The Dunamis Drama: A Mirror Of Our Education System. BY RICHARD ODU

by admin

A recent incident at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre where a lady gave a testimony of how she, tortuously but successfully, graduated in law has exposed the abysmal level to which education standards have fallen in the country.

In the video that went viral, recently, the lady, although in high spirits, displayed ignorance of the certificate she was holding, saying it was a BSc in law instead of the LLB certificate that is usually issued to law graduates.

Again, from her diction one could notice that she did not have a mastery of the English language in a way that is adequate for a law graduate.

On the spur of the moment, Pastor Paul Enenche, the senior pastor of the church, cut the testimony short and labelled it a lie. A check later had revealed that the lady, Veronica Nnenna Anyim, was actually a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).

Days after, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) came out with this year’s results showing 70 percent failure.

The generality of Nigerians, including the lady in the Dunamis drama, deserve accolades for the zeal they have continued to display in the pursuit of knowledge, as well as in attaining reasonable heights in education. One could feel the excitement in her when she gave the testimony that she was the first graduate in her immediate family, showing that, to her and to the entire family, it was a profound achievement.

What is worrisome is that this mass production of graduates in the country has not actually yielded the desired results for national development, giving rise to the feeling that our schools are only busy churning out certificated graduates instead of knowledgeable ones. Someone, in the past, had declared Nigerian graduates as unemployable especially when compared to graduates in other countries in the same class as Nigeria.

However, these determined Nigerians who come out of the universities as half-baked graduates are not to blame. It is the system we run that takes all the blame, because the environment being created for the budding Nigerians to realize their lifetime ambitions is not adequate.

Quite frankly, Nigeria’s education policy has been topsy-turvy since the federal government took over private and mission schools immediately after the civil war in 1970. That policy, instituted by the military administration at that time, is most likely the genesis of the plunge in standards of education in our country.

Morals began to dwindle and a much-desired discipline among the teachers and students evaporated. The pervading unseriousness led to cheating in examination halls. It was then that the word, “expo”, crept into the nation’s lexicon, referring to rampant leakage of question papers, copying during exams and other malpractices.
Of utmost concern is the way our primary schools are run. Being the foundation of education, the nation is expected to give that level of schooling its best in terms of staff and facilities. The popular mantra which we learned from the Holy Bible is that we should teach a child the right way to go and when he grows up, he would not depart from it.
Ordinarily, the management of this level of education appears to us as robust and encouraging when we consider the enormous amount of money pushed into the free Universal Primary Education scheme of the Federal Government.

In addition to the huge number of contracts given out by the Federal Government for the building of various infrastructures, the government is also known to have expended stupendous funds on the school feeding programme in the past eight years.

Our excitement, however, decreases with the realization that much of the money pumped into these schemes ostensibly ends up in the pockets of the unscrupulous politicians and public servants who are supposed to execute the visions of government.

This is evident in the degree of dilapidation in many of the primary schools across the states where the pupils are taught under leaking roofs as they sit on the floor to write notes for lack of chairs and desks.
The school feeding programme appears to be a flop as the ministry in charge has faced a series of questions regarding its scope of coverage, how it is run and to what extent it has helped the pupils and their parents. Poorly remunerated teachers take to trading, leaving pupils to roam the school compounds and later go home learning nothing.

Perhaps, the sordid state of these schools has its roots in the fact that they are statutorily tuition free. Money is no longer generated from within the school for direct use in maintenance of infrastructure and provision of teaching and learning aids, as well as other immediate needs. The human psyche, we all know, has the tendency to treat with levity anything that is free of charge.
Upon that premise, it might be plausible to suggest that tuition fees should be reintroduced in the primary schools and junior secondary for that level to be properly funded. To improve upon our standard of education, we must properly lay out the bedrock to prepare children for a step-by-step building of blocks of knowledge to help them in future.

In the light of what is happening now, we cannot but cringe at the thought of how the future would turn out to be. What will be the makeup of our courts with the likes of Vera at the bar or the bench? What about the hospitals staffed with half-baked doctors and nurses, or engineers that would build us substandard roads and houses? May be, the worst hit, if the trend continues, would be the education sector when teachers go into the classrooms to teach nonsense, thereby multiplying the country’s woes by producing future teachers of nonsense.

Dr. Odu can be reached through

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