Education And Soludo’s Pristine Nostalgia | David Antia
A fortnight ago the governor of Anambra State, Charles Soludo, hosted his primary three class teacher at the Governor’s Lodge. He deemed that moment a “rare privilege”. Expressing his deep gratitude towards his teacher, Lady (Dr) Mebirim, he said “I am glad to have her around; she didn’t fail to remind me of the need to be a good boy”.
This act by a sitting governor is very commendable and should cause a reflection and serious orientation of mind towards the current situation of education in our country to the end of exacting a pulley of reasonable force that will help rescue our current system from its chequered trajectory.
It is indeed a rare privilege for Governor Soludo to have his teacher sit with him in his office. Yes he enjoyed “the rare privilege “of education which helped him to become who he is today. His adjective “rare” unfortunately wield the collective position of things in the current time- there are rare teachers, rare educational infrastructures, rare funding of public schools and rare reward system for teachers. The privilege that made him a governor has indeed become rare.
One point furthers the depth of this rarity. It is the current situation of teacher- student ratio in Nigeria. The National Policy on Education stipulates that the teacher-pupil ratio should be 1:40. Against this expert stipulation, a single teacher now handles class of pupils close to 90, especially in urban areas. This inhibits good supervision by teachers and reduces the chance of teachers getting to really affect the lives of pupils under their tutelage. It is increasingly becoming rare that pupils can have effective relationships with their teachers to the extent of remembering even their names talk less of impact years later as Soludo is currently doing.
Soludo’s pristine nostalgia should cause him to take serious this his snapshot of history as he embarks on a voyage to reposition education in Anambra State. He should follow that sentiment to provide for the welfare of teachers and to pay them their arrears on time.
It is distressing to note that in a certain research published by United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) website, where over 10.5 million children are said to be out of school in Nigeria, 47.7 percent of that statistics are girls from age 5-14 years who have never set foot in school but rather engage in hawking.
If nothing is done about the education of out-of-school children, there will be rarity of teachers like Lady (Dr) Mebirim to mould the destiny of this nation.
We should not forget that by neglecting education, we are damning any good thought for tomorrow and pressuring the hands of time to take us many years backward into the dark age. Insecurity, economic recession, corruption, etc is increasingly depressing the sense of repugnance and gaining us full negative outlook and easy negative public image. Are not we as a nation ashamed of being easily associated with this?
Whenever a world jinx breaking cybercrime news is mentioned, people’s first inclination is to trace the nativity of the culprit to Nigeria. While students of other parts of the world are given good education, Nigerian students are suffering from strike, a lot of them inexorably allow their mind to be a workshop of laziness and having no reference to discipline they invent more evil and crimes. The old path to success is gradually lost to a new trajectory of moral decadence, shallowness of mind and desperation to leap in quantum without any reasonable hard-work.
Soludo’s reminiscence should give us a recoil momentum. Education is the right of every child. The legislature and the executive arm of our governments should enforce this right.