By Erasmus Ikhide
THE axiom which designates readers as leaders can’t be more sacrosanct in the face of dubious governmentality in Nigeria. It further explains why supersonic nations that have made education basic, compulsory and criminalized illiteracy are zooming into the moon and making heaven on earth for themselves and the unborn generations why backward looking nations like ours are receding into the caves and caverns.
Little seven years old Miss Success’s literally eviscerating video/story in Sapele, Delta State that has been trending globally is the actual Nigerian state and story. The decadent state of the Primary school where Pupils sit on bare floor in open roof and dilapidated structures with teachers bringing their own chairs from home, typifies the rot in Nigerian’s educational system. It certainly amplifies the truism that no nation can be greater than the sum total of her own teacher.
My spirit sank in January when I visited my alma mater, Holy Trinity Grammar School, in Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State on the auspices of my Old Boys Association! Shockingly, the government of the state has only four teachers in the senior secondary school and five teachers in the junior secondary school. Painfully, neither of the two sections of the school has Maths or English teacher on the payroll of the Edo State government!
Tragically, the School Management of Holy Trinity Grammar hinted that it is one of the best schools in Edo State, regardless of the obvious decrepit and convulsing state of the school. Shamefully, the school has been left in the hands of Old Boys/Girls Associations to provide important subject teachers like Maths and English, chairs and tables, borehole and white boards and markers for writing.
The virtual collapse of Holy Trinity Grammar School and its boarding system is not different from the Holy Aruosa Primary School at the heart of Benin City and many others in videos posted by one Mr. Pharez Okpere where children between the ages of 6 and 14 years were spotted sitting under the rain on the bare floor in open roof class rooms. The scene in Pharez’s video wreaks of a broken government and a society intent upon breeding terrorists and butchers in a cannibalized atmosphere for political survival.
Ironically, this is Delta State that has been swimming in oil wealth – the Devil’s excrement that has become more of a curse than blessing to the region and the nation – as the political elites ferry away their kids and loved ones to be educated overseas with the people’s patrimony!
Strictly speaking, successive PDP governors and governments since 1999 in Delta State should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. The governors of that state and the principal actors in the education sector should be fastened to the stake and shot for the virtual rape of the state and its people. If the late Prof Folorusho Ambrose Ali could make education basic and compulsory in the then Mid-Western State, then the present government in Delta State and all the others in Nigeria who deadened their conscience against the global outcry that nations and governments should dedicate 26% of yearly budgetary allocations to educational development do not deserve to live.
Available records have shown that Delta State Government has collected N30 trillion from the federation account since 1999, yet several hundreds and thousands schools are worst than places where pigs are kept; without teachers and the available teachers have never been trained in the last twenty years and most of them have never seen what a piece or set of computer looks like!
In 2013, UNESCO reported that 13.2 million Nigerians between the ages of 6 and 11 years are out of school. They declared that Nigeria held the “world record” for the number of children who are out of school and declared it “world illiteracy capital”. At the time, the government was run by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party PDP.
Ever since, more alarming number of children of school age are out of school, courtesy of the self-deceiving All Progressives Congress that has now abandoned the vague and empty sloganeering gambit of “CHANGE” that creates more jobless illiterates and dynasties of the poor.
Aren’t you surprised that Buhari is the Nigerian President, yet more than 95% of the number of Nigerian kids who are hawking and begging on the streets are from the same geopolitical zone as himself? Are you surprised that ASUU went on strike for three months over unpaid N61 billion legitimate demands and were left unattended to, at the same time President Buhari hurriedly approved N91 billion for the establishment of cattle colonies where Fulani Herdsmen will forcefully take over other people’s farm lands? What are the Fulani Herdsmen doing in our forests with AK47 guns when the 21st Century economy demands that they’re in school? Have you asked yourself?
President Muhammadu Buhari and those bootlicking around him are yet to come off the deception. One of the reasons Mr. Buhari has refused to tackle the rot in the education system is because he, himself, is an illiterate like the national chairman of his party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.
Till date, the President has not come forward with his WAEC certificate and has been doing everything within his power to truncate the suit challenging his eligibility for the office of President.
The national chairman of his party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole who claimed to have attended primary school that was not established at the time he attended it, was the Governor of Edo State when the Ministry of Education was set ablaze to obliterate the record, while the perjury case was preferred against Oshiomhole.
At the twilight of 2018, Nigeria was declared the “World Poverty Headquarters”! I hope you have not forgotten the correlation between illiteracy and poverty. Next time you’re told about “Next Level” ask if it includes free education and poverty reduction.