By ANDREW DARAH,
Its now a reality that most of our youths now take Education for granted because they feel that the system is no longer working and it’s now surviver of the fittest with the most appalling statement “Who Education Help”.
I want to make bold to say that Education still remains the master key and youths should not take Education for granted or relegate it to the background
Education is the process of teaching,. training and learning. It means to improve knowledge and develop skills. It is a science: the science that improves the quality of the brain and the mind of an individual of group.
Education can take different forms: formal, informal or non-formal, but can always be consumate depending on the context.
Education to me is a tool for development as it surely causes change once it is acquired. However, there is a great neglect and abandonment of education both by authorities and suppose learners and the implications are dire.
Here I will like to draw our attention to the United Nations 2002 Common Assessment on the state of Education in Nigeria. It states “the quality of Nigeria University education has declined considerably in the last 15 to 16 years with noticeable short coming in oral and written Communication in English language and technical skills”. The report of the World Bank on the state of Nigerian Universities is equally not encouraging. I see this as a challenge to all of us and the educational system. We must all realize that the greatness of any nation depends on the education of her citizens.
I remember the words of Henry Peter Brougham “Education makes people easy to lead, but impossible to enslave”. Considering the fact that the youths of today are the elders and leaders of tomorrow, we should not wait for that tomorrow to come first before we stand up and put a stop to Educational decadence in this country.
I remember the often quoted statement by Frantz Fanon “each generation must out of relativity obscurity discover it mission, fulfill it or betray it”. We must not betray our mission of rescuing our educational system from cascading the road of rot. Youths, there is need for us to have a rethink regarding education. We need to define a new future for ourselves through a new educational orientation and also to take a revolutionary stand against educational decadence.
Some people are frightened when they hear the word revolution; they say it’s dangerous because to them it means stamped, killing people, pillaging and up setting everything. But what I mean by revolution here is a resolute but yet a progressive and forward movement which improves a peoples standard of living. It also purifies and raises their moral tone; it transforms for the better those institutions that are still relevant and discard those which stands in the way of progress.
Youths of this new generation must take the civic oath like the youths of Athens and Ancient Greece which says “my native land I will not live a diminished heritage, but greater and better than when I received it”. This is corroborated by the boast of Augustus Caesar ” I met Rome of bricks but shall live it off marble”. It is a sincerely truth that you cannot give what you do not have, then to be able to give, we the youths should endeavor to have in this case Education.
Education is the back bone of development in every society, therefore all youths must encourage their peers, siblings, and neighbors to invest and pursue their intellectual freedom and empowerment.
In achieving this freedom and empowerment, all of us must assist in one way of the other. Our leaders most especially should organize competitions and institute prize awards for outstanding students as an appreciative reward for excellence. They should also try to introduce educational trust fund to enable the less privilege get access to education too.
We can pick example from the interesting story of Philip Emeagwali, the Bill Gates of Africa, who is known all over the world today. Philip had to leave school because his parents could not pay his fees. But because he was determined, later he won a scholarship and this was what he used to study to the university level and today he is known as the one who invented the formula that let computer make 3.1 billion calculations per second
There are many Philip Emeagwali in Nigeria and all we need is to help them to stand on their feet.
I hereby make a strong appeal to our government, men and women of goodwill to set up foundations for youths empowerment. This foundation should be focused on helping the average Nigerian graduate economically by formulating strategies whereby youths can be part of solving the ugly problem.
To develop leadership skills and the spirit of hard work and integrity amongst Nigerian Youths. To draw the attention of the youths to their position in the present democratisation process in Nigeria. To call on and encourage Youths to shun abusive, thuggery, armed rubbery, cultism and prostitution. To develop leadership skills and the spirit of hard work and integrate amongst Nigerian Youths.
To organize lectures with themes directed at x-raying the Nigerian youth in the present day Nigeria. To create an enabling environment for the youths to voice out that which their hearts truly desires.
As we beckon on the government to do the needful and hoping for a turn around in our system, I also admonish all youths with the words of Napoleon Bonaparte before the battle of “JENA ” that those who are not ready for this battle, let them fall out for their passports are already prepared for them to go back to France.
To all youths, we must understand that education is a must do thing and there is no room for falling out, so make up your mind today to take a great and advance step to become another Philip Emeagwali of our time. Begin today for the time to act is now.