It has become very necessary to write this letter to you at this auspicious time. The aim is to encourage you to be a parent indeed, showing the light to your children without compromising values and virtues that will keep intact the moral fabrics of our society.
All over the world, parents desire to see their children excel. In Nigeria in particular where family is seen as a strong institution, it is every parent’s dream to see the sustainability of their family tree through the progress of their children in every aspect of their endeavour.
It is this desire that has however, and unfortunately, pushed many parents to do things that are untoward and take decisions that are detrimental to the overall good of their children.
For instance, in a bid to protect the children and see them succeed, some parents now try to live the life for their children. This has led to a description of this era as “A feeding bottle generation.”
As schools are resuming now after six straight months of forced closure following the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic in March this year, parents are making a lot of calculations to help their children catch up and cover lost grounds.
Before the closure of schools, various institutions were at different stages of their programmes. Whereas some schools had rounded off second term, some others were at the verge of taking examination for second term, yet some others were just beginning the term.
Now, information gathered is that some parents are waxing desperate. They are currently mounting pressure on their children schools’ principals/proprietors to, not just promote them to a new class to cover lost grounds, but to give them double promotion; for instance, from Primary 2 to Primary 4- entirely skipping a whole class, even though such children have not completed Primary 2 in the real sense of the word. This is simply fatalistic and holds a dangerous future for Nigeria.
It must be pointed out, dear parents, that it is natural for you to show interest in the welfare of your children. Naturally, in Nigeria, parents bother about the success of their children, and they commit themselves to doing whatever is within their ability to ensure such children make it in life. But it is unnatural for parents to live the life of their children for them. The excessive involvement of parents in the lives of their children nowadays has given rise to “stunted” development of the children who even at 40 remain “Daddy boy”, “Mummy boy” and “lean on me” adult!
Nowadays, teachers give children homework with the intention that it is their parents that would do such assignments. That was the situation during the Covid-19 online lessons that schools were organising for pupils.
A teacher expressed shock recently, that a pupil that was always coming last in every class examination, came tops in all the online tests during the Covid-19. The secret could be that that child was not the person doing those tests.
It has been found out that these days; the pupils have no knowledge of the assignments and the so-called projects that teachers give. Parents, in order not to allow their children fail, would take it upon themselves to do such assignments. There is nothing wrong putting a child through, but there is everything wrong writing the exam for him/her.
Apart from the school assignments that parents do for their children, many parents also offer teachers bribes to help their children pass their class examinations. During external examinations, parents literally read for them and do all the running around. They do all the registrations online and complete the necessary formalities. It is also the parents that go to cyber café to print the numbers, centres and even the results. This is really a “lean on me” generation.
Some parents are known to have gone the extra mile, but criminal extent, of writing exams for their children. While some hire mercenaries to write exams for their children, some others compromise invigilators to smuggle answers into exam hall for their children. To gain admission into the university, some parents pay heavily in cash and in kind. In this era, when competition into the university is hot, some parents go to any extent, sometimes they boast about their willingness to do whatever it takes to make their son or daughter pass a particular exam or gain admission.
Dear parents, do not destroy that child by building his/her foundation on a quicksand that he/she will regret tomorrow when you will not be there. Truth is, you will not be around, indefinitely.