A call for Emergency in Nigeria Education system -By Kareem Itunu Azeez

Filed under: Economic Issues |

The usual traffic in Lagos, have bore something worth pondering about, it was at Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island, Lagos. Where young and vibrant youth, children between the ages of 12-23, take advantages of the long vehicular queues, to sought for their daily bread, begging for alms, requesting for foods of any form, they do that almost everyday.

My intuition brought me to question one of this kids, I couldn’t hold back my tears, as he spoke freely without even hoping for a change of life, Suleiman could not even write down his name, I had ask him to do that, because I hardly could hear his language, he is a Hausa boy, why he has come to Lagos I do not, but he mention how his home was been displaced through the tragedies happening in the north, the youth believe Lagos as rumoured was a land of opportunities.

An emergency is urgently needed in this sector.



Some years ago the UNESCO recommended that every nation should allocate a minimum of 26% of its annual budget to education. This position was informed by a consideration for minimum educational standards because education and the quality it carries determine the level of a nation ‘s development. Various indicators and especially the products of the educational system in Nigeria showed that standards was on the decline.

Last year at the National Education Council, NEC meeting, held in Kano, The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Adamu Hussaini, once said that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. He quoted a figure, which considering today, would have increase severely, According to him, this percentage represents 10.5million of the cumulative 20million out of school children in the world. Its worrisome I know, the same way it is to me.

This dwindling poor education system is even more prevailing in the northern part of the country, where the success of western education has received an unfriendly reception from time immemorial, and as at that, one cannot say a particular region is drawing back the progress of a nation, but we shouldn’t forget they posses the highest number of government parastatals, highest population, and somewhat highest number of regional allocation, yet they are way back in terms of development educationally, notions like this, aid even more agitation for secession.

Do you even know that Nigeria boast the biggest and highest economic GDP in Africa, with about a GDP of $376.284bn in 2017, Nigeria has the highest GDP in Africa on top of having the largest population. A population almost like a curse because we have failed to take advantage of it.
With GDP of such magnitude, its contradictory that one of the most important sector in the growth of a country is lacking behind, comparing the allocation in terms of Education with that of Kenya, statistically, with the aid of a diagram, I chose Kenya because education wise, they seem at the forefront, while we keep on claiming The giant of Africa, a slumbering one.

The chart below represents the allocation on education in terms of revenue and GDP



Yet, the elites had their children in foreign school, under the best conditions, bringing home the best grades, but children like Suleiman, are on the streets begging us today for alms, I tell you tomorrow, if nothing changes, as it is currently, they would come to us with guns and machete, for we the lucky few would by then be out populated by the trending increase of uneducated people in my country, no wonder mandatory bills to make government officials children or ward get their education in Nigeria is never for once talked about, that’s one way to boost our education system for good.

According to the premium times publication of may this year 2018, after which the allocation of the 2018 budget was passed across, the minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu, lamented that none of the E 9 ( Bangladesh , Brazil , China , Egypt , India, Indonesia , Mexico , Nigeria and Pakistan ) or D 8 countries ( Bangladesh , Egypt , Nigeria , Indonesia , Iran, Malaysia , Pakistan , and Turkey ) other than Nigeria , allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education. Indeed , even among sub -Saharan Africa countries , the country is trailing far behind smaller and less endowed nations in terms of investment in education. A recent international retreat on education, which was attended by Nigerian ministers of Education , ended by asking the President to increase revenue allocation to the education sector to about 15 per cent of the 2018 budget .

Today, education is even more discouraging to the youths, than committing Crimes, why waste your scarce resources on education, after which there is no opportunity, or job, after a one more year service rendered to your fatherland.
What happens is the situation of the immediate past finance minister of the federation, they are brought from the overseas to direct our affairs here, a place they do not even know how the average Nigeria’s live, in her one sentence of her resignation letter, she admitted she has not been to Nigeria for close to thirty years, so pathetic.

The time seems to be right, when an emergency should be declared in the Nigeria education sector, I urge the president, his Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, to do that which is needful, so as to save our nation from the impending explosion looming around, a war of the illiterates.

I owe no apologies to my depressing words, its even more pathetic that our president have been termed as someone with no WAEC results, however true or untrue this might me, his shouldn’t even seems like a true tale, that therefore may sounds like, “If the president is uneducated, who then are the citizens to demand for education” for God sake Nigeria is falling down the pecking order, with reckless abandon.

The election season is now here, the time has come for us to decide once more, whether to continue in this regard, or decide to look the way forward, four years from now if this situation remains unchanged, there is bound to be chaos, violence, and a more ruthless secession agitations. To curb this I am pleading once more to our leaders across all sectors who have been opportune to get there to do the rightful thing, and leave a good name on the sands of time.

Nigeria particularly, has not boarded a train of progress under this administration, as we seem to be regressing on all sectors, but to leave education on a free fall, as it is right now, I fear for the future that is already here.

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