Change Begins With Education
Overtime we have witnessed the deterioration of schools in our country, government schools in particular. It is very embarrassing to see the state of schools in some communities yet we have a number of people representing these communities at various levels of government in this country; and these government officials are just a few persons out of the large number of people who can lend a voice to the worthy cause of putting these schools back in shape.
We pray lengthy prayers and to hope for a great Nigeria to emerge tomorrow but there will be no great nation in the future if the children of this nation are not getting the much needed education to survive and thrive in the global village our world has become.
There will be no great nation if we do not start now to redeem what has been lost over these years when we have been callous about educating the children who attend schools where the infrastructure is an eyesore, and the manpower leaves much to be desired.
What we will have will be a nation with a teeming populace that is inadequately educated, inept, ill-equipped to add any lasting value, and prone to crime and vices when the going gets tough. And why would they not resort to these vices when they lack the mental ability to challenge their status quo and innovate to make their lives and their world a better place?
Let us not get carried away by the proliferation of private schools in the urban centers where we live because they barely scratch the surface when it comes to educating the over 80million children in
Nigeria; and speaking of urban centers, these dilapidated and understaffed schools I speak about are equally littered around and we often drive past them as a normal part of our daily existence. After all, they provide the cheap education we patronize for our helpers at home.
You and I must decide that run down schools are not normal, we must decide that we will do something about the education in Nigeria because without qualitative education at every level of academic learning then we are building a society without a foundation and sooner than later it will come crumbling down on our heads. May this not be the case on our watch.
You may be wondering what you can do to make a difference. Here are a few ideas that I think can get us moving in the right direction.
- Find out who is responsible for keeping the run down school in your area in good shape
- Engage the system; ask questions; seek answers to the cause of the rot
- Mobilize people in your networks, in government, in the community where the school is situated to come together and do something about fixing that school
- Create a sustainable way of ensuring the school is maintained over time by engaging the community members to become responsible for the school as it will serve to educate their children for generations to come.
- Create awareness on social media about the need to make our schools conducive spaces for learning
- Partner with civil society organisations that provide support for schools to source needed materials for a school you have identified
- Together we can make a difference that will ensure the Nigerian child is well educated and equipped to succeed and add value to the world.
Ukot Umezinne is the Chief Executive Officer of the Abuja Based Life Skills Experts and moderator of the Education Hub Africa group on Facebook.