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School na Scam

A couple of years back, the phrase “school na scam” was thoroughly debated on all social media platforms, and I remembered passionately defending Education against the onslaught of its naysayers. I was wrong.

What changed my mind?

The unspoken evil of our governments since the 80s is rallying up our parents with “Education is the key” without having a plan for the supposed “Leaders of tomorrow”

We are today seeing a generation of parents who gave their all to see their children through school with the hope of a better future both for the children and themselves hence the cliché, get good grades in school and get a good job

I wonder how many people it worked out for like that.

I walked a couple of my old neighborhoods recently, and I saw parents whom I knew spent themselves on their children’s education, having nothing but malnourished skins clung to their bones.

The sad truth is that they and the children would’ve fared better if they had opted for the “nwa boy” system (Igbo apprenticeship system) over education.

With the evidence around us, our apprenticeship system (which is even more exportable than our current system of Education) offers fairer chances of survival.

Most youths, fresh out of school, with no job, with no capital for any entrepreneurial venture or generational business to fall back to, feels caged and have turned to hard drugs as means of escape from their new realities.

Others have adopted survival strategies based on crime. Cybercrime, for example, is so common nowadays that almost every young Nigerian is either into it or knows someone that’s into it.

Cybercrime, to them, seems the lesser evil compared to watching your parents and siblings starve, begging on social media to settle the least hospital bill or house rent, etc.

The return of investment, ROI, in education in Nigeria is almost nonexistent it’s becoming very difficult to convince young lads to go to school.

Education and Economic prosperity

Nassim Nicholas Taleb said in his book, Skin in the Game, “collectively, society doesn’t advance with organized education, rather the reverse: the level of (formal) education in a country is the result of wealth.”

I agree. It is easier to send your child to school with a full stomach.

Our conventional system of Education can not collectively make us wealthy as a nation, especially with a government that is not progressive enough with policies that induce job creation.

Every year, thousands of graduates are released into our labor force without corresponding industries to soak them up.

Education as a tool to combat insecurity is useless in my books also. An educated man is well behaved until his basic needs, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, are not met.

This is why even with our high literacy rate, our communities are still plagued with ritual killings, kidnapping, armed robbery, etc.

African leaders should stop being obsessed with education as the magic spell to all our problems. Education is very important but not the only tool for nation-building.

School, in Nigeria, na scam.

Ikechukwu Emeka, a trained Biochemist and thinker

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