The dream of every parent is to see their children rise unto stardom and relevance. As such they avail the child with every love, care and education they can afford to be relevant in the future.
Education— This is my bone of contention.
Nigeria’s educational system is arguably one of the worst ever. I’m opinionated to make this claim irrespective of statistics that proves otherwise.
I’m not making comparison with war torn Sudan and Somali. Rather, I’m comparing the oil rich Nigeria with her counterparts with equivalent stability and resources.
It is obvious that we’ve not lived up to our educational expectations. Under the subsequent subheadings, I’ll be pointing out how parents have unknowingly teamed up with teachers and school managements to make the life of their children miserable.
I can vividly picture my primary education days. Those days, I trekked long distances of about 30 minutes with a heavy back pack to and from school each day.
I leave home as early as 7:10am because school resumes by 7:45am and closes by 2pm, but we were mandated to remain in school for evening lessons till 4pm.
On getting home, the time would have tilted towards 4:40pm
That entirely accounts for more than 9 hours of my productive day. I get home tired and worn out. I often hurriedly take a bath before diving on the meal prepared for me.
There was never time to watch enough TV because I have tons of home works to do on my “Ugo C. Ugo” gigantic workbooks. If you never came across those Encyclopedia-sized workbooks, you may never comprehend my plight.
I won’t be exaggerating by saying that the next one and half hour will be used to tidy those home works. Funny enough, I’m also expected to read all my notes before I go to bed.
Failure to do that will warrant my inability to answer the teacher’s questions in class the next day. It’s also to my parents’ accolades that I’m “very studious”.
It’s always surprising how I managed not to sleep till 10pm. Nap was never really possible. Playing with friends was also often impossible, unless I intended to do my homework late into the night.
This is identically the plight of the average Nigeria kid in my time even in this very dispensation. Funny enough, parents are always happy to see their children go through this heartbreaking crusade all in the name of education.
Kids basically have no time for themselves, no time to explore the potentials in them and basically no time to develop a talent or skill.
Secondary School Bondage
The entire anomaly always gets worse in Secondary school.
Getting admitted into a private secondary school was quite wonderful for me. I was determined to meet up with all the schedules and activities lined up for me in school.
School resumes by 7:45am also but closes by 5pm. I was offering 15 subjects in all including the boring and mind paralyzing ones.
At times, one teacher can be in charge of two or three subjects. I could often see the confusion in the eyes of those teachers. But they just have to teach the subjects they barely understand by reading the entire stuff off textbooks.
15 subjects is nothing to be compared to what is obtainable today. Truthfully, in some schools today, especially in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt students offer up to 20 courses per term.
Parents ignorantly think that the higher the number of courses, the better developed the students. But that’s a terribly lie. Offering 20 scattered courses makes the students unorganized and dumber.
It prohibits the students from specializing at an early age. This has been the reason why we have bookworms who are far from being smart. Kids who can’t think out of the box.
Schools lack extracurricular activities. No more debates and amazing sporting activities. No more school football and basketball teams. I must say I enjoyed that in my time.
The saddest among these new developments is that some schools have completely removed break-time from their timetable. Kids are now mandated to sit in their classrooms for about 9 hours without having anytime to exercise themselves.
Studies has it that at the 45th minute of lectures, the capacity of people to assimilate more knowledge starts diminishing.
That means that our kids are being nonchalantly detained in classrooms by managements who care only about money, all in the name of education, and parents clap happily for them.
I came to realise that most parents who encourage this are those who are career people. They barely have time for their kids. So they don’t care if their kids get detained for long eye gorging hours.
Menace Of Summer Coaching
The next biggest thing that happens is holiday or summer coaching. These kids go through the rigours and stress of three full terms and just when they are about taking a sigh of relief, they are thrown back to the prison called school to continue their hardships all in the name of holiday coaching.
In developed countries, these are times when kids free themselves from the mental demands of the academic orchestrations.
A picture of the daughter of President Obama went viral in 2015 showing her in a restaurant where she worked as an attendant during the summer. That’s more like it.
During summer breaks, kids are meant to take a small job, learn a skill, go for vacation, play games, attend church activities, hang out with friends and test their productivity beyond the confines of the classrooms. Because in the real world, these activities really count.
Lack of love
Through out my days in college, I have seen young kids who graduated from high school and immediately gained admission into the university, a lot of them precisely. But they grew up with no love.
They barely call their parents except when they need cash. They are never eager to go home during holidays because they are going back to a house of zero love.
This is because growing up, they never really had tangible time with their parents to discuss and laugh at each others’ jokes. Rather, they spent all the time in school with friends and colleagues.
For these ones, university is another level of freedom.
No Sense Of Purpose
If academic works are being removed, most kids have no sense of purpose. All they ever want to achieve in life is becoming a doctor, engineer or lawyer just for their parents.
This is what all their years of studying have made them believe— that this is their only way of becoming relevant.
They can’t see purpose fulfillment in any other thing save these professional careers their parents have always sung into their ears as a lullaby.
Unskilled Kids Who Can’t Survive Without A White Collar Job
Since they neither had the time to become entrepreneurship minded, learn a skill, developed their voices in the church choir, learn a musical instrument, nor practise computer programing, they obviously cannot survive in the country without a white collar job.
These ones never get to discover how much they could impart the society with their talents. They envy others who are doing so, but unfortunately can’t measure up with them.
Dull Kids With Low Self-Esteem
I apologize for being too blunt, but have you seen kids that behave like dolls? You poke them on the head and they won’t say a word. All they can do comfortably is to recite nursery ryhmes, that’s if they are even bold enough to recite them.
Hey, I know some kids are born introverts. But confining them to the destiny crushing academic modalities of today will only make them worse.
I’m no kids expert, but I was once a kid and I have watch kids grow. I can emphatically say that kids build their self-esteem the more they politely interact with the unstructured world.
Kids Without Moral Upbringing
Offering “Moral Instructions” as a subject in school is not a guarantee that a child will be morally upright. The role of moral upbringing is vested on the family and the church.
This is obviously impossible if parents never get the chance to interact with their children daily. The kids are now left with friends of all sorts to teach them their own lifestyles.
Since your career or business never gave you enough time to interact and groom the kids, never be surprised when you stumble into them watching sexually explicit images on their phones.
Such kids easily get abused at your ages and also join notorious groups and cults.
Come to think of it, sex education is no longer thought at homes. My parents never thought me that either. I learnt it the negative way and it really crushed me. How much more of those kids who aren’t from “Christian” homes.
These kids grow up into becoming parents, and very pitiably, they end up nurturing their kids in the same faulty way they were nurtured. Thus, the cycle continues.
Kids are precious jewels. Education is essential to making these jewels shine. In a bid to bringing out the best in them, don’t end up destroying their lives and destinies all in the name of education.