Zero Goal for Education in Nigeria

By now, all those who have over the years conspired to make sure education is dealt a death blow in this country must be celebrating as their well laid out plan is yielding fruit. What with the statistics released by National examination Council, (NECO) for its Nov/Dec 2009 Senor Secondary certificate Examination, there could be no better proof that their plan is progressing as conceived.

If that result is not scary, then nothing else is. In an unprecedented shameful outing, one which indicates that we are finally headed for ground zero, NECO announced that only 1.8% of the candidates that sat for the examination managed to pass. Broken down into simple language, it means that for every 200 candidates only 2 passed.

Since that result was released, I have heard a few of them grumble on Television pretending to care. These are people who believe that the only way to perpetuate themselves and their seeds after them in power is to subject the poor masses to poor education while their children attend the best schools abroad.

So we have a system that has effectively relegated public education to the background with paltry single digit allocation in the annual budget in defiance to the 26% suggested by UNESCO. Yet they shamelessly send their children aboard to enjoy from the investments other leaders have made in their own education system.

It is in the search of superior education, one which they have denied the rest of the citizens by their abominable leadership and neglect that has given rise to such phenomenons as Abdul-Mutallab and the terror profile we now enjoy as a people.

Make no mistakes about it however, there are many other Faruk Abdul-Mutallabs in this country. NO, I point not at their many children and secret love children hidden safely outside the country, away from our bad roads, laughable schools and our long fuel queues. I point instead to all the other kids back home here who we deny a good education today. kids who can not sit and pass NECO. Kids whose lives hardly has an essence today. They are million of bombs waiting to explode and one day they would.

This should be of priority national concern now, as important as the issue of power and electoral reforms for everything in my opinion lies or falls on education.

We should wail for the classrooms without desks. We should wail for the library without books. We should wail for the pauper, poorly trained teachers. We should wail for the endless strikes. We must wail for a government and the criminally rich class that has ensured our schools doesn’t work.

The NECO result is a grand mockery of our advertised goal of meeting the Millennium development goal on education by 2015 and the pipe dream of being one of the twenty most developed economies in the world by 2010. With results like this being posted by our national examination body, we shall only be re-cycling poverty and crime and by implication we shall watch our country sink deeper and deeper in anarchy and underdevelopment. It wouldn’t be long now before we hit 0% pass.

This is the real threat to our country. It’s high time we stopped rubbing ointment on our sores. The times provide us an opportunity to swallow the pill, no matter how bitter.

As the rest of the world signs up to One Goal of guaranteeing assess to education for every child, we should sit back and figure out what really is wrong with our system, for as it is, education seems not to have any goal here.

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