“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can
use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. And can be shared through these methods: teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research.
Lawmakers, in every state, are elected to represent the interest of a particular society, and bring dividend of democracy to them.
Just recently, a certain lawmaker who happens to be the Chairman House Committee on Tertiary Education, in his effort to feed his community with such a dividend of democracy, raised a motion in which he suggested that the public universities in the country should be privatized, so that the concern of the Federal Government would be only on polytechnics and colleges of education. In his word, the government has many problems with the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
I felt extremely bewildered and strained not with his statement but the support and applause of his hopeless colleagues. I may not be wrong if I say those so-called lawmakers know nothing about the suffering of the masses they are representing.
Actually, the lawmaker that proposed the bill does not know the rate of poverty and how poor people’s kids manage to have even their basic education, which is their their fundamental right, since he comes from the family of a three-time Head of State.
It could be that he didn’t go far and beyond in the mode of both realistic and strategic thinking which may help him to encode and capture the consequences or repercussions of his illusion. Before we saw this outburst, we were seeing him as an icon with a communal mind and hope of the young Nigerians that are into politics. But his outburst cast doubt on our mind on electing another youth to represent our society!
As a matter of fact, we can simply view the term, “privatisation of universities”, as a strong bolt for locking the educational door to the children of the common man. Whereas the capitalist edu-preneurs could be given the room to be in possession of the system, just like how they hijacked the elementary system.
When a poor man’s kid is not able to be enrolled in the university where they can study diligently to have good education and apply their learnt knowledge to invent something that improves the nation, how are they supposed to live this miserable life while the children of the elites are just in the system to gain the certificate that may allow them to run their bequeathed business?
As the lawmaker said, they have more problems with ASUU. But in my view the problem is truly there, but unfortunately the government is not willing to solve them, for they can’t fulfill, honour, or even respect the elaborate agreement made by the negotiation committee with ASUU.
I vigorously believe that if the government had honoured these agreements, our university system could have become animated and got the international recognition required. Someone can say that the battle that ASUU is fighting is for the betterment of their own selfish end and greed, but to me, the university teachers deserve a better life.
I believe in Bill Gates’ words that, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important”. Nigeria is economically, politically, technologically, and academically among the underdeveloped countries. Unfortunately, it is not working towards meeting the developed nations’ expectations.
This can easily be comprehended if we look at how the educational sector is treated. As the famous freedom fighter, Malcolm X, said, “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”.