• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Quality education can transform society

Tinubu’s 100 Days: Nigerian families squeezed by surging school fees

The Nigerian educational sector, with particular reference to government funded schools, has suffered immensely in the last few decades and even more so in the last few years, as decreasing financial resources have been invested in it. Reduction in investment has led to a multitude of problems i.e decaying and grossly inadequate infrastructure, irregular retraining of teachers leading to failing academic output, obsolete facilities, late payment of already poor salaries and a general feeling of frustration and low morale throughout the sector.

The World Bank defines the role of education thus: “Quality education, beginning with primary education, is fundamental to endow individuals with the capacity to successfully pursue their private goals, while at the same time equipping them with knowledge and skills as well as values and attitudes, necessary to contribute effectively to their societies.”

It goes without saying that no country can enjoy appreciable technical, social or economic development without first empowering it’s citizens with quality education. Education is the enabler which makes the impossible possible. Quality education entails the balanced impartation of academic excellence and good moral training, with the aim of producing the ideal citizen.

Quality education is the panacea to transforming our continent, Africa, as only through education can our people be equipped with the intellectual capacity and the technical know-how to generate economic growth, integral to national prosperity. Only through it too can the right moral values be established in society; ensuring people utilize their skills and talent for the good of all.

Just as good education can take an individual from grass to grace so can it take a nation from backwardness to prosperity

Education is crucial to man because it sets the course of our lives. Many Africans who find themselves not living the sort of life they desire find themselves in that pitiable situation due to a lack of education or a lack in their education, which makes quality education a must.

People often say, “it is where there is life that there’s hope” but it’s actually the other way round. It is where there’s hope that there’s life because where there’s no hope of a better future, people quickly lose the desire for life. And what gives one hope of a brighter future? Good education; as education is a leveller which bridges the gap between those born into wealth and those of humble beginnings.

Just as good education can take an individual from grass to grace so can it take a nation from backwardness to prosperity. Classic examples can be seen in the transformation of Singapore from a poor fishing community into one of the wealthiest, most innovative and most competitive nations in the world within a span of 35 years. Closer to home is the African example of Rwanda.

Through increased spending and focus on education since they emerged from the most horrific genocidal civil war, Rwanda has within 23 years become a role model to the rest of Africa in terms of development. Rwanda proudly boasts of being the first country in the world to deploy the use of drones to deliver medical supplies to health centres; especially those in remote areas.

It is not a coincidence that as Nigeria became a record holder in having the highest number of out of school children in the world it also became the poverty capital of the world, with 133 million people said to suffer multidimensional poverty. Rwanda has adequately demonstrated how quality education can transform an African country. It can do the same here.

The World Happiness Report of 2019 ranked 156 countries and that tiny Scandinavian nation, Finland, took the top spot for the second consecutive year. Several factors were used, including generosity, life expectancy and freedom. The Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index has also, for many years, ranked Finland amongst the most peaceful countries on earth, in addition to it having one of the highest quality of life. Lucky aren’t they?

Read also: How bullying distorts children’s social, educational developmental goals

Well, if you agreed with that, you would be wrong. Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. They’re simply enjoying the fruits of very intentional, well thought out policies, implemented with scientific precision. It may interest you to know that they didn’t need to establish a Ministry of Happiness or any other such gimmick to achieve this. A hundred Ministries of Happiness can never in a million years bring even the faintest of smiles to the face of a hungry man.

The bedrock of any society is its educational system because that’s what will determine what sort of society their citizens will produce. Its capacity or lack of it, to nurture intellectual acumen and leadership traits, will determine the quality of policies future leaders will churn out and this makes it a most critical foundation. Lee Kuan Yew, the iconic founder of modern Singapore once pointed out how the quality of policies improved when he appointed better educated government Ministers.

Quality education is key. The pivotal role it plays in determining the caliber and moral standing of both the future leaders and the general populace, from which the leaders will emerge, makes a fundamental pillar of any society that desires to prosper.

Changing the nation…one mind at a time