Uncommon Stories

The Sinking Education System In Nigeria

During our days the education system in Nigeria was superior, WAEC was a near test of knowledge. We wore pocketless shorts and perforated singlets to exam halls in St Charles Special Science School. We knew those that would clinch 9A, and those that would depend on luck. But WAEC is no longer what it used to be. Nigeria has happened to WAEC. Today the education System in Nigeria is marred with corruption and academic laziness. 
I met 2 young people last year. Both were in SS 3. Unfortunately, both cannot write 2 readable sentences. One could hardly read. I wondered how they made it so far.
When their WAEC result was out, to my surprise, they cleared their papers. To give them the benefits of the doubt, I asked for their grade in the English language. The one that could not read got a B in English.
Not wishing them ill, but something was missing. The system failed it there. Years ago, this chap cannot make up to 3 Credits in WAEC. I consoled myself with these words: the university will be the gatekeeper. They can’t beat the system all the time.
 But I overestimated the system. I don’t know the latest.
 2 weeks ago, at a NIN center, a man in his mid-50s walked into the center with his daughter. The man looked worn out, and the daughter wasn’t more than 19. They wanted to register for JAMB. The girl didn’t know the course she would study at the University. The owner of the center asked if she did Arts or Sciences, and chose a course for her.
 He told the man that he could secure an admission for the girl in the almighty UNN. He explained that during finger-print capturing, the girl should put her thumbs, the person who would sit for the exams would complete the remaining 8 fingers. That person would sit for the JAMB and the Post UME. All will cost the man N350,000.00.
 I could not believe this man had seen 100k in his life, it shocked me when he priced N200k.
 Can’t this girl sit for that exam and fail and sit for it again? Can’t the father invest a quarter of that amount on lessons and encourage the young girl? What is wrong with getting admission at 22? What are we teaching our children?
 We are sitting on a time bomb. Soon, we will have doctors that cannot tell drugs apart, Engineers that cannot read a design. We should not be afraid of the guns we see in the street. The society we abuse today will take revenge on all of us tomorrow.
Ozii Baba, a TedX Speaker, is an Onitsha-based storyteller and social entrepreneur. He works directly with children and young people.

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