#EndSARS was a cry against brutality and then, an even worse brutality of men against their fellow men emerged; some individuals had the choice to kill or to let live but they chose to kill. Doesn’t right education teach us that human lives matter? We will like to wonder, who schooled these ones? Who were their teachers? Who mentored them? What kind of homes and environment did they grow in? What kind of education and orientation did they receive?
At the beginning of the protest, we saw practical education come into play, peaceful marches. Then suddenly, everything turns around. Lives lost and a lot of properties destroyed; both for Government and individuals. The news flying around is that criminals and hoodlums infiltrated the society and took advantage of the situation on ground. We might want to blame the hoodlums and call them lawless and uneducated, which might be true in its sense because they probably didn’t have the opportunity for right tutelage; that teaches self- restraint and good behaviour, respect for individual differences, opinions, lives and properties, and didn’t gain right knowledge to form good moral values. Obviously, no one taught them that violence has never been a way out of anything, two wrongs don’t make a right; violence can never solve violence. But how would they see a desire to be educated and make right choices when the very ones that are considered educated and should lead the way, do not even show its fruits and instead of leading them aright, also make bad choices and act rashly; violently!
The goals of the Nigerian education as articulated by the Federal Government just after the Nigerian civil war ended in January 1970 is to build a free and democratic society; a just and egalitarian society; a united, strong and self-reliant nation; a great and dynamic economy; and a land full of bright opportunities for all. Looking at it in 60 years, is that what we have? Is democracy not supposed to give freedom of expression? Which takes my mind also to the latter part of our National Anthem, which was written and composed by educated individuals “…one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity!” Do we truly have freedom? And somehow the peace of our land has been stolen from us? I have heard of good old days in Education. Is this not supposed to get better as we advance in age and structure? Shouldn’t progress show? Why then do the elderly prefer their educational system back then to the one we have now?
We were taught in school that the Nigerian citizen has rights; according to the Nigerian Constitution (1999)- right to life, right to fair hearing, right to freedom of expression, right to freedom of movement, and so on, are all these to be considered mere theory? What happened to the lessons on co-habiting and good interpersonal relationship with ones fellow men? If it’s all irrelevant and can’t be put into practice, then what’s the use of education? Why burden students with social studies and civic education subjects lined up in the school curriculum?
For FOH, we see a Nigeria where the educational system is up to standard and there will be no need run abroad to study. Where foreigners will desire to study in our Nation because of the opportunities it offers. Where our schools will be ranked very highly in the world, our certificates will be respected and valued in the country and all over the world. We see the possibility of quality education. Therefore, we advocate for an Education that is a ‘norm’ in our country. It should come to stay, theoretically and practically. A place where every individual on the streets can be engaged in intelligent conversations and act civilly. A place where individuals can succeed in their different spheres because they have gone through the forms of education’ formal, informal and non-formal and can put it to work, where education is attainable and continuous; irrespective of age, ethnic group, background, where a level of education gives one the desire and platform to acquire more education. It shouldn’t be something that is hard to find. Children born today should be born into a working educational system. Everything around us should show the path to gaining right knowledge; the home, media, the schools, the government.
We need to go back to the drawing board. What has changed? What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What should change? What should remain?
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