced to drugs, it is your daughter who is subjected to all kinds of inhuman treatment and other social vices.

The fact still remains that as long as cases of child molestation, abuse, sexual inducement, harassment are on the increase, any other gain or advantage being alluded to by private schools operators to stay afloat are nothing but a smokescreen.

School, accordingly, plays a very important role in every person’s life formation and in child development. It remains the best platform where the spine of a virile society is wired for purposeful societal transformation. There is the common saying that the children of today are the future of tomorrow. This means the quality of education being impacted is of great relevance to a totally rewarding and beneficial society tomorrow.

From the aforesaid, what do we say of our modern day schools – be it primary, secondary and even universities – both public and private? Our ‘institutions of learning’ have practically been turned to breeding grounds for drug addicts, cultists, rapists, and all sorts of characters.

The schools certainly cannot stand in isolation – of course, they are a clear reflection of what the larger society has degenerated into. The levels of decadence may defer, it is definitely same story everywhere. From Dowen College, for example, to Chrisland School; to Babcok University; from North to South, East to West – in fact, the list is endless.

Sadly, most parents do not have an iota or a fraction of what their wards indulge in while in school. This no doubt is not a new thing. However, with the level that it is getting to now, with the aid of technology, alarming is an understatement.

In the process, cultism, rape and all sorts of social vices have festered and in the process, most upcoming talents (leaders of tomorrow) have been corrupted, with some cut down in their prime.

It is safe to say that parents now spend their hard-earned resources to sponsor their wards to acquire immorality – particularly in most of the best, expensive schools in this part of the world. These are schools that are clearly beyond the reach of common man on the street. Some parents can afford it, true. But, what do they get in return? Some got more than what they bargained for – no thanks to a badly corrupted society.

A lot of people got the shock of their lives, particularly learning that the management of Chrisland School tried so hard to do a cover up of the now-exposed saga involving some of the school’s pupils who were on a learning mission to Dubai. That is not strange anyway; they certainly would not want to wash their ‘linen’ in the market place – that is if it is dirty as being speculated.

Hence the alleged narration to sweep the whole saga under carpet. They either did not immediately realise or forgot to accept the fact that the concerned ‘girl child’ and the other actors are of the fast-finger generation – ever willing to post anything on the social media – all for clout chasing, a thing the distraught mother is totally unaware of. Of course from her submission, she assumed (and still believed) her daughter is an innocent, harmless teenager who cannot even kill a fly.

But if the reports being churned out are anything to go by, her supposed ‘innocent’ daughter is a big time player online.

In the year 2020, the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal once affirmed a 60-year-jail sentence of a 47-year-old class teacher of Chrisland School (same Chrisland School), Adegboyega Adenekan, for defiling a toddler aged two years and 11 month in 2016.
Adenekan was earlier convicted of the offence on October 24, 2019, by Justice Sybil Nwaka of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja.

From all indication, these are just some (out of many similar trends) that are happening on daily basis. Parents spend fortunes to push their wards through schools – to acquire education; buy expensive things, phones and other gadgets to make them comfortable. But what do they do with those things? Definitely not all of them use them for what they are meant for.

Peer pressure, lack of parental care and then the urge to ‘Bamba’ and roll with the big boys, and feel among etc are some of the root causes of child derailment in school.

There have to be deliberate policy on effective counselling, no doubt. Parents need to do more. They need to maintain close attention on their wards.

Courses bothering on sound ethical standards and moral values must also be integrated into the secondary education curriculum and that entrepreneurial skills acquisition be enforced by education administrators in order to reduce the high rate of moral decadence being perpetrated by teenage students in the country.

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