As Nigerians, our parents and grandparents told us tales of the good old days, when the dollar and naira were at par, when N 5 could feed an entire family, when education was free and when the public-school system was of international repute. The era when agriculture was flourishing and life in Nigeria was peaceful and progressing. However, as years passed the Nation has experienced a constant decline in the quality of life.
In the words of Dele Farotimi
“Today parents spend 65% of their income educating children but my father did not spend 5% of his income educating my sibling’s and me. Even security men in Nigeria struggle to send their children to private schools because the public-school system is of no repute.”
According to Cseaafrica since the year 2004 there has been a steady increase in the number of students dropping out of both public and private schools, primarily due to the financial impact on the family.
In the good old days there was an increase in enrollment to schools, but today there is a decline. This shows that life as our parents knew it has changed, quite drastically. Our parents grew up in a system that worked, they boasted of being employed right out of NYSC, having access to accommodation and even a car as job benefits. This means our parents had plans to see us flourish like they did.
However, somewhere along the line, everything changed right before their eyes, they wake up every day wondering where it all went wrong. They live in a world where their children do not get half of what they enjoyed and no matter how hard they work it just will never be the same. It’s as if they woke up in an alternate reality and are stuck there. A shift of this magnitude can leave any human being troubled.
When all these changes are taken into consideration, we become aware of the impact this reality has had on parents mentally, physically and socially. Food for thought…
Celine Aju is a recent law graduate from Babcock University, with five years of experience in the non-profit sector. She is the co-founder of the Book Bank Africa, an initiative that provides educational materials for students and promotes literacy, she has served as a content writer for Illino Cultural Association and collaborated with Yadah`s Box in the Launch of the Ajegunle Pad Bank – a subsidiary of Dreams From the Slum Initiative. Her passion for education reform spurs her to explore the impact of technology on learning and teaching methodology.