-By Adekunle A. Akintola
Pass me a glass from the soothing spring of knowledge, water, that makes the heart hale. My imagination travelled me unto the 20th century where telltale facts of conducive livelihood of tertiary institutions’ students in this country were evident. I would dearly, watch with keen liveliness and enthusiasms, how the elders will give accounts of how fun and memorable the memories of the school days were to them. This cannot be taken away from them, I would surmise, for such lifestyles, as we were been told, were next to royalty.
The education sector was experiencing what could be termed as a ‘boom’ as it was evident in all the various levels of the sector. The primary and secondary schools need were been catered for verily and ideologically. The tertiary institutions were run based on visions missions and end goals. Truly, the education we had then was a right for all was right.
Drifting slowly on the bane of reality that has bestowed our dear nation’s education sector, the ear souring tales that keep recurring, nonetheless ,one is left to question what could be the cause of this seemingly unprecedented curse? Many a scholars have pen down their thought as regards this stinking shit that has befallen the sector. Some surmised that system failure has been the number reason for the back striking strides of the sector. Some even goes as far as concluding that the ills of the sector is the degenerative effects of politics in the country that has amounted to the misplacement of priority in the national level. Looking at these submissions closely, one would see an iota of sense and truth in all even as all these and others culminated into the mess we are right now.
Without much ado, politics and politricking has eaten deep into this sector as there is no other meaning that could be ascribed to why 7% would be assigned to the sector in the 2018 budget as against the controversial benchmark established by the UNESCO, through the Education For All (EFA 2000-2015) campaign, which was penned to be within the range of 15-20%. Taking a retrospective look at the budgetary allocation to education sector, the allocation has never surpassed 10% in this era. This, no doubt, has rendered a crippling effect to the sector as it is quite obvious to the blind.
Education was said to be the right of all, not in this clime, where the rights are not right. Should one mention the dilapidated states of classrooms blocks predominant in the southwest, or the uncultured teacher that has taken the profession has a means to make the hand meet the mouth. Or say the unhealthy and inexplicable increment of fees in the University of Ibadan, where the cares of students are waiting in line to be caressed, maybe in the next world. Looking at my school, the first and the best, I could only shake my head at the ills that lie un-catered for despite the horrendous payment made every year. The state of the halls of residence that brings tears to the eye at a glance, the state of the lecture rooms that is always in tussle with your apparel, the unsafe haven in the halls where a month doesn’t go by without the report of theft in the hostels. The incessant strike actions, all in the name of fighting for what is rightfully right, among others has suffered the so called rights of all.
No wonder a secondary school would rather use whole week for the preparation of sporting activities when her scheme of work cries for help. This I experienced during my professional practice.
Education is said to be a right, a currency that should be held by all and sundries irrespective of the economic background, a means to an end that must be without clauses. But what is this right when we have acute un-rightness in the system?
Adekunle A. Akintola is a student journalist in his final year and can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org/ 08160783305.