The youths and education in Nigeria

Story Highlights
  • Being a short address at African Peace Institute of Advanced Studies matriculation ceremony on Saturday 31st august, 2019 at African Institute of Advanced Studies school hall by Samson Shaibu

Being a short address at African Peace Institute of Advanced Studies matriculation ceremony on Saturday 31st august, 2019 at African Institute of Advanced Studies school hall by Samson Shaibu

As such a time as this, when the fabrics of all our education systems have been destroyed by military and civilian politicians at democracy and militocracy, there is no better time to take a second look at our educational system than during a Matriculation or Orientation ceremony as this one.

We were bequeathed a legacy of functional educational system by the colonial powers where we had secondary schools, Craft School Polytechnics, Universities etc all with peculiar curricula and set goals toward the development of the total man to man our society at all levels, but the question now is whether or not these systems are still in place. Take a look at these;

1. Functional primary education that had mother tongue as the basis of all education is now destroyed.

2. Functional Secondary School education that had common common entrance to Higher School Certificate, School of Preliminary Studies etc is now history.

3. Functional Craft Schools or Technical or Vocational Schools that graduate students into Polytechnics is now thrown into the garbage heap or dustbin of history.

4. Functional Polytechnics is now a thing of history

5. Functional Universities that trains students in character, leaning and skills are now messed up by School Administrators.


6. Local State and Federal Government scholarship schemes for best students, indigent students and handicapped students that were programmed and neatly built in our school systems have all been destroyed on the alter of corruption, nepotism, narrow identity politics and tribalism.

Education in Nigeria in those days tally production of graduates from all Institutions of our learning to the availability of jobs. But the question again here is whether there is a corresponding symbiosis between our national planning and the number of graduates we turn out from not only our Secondary Schools but tertiary Institution in our country. Today, our ministries are operating as isolated islands with no relationships with each other. It is in this country in those days that the Schools Challenge or Educational Programmes of Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation were synchronizing with the time table of Ministry of Education so that students can learn the basics of English, Geography, History, Biology, Physics, Civics Education, etc but all those networking between the ministries have since been killed by subsequent regimes.

Today the National Planning and other allied ministries have no iota of ideas of:

Ø Number of our Graduates at all levels

Ø Number of our unemployed

Ø Number of our disabled/ challenged

Ø Number of the old and retired senior citizens

Ø Number of pregnant women

Ø Number of births/deaths

Ø Number of students dropouts. etc

There is also the question of updating of our curricula in the different Institution of learning in our country. Are we training graduates to be employers of labour? Are we training them to be mere employees that are ever dependent on Government for their daily needs? Or we are training them to balance their skills in intellectual endeavours, technical endeavors or the new ICT to the digital challenges of our time?

Even Ghana our neigbouring country has a neat curriculum that streamlines technical or vocational trainings from University training programmes to avoid duplications. Nigeria has gone 100 years behind civilization in sporadic education developments that has no room for continuity and specialized training that produce employers of labour rather that youth ever – seeking for jobs from governments that have no solutions to the employment problems of our land. The result is that our problems have since graduated into calamities that produces only /lamentations that are no solution to our numerous problem!

Anything outside this will not take us anywhere! The world is moving and moving fast. And the world cannot wait for Nigeria to put its acts right to move forward in global movements from:

1. Agricultural Economy

2. Industrial Economy

3. And the now knowledge Economy.

Nigeria had been and is nowhere when we compare our standards with other world economics/Nations. We have polluted our development with:

1. Narrow – identify politics

2. Tribalism

3. Religious bigotry

4. Leadership without vision/mission

5. Followership without knowing what is good for us.

The sad reality now is that we are today lagging behind in international ratings and best practices. Even the Mo Ibrahim ratings for Africa, UNESCO educational ratings, University standard measurement ratings, Who health ratings, etc. have since put us at the far distant behind where we belong and are not in a hurry to come out of. Even before now, we have come out with so called expert analysis and rationalizations of ease and tranquility to make us comfortable in our different uncomfortable situations, but breaking the mirrors of our realistic assessment does not and cannot change the ugly faces.

And above all, an educational system that has no objective because we are neither frontal for western education or Arabian Education. When you have an educational objective with no functional utility and merit/value all you end up having is a desert of chaos that is the dilemma of our educational system today!

Time will not allow us to go on and on but we must ask ourselves what is the way out? The way out of this mess is to take a look at World or International best practices that have stood the test of time in the following areas:

1. Utility results

2. Boosted economics

3. Yielded discoveries

4. Promoted excellence

5. Changed our world positively

6. Reduced crime and criminality

7. Promoted peaceful/ co-existence

8. Promoted dialogue etc.

Adjunct to this is educational system that highlights our African core values for moral education. While we can import technological value orientation from the West, let us begin to think of how we can export African core values to the west and Arab world that are today havens of immoralities, terrorism and negative values. Take a look at Africa’s unique selling points (USP) in the following areas;

1. Value for the sanctity of human life

2. Value for morals

3. Value for the almighty God of love

4. Values for virginity and purity of girls

5. Value for respect for others/elders

6. Etc

All these are Africa’s unique moral commodities that are up for sales to western and Arabian bankrupt cultures.

But strangely, we have sold out these African cultures for stealing, killing, and destruction of lives and properties that are anathema to African core values.

The results today in our school system are:

1. Cultism

2. Hooliganism

3. Kidnapping

4. Rapping/sexual immoralities

5. Indecent/uncultural dressings

6. Drug Addiction

7. etc

The youths of our land should and must rise up against adult delinquents, who are no longer role models but sadistic agents that have written off their world and messed up or compromised their future!

Associate Professor Shaibu is the HOD, Department of Mass Communication
Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa state

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply