End SARS! End Police Brutality! End bad Governance! This is the recent outcry of the Nigerian people. Many lives have been wasted, many injured, properties destroyed, families left in sorrow and businesses destroyed! People cut short in their prime! And if not stopped, many more will go. As we join our fellow countrymen to cry out and yearn for a change. We cannot fail to realize that there is still however a worse brutality and that is the brutality in our Educational sector, and if not fixed will lead to worse deaths, not physical perhaps but in the minds. It’s a menace that must be fixed.
A quote by Ben Franklin says; “Most men die from neck up at age twenty-five because they stop dreaming.” This is the state of mind of many young people in Nigeria, living yet dying daily. As little children, we dreamt of possibilities, built many castles but to grow and realize the castles had no materials to make it a reality. That’s a worse brutality on the future that ends even before it even started. Very few people actually struggle to get out of this deep pit yet millions and millions of children are caught up in this maze of dying even before they have the chance to live. No wonder the cry for a change in the Educational sector has become part of the demands by the end SARS protest. It is an integral part of our society and must be fixed.
Many people have fought for this cause and are still fighting, and we are one of such people. We believe that Education is life itself, it should be a liberating experience, it should give one a platform to soar, and everyone should have a chance to quality Education; in school and out of school, that our school system should offer possibilities in it and after it. Right education should teach people to respect the lives and properties of their fellowmen; it should stretch the mind and change individuals for the better; causing positive change in a man which in turn reflects positively on everything around him including the society. That’s why we solicit that education is paramount. Students should be glad to have gone through it and not find it burdensome; teachers should be excited and duly rewarded for their labor. Schools should be up to standard, Health and welfare of the students should be priority. For example, in the public schools we have our scholarship students enrolled in, there is obvious overcrowding of students in a class; the total in a class ranges from about 90 students to 120 students, the class spaces are small with few furniture to accommodate the number, adequate ventilation is also lacking. So, we wonder, how does learning take place here?
On one of our visits to a school to pay some fees, we have seen children sit on the windows to take lessons, probably due to lack of space or to at least get some air. How do these children cope? Is there no obvious effect on the psychological and mental health of these children? Can we then complain when they fare badly academically? What about the strain on the teachers with these crowd? Even with the recent covid-19 pandemic and schools asked to re-open, beyond the face mask rule- to be worn by all students, has structure been put in place to curb this overcrowded classes? Which links to adequate funding for the Educational system with monies effectively monitored to be used for what it is rightly intended and also, technological advancements in schools to meet the current demands of our generation, and so much more.
Even though efforts have been made but we are far from getting there. We still believe in a Nigeria where dreams, hopes and aspirations can be accomplished, where quality Education is possible. This Brutality definitely has to end. This is our fight. This is our outcry.
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