From the earliest history of America, there has been a recognition—albeit slowly and imperfectly acted upon—that higher education must be an “engine” of both their economy and democracy. Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of America—advocated public higher education to foster an informed citizenry and also as an investment in the nation’s economic future. This is what makes America and Americans thick on earth. They value education and they are heavily bankrolling it. You want to understand the secret behind the prosperity of 1st world countries? Go and peruse the quality of their education. Any nation that does not value education cannot but be poor.
In other words, you cannot severe the prosperity of any nation from high-quality education, so high-quality education is behind the greatness and prosperity of America and other movers and shakers of this world. And because Americans have become enlightened, they are able to ask intelligent questions on how they are being daily governed. For the umpteenth time, without high-quality education, the citizenry will be blind as a bat and they will be following blind leaders, without knowing.
High-quality education opens the eyes of the citizenry. Education is not just to read and write. It is about using education for one’s own advantages and to utilize the knowledge for one’s growth. Also, one can lead one’s life without depending on others. But the truth is; this is probably what the ruling-class doesn’t want to happen. The ruling-class does know that growth (in every area of life) and education are as Siamese twin. Without education, forget about growth in every area of life and politicians do not want this to happen. Also, those who are politically calling the shots of Nigeria want the citizenry that will eternally depend on them and a lack of high-quality education seamlessly makes this happen. Nothing makes citizens poor as lack of rock-solid education.
For the umpteenth time, education is beyond literacy. Education has to do with finding out the reason behind everything and using the reading and writing skills to improve their lives. Nigerian politicians do not want the citizenry to find out the reason behind everything, including how they are being governed. And because our people lack high-quality education, when you start asking questions on how you are being governed, they would think that you are not a good citizen. Good citizens—to them—are those who follow as slaves without asking any questions on how they are being governed.
Also, education does not mean to just go schools and colleges daily and attend exams like we are having in Nigeria. It is meant for gathering of knowledge relating it to our lives. Even robot can read and write, but human being uses the knowledge wisely. On the condition that you can only read and write, you are not different from a robot! Yearly, we churn out graduates, who cannot even function at the level of robots. There are too far many graduates of ours who cannot read and write.
Most of our higher places of learning in Nigeria are only churning out those who can read and write as robots. They are not birthing citizens, who can live independently. They are not birthing those who can think their way to the top. They are not birthing inventors. They are only birthing consumers. They are not birthing job creators; they are only birthing those who are daily running after jobs that are not in existence in Nigeria.
The education I have today, I got it after leaving one of the higher places of learning in Nigeria. When I was on campus, we were not taught to think prolifically, we were only raised to cram and memorize superseded and outmoded information. We were to give back to our lecturers—sometimes exactly what we were taught—word for word. Most of our textbooks are obsolete! And most of our lecturers are far from where lecturers in 1st world countries are standing. This is why our politicians do not train their own children at home, including religious leaders! Building world-class education in Nigeria is almost impossible, because those who are supposed to make it happen do not care a hoot.
Now, let me take this ugly-issue a little further, education is important for children, because they are the future of the world and they should be updated with current affairs. They are the pillars of the nation. And to develop a country, the children are supposed to be equipped with world-class education. In other words, any nation that does not educate her children has no future. When you check the number of out of the school children, it will tell you whether the nation is serious or not—about her future.
Nigeria is an unserious nation. She has the largest number of children in the world—who are not being educated. Nigeria has 10.5million children out of school, while 60% of them are from the North. The Northerners do not know yet who their enemies are. Their enemies are their politicians. They are deliberately keeping your children out of school, while training theirs abroad, so that you and your children can forever serve them and generations after them. Remember, with the number of out of school children in the North, it becomes almost impossible to win the war against Boko Haram!
Why are we having the greatest number of out of school children? The answer is very simple: those who (president Buhari and other politicians) are paddling the canoe of Nigeria do not care a hoot. And because they do not care two hoots, they are poorly funding education! This is to say that Nigeria is not a serious country and she has no future. You may not like this, but the truth is, president Buhari and other Nigerian politicians are leading a nation that has no future. Or what future does a nation that allocates 7% of her budget to education?