The younger generation has been described in many ways. To his leaders, he is termed as a descendent with value. But a leader by way of definition is seen as a guide and to guide, you need to know your destination and the direction you are heading to.
Now, basically, Nigeria as a country has crowned its youths as future leaders. Since from childhood the phrase has been used to remind us of the underlying in the various songs we sang in school, particularly when we were to remind our parents of our outstanding fees in school.
That aside, let’s get back to the main issue under discussion- the youth and this country. One is living under oblivion and abject ignorance while the other still remains an astonishment in all aspects. Perhaps a journey of self discovery and focus redirection should come into play.
This isn’t to falsify the statement that says youths are future leaders- ordinarily they should be, if they are equipped with the right machinery and placed under the correct framework. What I think should be remodelled is just the fact that if they (we) are being promised a position to govern somewhere in future, we should be, at this present time, placed under the right conditions and receiving the prerequisite that would ready our minds and entire selves for that post.
They say that the tool for Youth empowerment in any society is education but It has become obsolete to make reference to education as the most valuable asset of the youth.
I won’t say in totality that education is dead in this country but I would definitely say that what we have in place shouldn’t be what is termed as education. Starting from the state of this particular system in the country, to the level of importance attached to it down to the value of it in our Nigerian society today, the actions and inactions of all parties involved has resulted in a lot as it affects education in Nigeria and definitely not a positive lot.
Without being told stories of how the educational system functioned back then, there is no argument that an average Nigerian student cannot be compared to his counterpart during the previous days in this country. It would be accurate to say that our level of intelligence has a generous gap when compared to theirs, even with the presence of modern day technology that is said to advance all aspects of human life.
With the attitude of the government towards the educational system in Nigeria, they have without realizing been sending signals to those that understand that education has no value or much significance anymore because if it did, this system would not have become the one with the highest number of industrial action. This coupled with the students’ attitude, especially those in higher institutions with regards to the importance they attach to grades rather than our actual knowledge which has led to a situation of inconsideration about what you know but what you can present on that piece of paper as your evidence of a four years program.
We the students are not focused, neither are we bothered about how we are treated in this country nor do we make attempts to improve on our own selves- perhaps when we do, the government might then take us seriously. It is disheartening to see students rejoicing and happily packaging their luggage over an announcement of an industrial action embarked upon by the school management- this just means that maybe, just maybe the school authority sees you as a profitable tool for blackmail, unknowingly for them, the government does not attach much importance to what you think you are doing in school, so the action runs for the next 29-30 days and when this same school authority sense an indifference on the part of the government , they are left with no choice but to go back to their various duty post out of pity or perhaps, parental considerations to us the students who had earlier gone home to add to the burdens of our respective parents.
A lecturer once told us that as we leave the corridors of these four walls, when we are lucky enough to get a job, we will slave for the children of those that have been blinding our eyes with powerful torches. The only benefits ascribed to us are skills and vocational training. Well, I don’t want you to empower me with a skill only, uplift me with education. Retrieve this system and let us learn the same way you did back then. I don’t even advocate equality with the son abroad or the daughter overseas. Equality may be very difficult to achieve but at least let this game be fair.
Fatima Zahra Muhammad,
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai,