Among other prominent societal figures, top media analysts are asking some soul searching questions regarding the fate of pupils and the state of education in the Northern parts of Nigeria.
One of the observers of the sad situation of the education sector in the north, Mrs Francesca Edeghere, requested to know what children are getting in schools concerning the quality of education?
In Abuja, yesterday, via a WhatsApp platform promoting good governance in Nigeria, She revealed that
Pupils hoisted a banner in Katsina State during a programme commissioned recently by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Some of the banners raised contained unclear messages like, “You feeds us in school, and you feeds our fathers in NALDA…,” blah blah blah.
The analysts noted that spellings on the banner projected obvious errors as the pupils confidently paraded around different settlements in the state.
According to Edeghere, access to quality education is one of the footholds of democracy and good governance, adding it should be replicated in Northern Nigeria.
She said the message on the banner was ‘written by an adult, maybe a teacher,’ asking the question, “What do we expect from this child under such a teacher and many more?”
She said quality control was obviously missing since nobody spotted this flaw before and during the hoisting of the poster, adding that good governance must be derived from a sound education system.
Soul Searching Questions Over Northern Education, Pupils
On his part, before crafting his soul searching questions, Mustapha Mohammed, a journalist without fears or favours, noted that 70% of all those who sat for Interim Joint Matriculation Board, IJMB failed the exams.
It would be noted that IJMB is a federal government Approved, Proven & Certified, Advanced Level Programme moderated by Ahmadu Bello University for nine months with coordinating bodies in various tertiary institutions and different study centres nationwide.
Continuing his position, Mustapha criticised the system, saying it’s a national catastrophe Nigerians should all worry about.
“Not just the banner from Katsina. As far as I am concerned, there is no educationally advanced region in Nigeria. The entire country is educationally backward. What has the educationally advanced region created or innovated that the world is proud of right now? We know how far ahead countries like India, Japan, UK, France, Singapore and China have been in the 21st century.”
He asked where the so-called professors are in Nigeria? ‘How did they get their PhDs? What type of research did they conduct? Why are they not like their contemporaries in these countries I mention? Is speaking and writing good English the advancement and development we all seek?’
Furthermore, Mustapha, a masters scholar of peace and conflict resolution, demanded to know why the youths and professionals in the educationally advanced parts of Nigeria leaving for Europe and America in droves?
He asked why no part of Nigeria has developed like Dubai or Qatar, stressing that he ‘stopped deceiving myself long ago,’ that this is not the country our fathers at independence dreamt of seeing.
Prioritising Hunger Over Education
Meanwhile, an argument ensued, and the position expressed by an analyst that was simply referred to as Taslim focused on the hunger message publicised by the rallying students.
He said, “But it is evident from the banner that the children aren’t worried about education. They were grateful for food – stomach infrastructure.’
Taslim expanded his points, saying the children deserve Nigeria’s collective pity because they really don’t know the difference in the message they’re attempting to spread.
Recall that the banner fronted by pupils in Katsina State shows the kids’ position hoping that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would go the extra mile and extend the feeding programme to their parents in their respective houses.
The simple interpretation of this gesture means there is hunger in the houses of these students. They believe their parents and guardians suffering at home can benefit from the perceived ‘national cake’ rather than perish from hunger and starvation.