Education is the only way to build Nigeria or anywhere else. Without giving education (to the masses) the society, which, according to Chinua Achebe, is the greatest invention of man, will perish. Let us quickly take a look at the gains education has made;
1) Education has allowed man the cerebral position to establish education itself.
2) Education has allowed man to build a mighty civilization
3) Society was built by education
4) Technology -i.e
>the roads that are efficient for transportation was built by education.
>the rail roads,
>cruise ships, submarines, water boats etc etc
>the military -Army, Navy, Airforce (although it is a pressure machine of the government to suppress people but at least it has prevented Boko Haram and Alqaeda to come down and kill all of us) was built by education
>condoms (a great medical invention)
In short, education is the oxygen for life. Before education industrialized the world, the average life expectancy of people (especially in Ancient Rome where proper education was only given to the rich) was 30 years. Today, with the policy of mass literacy (in context of tertiary education), life expectancy in Cuba is 92 years. Thanks to education.
That slavery (i.e trade in human beings) stopped is simply a manifestation of education (which secreted immunity against the barbaric inclination of the mind of those who practiced slave trade). Education has not only destroyed the institution of slavery but also historically reduced violence. Fighting was, hitherto, a culture in so many places but education cures man of his inclination to violence (or simply reduced it). Men now engage in talks more than guns. An attestation to the fact that education improves both psychological and material maturity of human beings. Education will prevent people from accumulating primitive wealth. EDUCATION MADE ME ASK MYSELF WHY I SHOULD HAVE UP TO A BILLION NAIRA IN MY ACCOUNT WHEN OVER 80 PER CENT OF MY FELLOW NIGERIANS ARE WALLOWING IN POVERTY. Education has so much informed my mind such that I believe I do not need more than six pairs of shoes -even at the height of my career. Kilaun ba ka?
WHY FREE EDUCATION POLICY MAKES A LOT OF SENSE.
After an inter-faculty debate at the Faculty of Law in 2015 (can’t remember right now the exact month and day) I placed an argument, in support of free education, on table. I was to be rebutted by Akinsanya Damilola (now Sultan Bello Hall Mayor elect), with the part of the Nigerian constitution which negated the policy of free education. Truly the constitution makes provision for free education -at every level -in Nigeria, it stipulates that that part of the constitution can only be implemented at the discretion of the government. Of course the government will NEVER do that until it is forced to do so -by the combined revolutionary forces of the people. The video of that Faculty of Law speech if mine is available for watch on YouTube. Simply search “Tuition fee, to be or not to be by Ojo Aderemi”. Adebajo Adekunle posted it there.
THE AMERICAN EXAMPLE
Many Americans could not attend school (colleges and Universities) not because they do not want to but simply because they couldn’t afford it.
Let’s take a brief look at the history of education in the United States of America;
Lawrence Wittner, an emeritus Professor of History at the State University of New York in an October 2015 article in Huffington Post wrote that;
“Unable to afford college, many young people never attend it or drop out along the way. Studies have found that the primary reason young people cite for not attending college is its enormous cost. Many other young people can afford to attend college only by working simultaneously at paying jobs (which takes time away from their studies) and/or by running up enormous debt.”
Many Americans, in a bid to pay for University education joined the army and were sent abroad to be killed. Some were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to be maimed and blown into pieces by bombs and mortals while defending the interests of a nation that cares little about them or their future.
Previously, many Universities in America operated a free education system. Emeritus Professor Lawrence Wittner wrote in the same article that;
“In 1862, to provide educational opportunity for the “sons of toil,” the U.S. Congress passed the Morrill Act, establishing land-grant public colleges and universities on a tuition-free basis. For roughly a century thereafter, many American public colleges and universities either charged no tuition or a nominal fee for attendance. The State University of New York ( SUNY ) system—the largest in the nation—remained tuition-free until 1963. The University of California system, established in 1868, had free tuition until the 1980s.
In recent decades, however, the situation has changed dramatically, with tuition costs soaring to dizzying heights at both public and private colleges. Between 1978 and 2013, American college tuition reportedly rose by 1,120 percent. Last year, the average annual cost for undergraduate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities was $9,139 for state residents and $22,958 for out of state residents. At the University of California, yearly undergraduate tuition and fees now stand at $13,251 for state residents and $37,959 for out of state residents. The cost is considerably higher at private colleges and universities , which average $32,599 yearly for tuition and fees. The ten most expensive average $50,632 a year. These figures, of course, do not include additional thousands of dollars for room, board, books, and other living costs.”
If you get education and your friends could not, they will become liabilities to the society when tomorrow comes. Education removes the “animalistic” character in us and without it, the “animalistic” character in us will be properly sustained. And you will not entirely enjoy what you think you deserve to have that others, because they are poor, did not deserve. Those who didn’t go to school today will want to survive too. The instrument of survival (money) might be in your hands. They’ll want to have it by every means necessary (including violence and other means) and you may lose your life for it.
WHY INCREMENT MAKES NO SENSE
A United Nations, UN, report on Nigeria’s Common Country Analysis, CCA, described Nigeria as one of the poorest and unequal country in the world, with over 80m of her population living below poverty line.
Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world, with over 80 million or 64% of her population living below poverty line. The situation has not changed over the decades, but is increasing. Poverty and hunger have remained high in rural areas, remote communities and these cut across the six geo-political zones, with prevalence ranging from approximately 46.9 percent in the South West to 74.3 percent in North West and North East.
Youth unemployment is currently (in 2016) 42%, creating poverty, helplessness, despair and easy target for crime and terrorism. Over 10 million children of school age are out of schools with no knowledge and skills.
Nigeria’s economy is currently in a recession and it is estimated that government revenues have fallen by as much as 33 percent, which has further resulted in the contraction of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by 0.36 percent in the first three months of 2016.
Only one of my roommates still eats chicken on a regular basis. I take my Garri and cold pure water (sometimes in the morning) and wait for God’s miracle alert. I know of fellow students who sow their rubber slippers with 20 naira in a cobbler’s shop. In short, the poverty is visible. Yet, the academia has embarked on an incessant barrage of austerity measures. In this recession…
END OF PART 1
Ojo Aderemi is the convener of patriotic Intellengentsia … OJO UISU 17 presiding