There is no gain recounting the value of education in the life of any human being, community or nation states. It is because of its transformative nature that the United Nations sought to make education compulsory thus the Universal Basic Education trumpeted everywhere in the country. To what extent that we have been able to realize this lofty objective remains debatable.
Champions of development have continued to stress that education is the bedrock of development. Some describe it as a catalysing agent for growth and human development. Education basically is defined as the acquisition of some skills, knowledge, values, aptitudes, trainings, etc by an individual which will enable him function effectively and efficiently in his environment.
Today, there are strong lamentations that the black world is so underdeveloped because their education system is in a decrepit state. Even among individuals it has been established that the difference between one person and another is determined by the amount of information they possess and this is a function of education.
Education has been adjudged widely as very important to the extent that the United Nations in its wisdom enjoined nations to provide at least 26% of their annual budget to education. Sadly, in our own environment this is grossly breached in and it is worst in the various constituent states.
In the light of the above one naturally would expect that all well meaning individuals and governments would pursue earnestly any effort towards the growth of education. This is however not the case with experience in the land. Initially, during and after the colonial era, education was accorded its rightful attention. There was the urgent need then for government to grow the necessary manpower to run its affairs strengthening development.
The support to education suddenly took a nose dive as time progressed. It is actually difficult to place a finger on the exact period when this occurred. Education in Nigeria first took root in western part of the country but statistics arguably have revealed that the Eastern part of the country have excelled more than any other region examining various indices.
We note with utmost dismay and disappointment the state of our educational infrastructure which is in a terribly situation and has continued to lower the quality of our educational offering especially in public schools. This has in spite of the free education policy continued to provide a boost to private education which is not affordable by the mass of the public.
Some of the challenges of education infrastructure include insufficient teachers, poorly trained teachers, absence of libraries, absence of laboratories, inadequate classroom blocks, outdated curricular, absence of e-learning facilities, poorly motivated teachers, insufficient teaching aids, absence of materials for physical education, ageing teaching workforce not in tune with modern facilities etc.
The governments have not demonstrated fairness in according education its rightful position. Some of the state governments have not shown transparency in managing the resources that should accrue to education. Education is a critical tool of development but sadly our governments play politics with it. Even when they are not respecting the UN budgetary provisioning some are not accessing the opportunities from international organizations.
The quality of education of has nosedived terribly especially in those states that pretend to offer free education. Education requires a huge capital outlay to support it. In our clime, whatever is offered free does not give the right quality. The governments it is discovered use it as an opportunity to score cheap political points and we call on them to do a proper assessment of quality before and after the so called free education.
News Echo notes with disappointment that the present governments have not fared any better in sustaining the quality of education that was there from the beginning. Need we recall that most of the giants like Azikiwe, Ojukwu, Ibiam, etc who brought Igbo land to limelight were products of good education. We can only but sustain that legacy. We urge the governments to remove all impediments to quality education because our future is anchored on it.
We must also not fail to acknowledge the efforts of states like Anambra that have remained champions among equals in sustaining their exploits towering above others in competitive exams and global representations. We are blessed with talents everywhere in the South East region. We can only but encourage ourselves. Education rules the world and we cannot be left out especially in this digital age.