Help, Nigerians Are Increasingly Losing interest in Education!
The Whys, Why They Should Not And How The Problem Can Be Addressed
I hope this meets You well. My Name is Oluwa-jeki-aye-yemi Enitan Samuel Michael (Oluyemi Michael/Yemi Michael). I was the former Freelance Writer on Policy and Politics for Opera News, former Contributor to The Journal Nigeria and former Columnist for Eagle Watch. I am fairly known for thought-provoking and constructive analyses.
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Sometime ago, I had discussions with some University Students on the value of Education and the need for people to go to Higher Education Institutions. The responses I got and still get these days are: ‘Who education hepp’? (Who does education help?), “Na Certificate we go chop?” (is it school certificate that will provide food for us?) “Abeg (please), forget that thing”, “school na scam” (going to school is a fraud)-a way of telling you that people who go to school waste school fees because there are no decent jobs after Graduation.
The above responses are a reflection of the increasing loss of interest by many Nigerians, including the Youth, in education. It is a problem that will impair Nigeria's development.
If it is not addressed in time, Nigeria will not have considerable educated and knowledgeable people who can help the country to develop and compete appreciably in this knowledge-driven world. Unfortunately, some people in government partly caused this and are worsening the situation. More on this in subsequent paragraphs.
There are several reasons why this is happening. Some of the reasons are;
The Fact That Some Educated People are Struggling
Nowadays, many working educated people cannot afford to buy a car or go on vacation let alone afford the basic necessities of life-clothes, food and accomodation. Many of them that are very educated with good class of degrees and employability skills have to do jobs with measly amount of salaries. A quite disturbing situation.
The Nation Newspaper on September 20, 2021 reported that over 400 Ph.D Holders are teaching in Oyo State Secondary Schools. How can a Doctorate Degree Holder who teach in a Secondary School live a decent life? This is one of the things that made Nigerian Youths and other Nigerians to lose interest in education.
Those that even have jobs are better than the millions of jobless people. Just as we have educated, jobless people, we also have uneducated, jobless people.
To be honest, the rate of unemployment was bad before President Buhari assumed office in May 2015. It is worse now. The Monitor puts the scary rate at 33.3%. See the Link for the Report- https://images.app.goo.gl/TnqNhSLDbpoM7pF97.
Poor Rewards for Brilliant Students
During my Graduation Ceremony (Convocation), I was one of the best Three Students in my Department. I actually graduated with an Upper Second-Class Honors (2.1) in History and Diplomatic Studies.
During our convocation, other best students and me did not even receive a handshake from the Vice-Chancellor or a standing ovation. No cash reward. No scholarship. No offer of employment. Nothing! How can other students, whether those seeking admission or the ones that are in higher institutions be encouraged with that kind of anomaly?
I have very deep respect for the Authorities of OAU-Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-lfe, Osun State, Nigeria, because the school is one of the best Public Universities in Nigeria. I was disappointed when I read that Lawal Oluwafemi, OAU’s Best Graduating Student for the 2017/2018 Academic Session was given a Prize of N100,000 according to a report on December 15, 2019 by Punch Newspaper.
A reward of N100,000 was small for that kind of feat.
The fact that Nigerian Government is not serious about Job Creation
One day, out of curiosity, I visited labour.gov.ng, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment Website to check what they have done as regards job creation.
I had hoped that I would see statistics about the number of jobs created since 2015 when President Buhari became the number one Citizen, number of unemployed Nigerians and the plans to engage them.
There was nothing like that. That just tell you the kind of government we have. I am aware that the Federal Government has a Social Protection Programme called NSIP-National Social Investment Programme.
NSIP consists of N-Power Programme, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme and other initiatives. The programme is a good initiative ridden with fraud and it is a cosmetic approach to Governance.
Recruitment into Government MDAs-Ministries, Departments and Agencies is done so secretly that many qualified people don’t know when it took place.
How do we expect Graduates and other people to live decent lives when they cannot get good jobs? Even if government cannot create jobs, how about creating enabling environment that can make it possible for people to go self-employed?
I doubt if Mr. President realize that the high rate of unemployment is like sitting on a keg of gunpowder. We are dealing with the implosion in form of banditry, internet fraud and other problems already.
Why Nigerians Should Not Lose Interest in Education
Sincerely, I feel the pains and disappointments of Nigerians when it comes to opportunities that can be gained by being educated. I have experienced a whole lot of that pain and disappointment.
Despite having good grades, I could not get a decent job. At some point, I lost count of job applications that I have written.
You know my saving grace? The knowledge I acquired while schooling and job-hunting. The knowledge became useful for me when I started considering self-employment. The knowledge helped me to discover my Speaking and Writing Skills which became useful when I want to establish this journal.
Even if you cannot get a decent paid job after graduation or you are discouraged by what happened to jobless, poor, educated people, believe you me, the knowledge you can gain through education can help you to survive and prosper later in life, if you are able to identify your skills and use them well.
Aside from knowledge, education helps people to become smart or smarter and enhances intelligence.
The way you will handle things/live your life will be different and most likely better than if you are not educated.
Three things will determine your success in life. These things are; God’s Grace, Who you know (your connections/contacts) and What you know (knowledge).
Social Capital or social asset is actually another expression for people you know who can facilitate things. Going to school will give you the opportunity to know some people.
Some of these people will become successful, someday. If you have good relationships with them when they succeed and they are nice, one or some of them can help you.
Chief Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun State reportedly recommended Mr. Solomon Soyebi (Gbenga Daniel’s Classmate at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta, Ogun State) as REC-Resident Electoral Commissioner in spite of the opposition to the recommendation. Soyebi was later offered the position. That is one of the good things (opportunities) about going to school.
Reports have it that Chief Alao Akaka, former Governor of Oyo State, on his way to Ogbomoso (his hometown), one day saw his Classmate. He (Akala) reportedly, generously helped this classmate.
These are some of the opportunities that come with education.
What can be done to address the Problem
Provide Quality Education
Governments at all levels need to provide quality education. This is one of the important things that should be done in order to have knowledgeable people who can help develop Nigerian economy and promote the country’s development as far as global competitiveness is concerned.
Create More Decent Jobs/Enabling Environment
Government should try to create decent jobs. I know governments cannot create all the jobs people need. In a situation where this is impossible, government should provide things that can make people employ themselves. Imagine the number of people who can work for and feed themselves if there is regular electricity.
Schools, Governments and Guardians of Students should reward students who perform excellently in their studies with good amount of money, automatic employment, scholarship and other things.
Parents/Minders/Guardians should please persuade children to go to school and support them morally and financially. The knowledge and other opportunities that come with education can be the saving grace for those that go to school. I am a living proof of how knowledge acquired through education can improve one’s life.
Lastly, Nigerians should try to go to school. The knowledge and other opportunities that come with education can be your lifesaver. I am a living proof of how knowledge from education can better one’s life.
Some Other Topical Matters
The Arrest of Chief Chiwetalu Agu for Wearing IPOB’s Clothes
I needed to know things that were trending on Twitter. So, I opened my Twitter App. And, there it was, the video of Nigerian Soldiers questioning the 65-Year-old, Enugu State-born Chief Chiwetalu Agu, Nollywood Actor and Comedian who sat on the ground, for wearing clothes branded with IPOB’s insignia (symbol).
Photo: Chief Chiwetalu Agu.
IPOB-Indigenous People of Biafra, led by Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, consists of a group of people who want to break away from Nigeria and form Biafra, their own country.
While Chief Agu was being questioned and ordered to move, he pointed to the picture of the sun in his clothes and said: “This is rising sun.” “Not Biafra. Not ESN.”
The man further said that he was sharing bread to hungry people.
See the Link for the Video on his encounter with the Nigerian Soldiers: https://t.co/XJR7LIB6xl
Even if he is protesting, that is still within his constitutional right. I am against violent protest. The man was not doing anything violent. So, why the arrest?
The Southeast People (Enugu, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo States) have expressed feelings of marginalization by Nigerian Government for several years. Many people, including me, believe some of their grievances cannot be faulted. I stronly believe they should be listened to.
Applying force to a delicate situation like the one in the Southeast is like rubbing salt in/into the wound. I very much believe that the people in Southeastern Nigeria should be listened to. President Buhari, your goodwill is dwindling, Sir. It’s about time You become mindful of your already shaky legacy, Sir.
The Early Presentation of the 2022 Budget
Photo: Nigeria's President.
There are many things I have issues with when it comes to President Muhammad Buhari’s economic policies. Your Excellency, your economic policies are making Nigerians poor and poorer. Despite my displeasure, there are very few things you have been able to get right, Mr. President.
One of such things is the early presentation of the N16.39 Trillion 2022 Budget with a budget deficit of N6.26tr. People in government said that the over N6tr will be borrowed to cover the deficit.
Nigeria’s debt is becoming too high. How about cutting the cost of governance so that we can have more money to spend, Sir?
Celebrating Professor Abdulrasak Gurnah, the New Nobel Laureate in Literature
Photo: Professor Gurnah.
When the Swedish Academy announced the Name of Professor Abdulrasak Gurnah on October 7, 2021 as the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, I was impressed. I love excellence. I am always impressed by the efforts of whoever gets the Nobel Prize in Literature.
What made me to be more impressed was that he is an African like me.
The 73-year-old, Tanzanian-born, United Kingdom-based Professor of English and Post-Colonial Studies at the University of Kent, UK, came to the UK as a Refugee.
He is the second person in Africa to receive the prize after Professor Wole Soyinka from Nigeria. Soyinka was rightly described as World Literary Giant by the BBC. Soyinka said the award have come home (Africa). I am glad Africans are doing great things.
Well done, Sir. May you live long in good health.
On a final note…
The Rising Tension Between the U.S. and China
Photo: President Joe Biden of the United States of America (Right) and President Xi Jinping of China (Left).
In recent times, China, headed by President Xi Jinping and the U.S. headed by President Joe Biden have been having some issues that many people think could degenerate into war.
The recent issue is over Taiwan, a region China believes is still part of its territory. China wants to bring Taiwan under its (Beijing) control.
In a response to China’s move, America said it will defend Taiwan. A CNN Report says ‘Jinping vows to pursue ‘reunification’ with Taiwan by peaceful means.’ Whatever that means. The world has had enough of loss of lives and other problems. We cannot afford to have more.
Is the International Community not worried by the increasing loss of lives and properties due to avoidable disputes?
I hope World Leaders will prevail on America and China to resolve their issues diplomatically.
Comments are welcome.