High Neglect for Public Schools, An Abuja School in Focus, By Edet Umo
Following the sorry-state of public schools round the country, Rev. Edet Ekanem Umo, a Minister in-Charge of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Kubwa Parish, Abuja writes on the way out of the situation and warns that the country cannot make a headway ignoring the education sector.
Education is the bedrock of every society. Any society without education lives in peril and has no feasible future for the generation to come. Any society without a good education for the citizenry is the worst society in the history of the world.
Problems in Nigeria’s education sector must be a great concern to all well-meaning sons and daughters of this great country, Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the more the government tends to solve the problem, the worse it becomes. The more they try to build, the more intractable it appears. What is the Problem?
When the people who are responsible for a total development of a nation only want to do a widow-dressing, refurbishing the system from outside only, then this is a bad sign and everyone should show great concern. This is because nobody can correct a bad behaviour or impression by staying outside to act. I ask, where are the children of our leaders schooling? Which school are the children of our lawmakers attending? Our school administrators, where are their children? How many schools have they opened while sitting and presiding over the education Boards and Committees of our national education sector?
This is the problem, and the solution is rest on these issues. A situation where the government owned schools are abandoned to the children of the less privileged, the low- income earners, peasant farmers, petty traders etc. what would be the concern of those whose children are in schools that are well equipped with all education demands. A situation where children of lawmakers schooled outside their mother land, what policy will such people make that will positively affect education in the government owned schools when decisions are taken, the implementation is left to decay because such implementers are not affected whatsoever.
A situation where Commissioners for Education in States would send their children to school in Abuja as if there is no government school in the States leaves a lot to be worried about? A survey generally would prove that 99.9% of all the Ministers, National Assembly members, Commissioners, Governors, Staff in the Presidency, State Assembly members and their Permanent Secretaries send their children, nephews, nieces, cousins etc. to private schools in Nigeria or outside the country. Is corruption only in bribe-taking & giving? Is it about money laundering alone? I believe it has to do more with neglecting ones right of office to achieving selfish interest than stealing from government treasury.
A visit to the government Secondary School (Kubwa Model School 2), Kubwa will shock all and sundry. An entire block of the school is dilapidated, broken desk stored here and there; human feces could be seen littered in the blocks during school session. Aside this particular block, in other blocks, leaking roofs, broken floors, and no light as the children and teachers will be sweating copiously. The children sit on floor to receive lecture and write notes. How can there be a serious learning or teaching as the teaching environment of the Teacher remains the learning condition of the children.
In some other schools, Government Officers would passed along the schools during the rainy season and would see the school blocks carried over by water, the premises turned to pacific ocean, nothing is done and they care not. People children are there, but theirs are schooling in private schools.
As a matter of Policy, I believe the following: If Government officers are made to send their relatives & children to Government owned schools, Government Policies on the Education Sector would be implemented and followed to the latter; the usual regular inspection of schools be taken seriously and the defaulters be called upon to explain; regular payment of Teachers salary and incentive be taken as a priority; if we change from certificate to performance, examination malpractices would vanish.