Agents of Change

Rosa Parks was an American civil rights activist whose singular action in a commercial bus became a very important symbol of the civil rights movement.

Education helped Rosa Parks to understand that the same red blood flows in her vein and that of any other individual. Education made her realise that all human beings are created equal, and no one is more important than the other. If the law supports man’s inhumanity to man, something must be done about it. Education made her to realise the importance of standing for one’s rights no matter the circumstance.

The importance of education cannot be over-emphasized in any nation. Nigeria hopes to create a better future where basic needs are available to all and sundry, but this vision cannot be possible without a functional educational system. The economy of Nigeria today is in shambles basically because we import more than we export. This is so because we lack the requisite knowledge to produce what we need. We export our crude to import petroleum products. We export cocoa to import chocolate. We export virtually everything we need for daily living.

Functional education will help raise thinking graduates who can protest non popular policies of government. Education will produce citizens who are economically buoyant to fight oppressive government; we will have a sizeable number of citizens who will be concerned with the future of our dear nation, people who will critique, write, talk, complain whenever the political class misdirects their steps.

If we can fix our educational system, our graduates will be creative enough to produce our needs locally and export more than we import. Our economy will be better off for it.

Sometime ago, the F.G. nodded that Nigerian universities should conduct POST- UTME exams because of the various evil that bedevilled JAMB. University authorities complained that people were purchasing high marks in UTME. They could no longer trust JAMB exams because deserved students were denied admissions, and dishonesty became the order of the day.

Over the years, however, JAMB seems to have bounced back, regained the lost glory and in fact developed innovative ways of conducting examinations in the 21st century. Before JAMB regained the long lost honest virtue, Universities had turned POST UTME exams into a means of I.G.R. for their institutions.

Scrapping POST UTME is a good development in the right direction, but I think due notice should have been given to the Universities. The scrapping was announced in the middle of the year when the year’s budget is already running. The Universities had budgeted some of their developmental strides for the year on the proceeds from sales of POST UTME forms. I think the Minister should have allowed them to conduct the exams this year; account for the funds made in the process but made to know that there will be no such venture next year.

Nigeria is strategically located with a sizeable population, blessed with favourable weather, abundant mineral resources and hardworking citizens.

We have all it takes to raise whiz kids in the 21st century that will produce goods and services for Nigerians and the world at large but we need a functional educational system in order to live up to our expectations.

Government at all levels need to do more to revamp our dilapidated educational system. Teachers and school owners should note that it is a privilege to be part of the group moulding future generations. Whatsoever we do today, good or bad, tomorrow shall tell.

Leaders cannot legislate morality but they can exemplify it by being honest at all times.

God bless you.

God bless Nigeria.

Written by
Opeyemi Ajayi
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