A few days ago, the media was awash with the sorry-story of the lost accreditation of prestigious courses like Law, Dentistry and two others, at the acclaimed ‘Africa’s most beautiful campus’, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife by the National Universities Commission. At first, it came as a rude shock!
My bewildered self contacted students of ‘Great Ife’, for the verification of the news, because as of the moment, credible newspapers had yet to report it. The reason is not far-fetched: this is Nigeria, where rumour-mongering, otherwise labelled “fake news”, is the pastime on the social media.
I thought, to expect anything good from a government that is carefree about proper education funding, is sheer self-illusory. In Nigeria, education is obviously underfunded.
An anonymous source, from the Faculty of Law, OAU, was credited to have explained that the lost accreditation is not a resultant effect of lack of facilities but staff-wise. Whose gist? The jocularity of education in Nigeria has been taken too far. Sad.
Who will tell the government that university students are priceless assets, and are on the threshold of a world of useful service to the nation? Who? That, toying with their future will be too precarious for the nation to handle.
Is the lost accreditation a big deal? It is no novelty. For the Faculty of Law, the event of 2006 has repeated itself. A 21st Century institution indeed. What a ruse!
The budgetary allocation for education is nothing to write home about. Regrettably low. Terrible. Whereas UNESCO recommends between 25 and 27 per cent of a country’s budget to be allocated to education, the reverse is the case in Nigeria where the Minister of Education admitted last week at the education summit held in Abuja that the country’s education budgetary allocation is a meagrely six per cent of the total budget.
Students’ unionism that ought to be an avenue for students to demand proper funding of the education sector by the government has been proscribed by the managements of most tertiary institutions, without exception of the ‘Great Ife’ Students’ Union.
This is obviously a calculated attempt to silence the unions.
The few neo-fascist student-activists have always been victimised. Why? Speaking against the draconic and anti-students’ policies of the school managements and government has been their ‘crimes’.
The few institutions whose unions have not been proscribed are not near radical, independent, ideological, and mass-based. For those are the attributes of a vibrant students’ union, that can drag the government’s feet to the fire, to make provisions for proper funding of education. Gone are the glorious days of the National Association of Nigerian Students! Not the award ‘selling’ one. Don’t get it twisted.
It is sheer irresponsibility on the part of the Federal Government for one of its highly-revered higher institutions to lose its accreditation due to the ridiculous reason of inadequate staffing. Tell me it’s not.
When we clamour for system change, they laugh at us. Truly, we are out of our minds. Are we contesting that? But, what good has capitalism brought to this wobbling nation? Tell me. I hope we get well soon.
Show me a socialist state that socio-economic rights, like ‘right to education’ of her citizens are not guaranteed. Yet, we complain of the failure of socialism. Capitalism has outlived its usefulness, no doubt. Swallow the bitter pill.
History will be told of how students in Nigeria were denied right to qualitative and affordable education due to the recklessness of our ruling class.
Yet, they suck our treasury dry with their ‘outrageously-killing’ salaries and allowances. Still, they are as useless as the ‘p’ in psychology!
A kaleidoscopic system is desperately needed to save our democracy from this pang. System-change is the answer, I repeat.
Should we not be puzzled of how a ‘responsible’ government finds its crumbling educational system lofty? Are we close to Utopian, at all?
Please does President Muhammadu Buhari sleep at night?
‘Yinka Oyesomi is an undergraduate of Law at Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, wrote via: firstname.lastname@example.org, +2348143490113