I see GAPS! (Featured Artiste: Dach-Mo)

Picture from HERE
I feel privileged to have had the level and quality of education that has brought  me to this point. Having gone to school in both Nigeria and America, I have seen the way things work educationally in both countries. Of course, that does not mean I know it all (Does anyone know EVERYTHING except God?), but from my own limited experience, I see HUGE gaps (which are essentially problems) with the way the educational system operates in Nigeria. Now, at this point, I guess I need to insert a disclaimer, i.e. that I do not advocate identifying problems and doing nothing about it (that seems to be what a lot of people do). In fact, this reminds me of a song I heard once (please bear with me…I randomly “burst into song”…I think it’s a part of my thought process…*laughs*):

Everybody said that anybody could do 
The important things somebody should do 
Everybody knows that anybody could do 
All the good things that nobody did

Just in case you need this, the song is called “Everybody said (but nobody did)” by Acapella. As I was saying, I do not advocate pointing accusing fingers at people and just pin-pointing problems, without proposing solutions or better still, implementing sustainable solutions. But I have come to understand that the best place to start when you are trying to figure out solutions to any problem, is to first IDENTIFY the problem. I personally think that the problem with education in Nigeria is not just a simple or straightforward one. It is multi-faceted and can be summarized in this way:

1. Lack of well-trained and motivated teaching staff: I could write a whole paper on this one issue, because I really do believe this is at the core of the problem with Nigerian education. Yes, we have teachers, but a lot of them did not venture into teaching as a first-choice. Rather, they were forced into it because they didn’t have any other option and their frustration with their jobs is obvious and taken out on the students. But of course, you can make the same argument with just about any job/profession, but the teaching profession in particular seems to be plagued with this problem. And of course, you can further divide the teaching staff based on their age groups and actually discover that the older ones tend to be better trained and more motivated than the younger ones. More details to come later!

2. Lack of necessary infrastructure / No maintenance culture: It just hit me as I was writing this that the things I am pin-pointing as problems with the educational sector are actually also problems with life in Nigeria. Oh well, that’s the reality, I suppose! If you went to school in Nigeria, particularly public schools (that includes both federal and state schools, and by schools, I am referring to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions) you can certainly testify that the classrooms were probably over-crowded, lacked adequate facilities (made more obvious for science students who had to work in laboratories) and even where there were some facilities provided through generous donations, for example, they were not well-maintained. And of course, poor maintenance brings you back to square one eventually.

While these are not the only problems with education in Nigeria (I will include more in subsequent blog posts), these are some of the most obvious, to start with. Now, the reason why I said that the problem with education in Nigeria is not just a simple or straightforward one is this: Let’s imagine that by some miracle, every single school is provided with well-trained motivated teachers and necessary infrastructure, which is maintained regularly. Does that mean that education in Nigeria will suddenly become “world standard”? I don’t think so, and the reason is simple: the problems I identified (at least to me) are just external problems. They do not necessarily go to heart of the issue, which is that what we really need is educational reform, i.e. an educational system designed for the Nigerian child in mind, and not just copying the British or American system and forcing it on Nigerians.

 While I am not suggesting a complete overhaul of the system (Hey, I am a product of this same system and it has gotten me this far, so at the very least, it has some positive sides to it), the system needs to be reviewed and revamped. If we continue with the system the way it currently operates, we can expect more of the same results we have had over the past years to continue, i.e. poor SSCE and JAMB results, schools churning out “half-baked students” (more to come on this concept later), more people leaving the country to pursue a better quality of education (and never coming back, i.e. “brain-drain”), high crime rates (Oh yes, it is an off-shoot of a poor educational system because youths who should be in school or pursuing beneficial careers are busy taking “shortcuts” through 419 and armed robbery, to say the least), etc.

The reason why education is the issue I have chosen to address (among the myriad of problems Nigeria has) is that I still believe that it is the way forward for Nigeria. Getting an education cannot be detrimental to a person, but can only add value to that person’s life, while making that person a functioning member of society. Furthermore, you will probably notice that I am silent on private education and that is because in my opinion, public education is still the means through which most Nigerians can get an affordable education (and that is the part of the educational sector that needs more development and that can yield the most returns). Of course, when I speak about education generally on this blog, I am referring to formal education, but truly education never ends, i.e. you never stop learning in life. I also believe that a properly designed educational system will take care of the problem of unemployment which is so pervasive in Nigeria today, as students will not only be taught the rudiments and basics, but things like financial management and entrepreneurship should also be included in the curriculum. I can imagine people reading this and calling me a dreamer knowing what they know about Nigeria, but here’s my reply: Dreams can come true if you commit them to the Lord and take practical steps to translate them to reality. Or maybe I am just a “hopeful optimist” (as opposed to a hopeless romantic? Ah, me and my wry humor…God help us! LOL!)

Featured Artiste: Dach-Mo

I want to end this rather long blog post with an artiste I have been listening to for about a year (or more) now. His name is Dach-Mo. Please find more details on him below, including two of his songs that I have “over-listened” to (if that’s possible!)
Dach-Mo (Courtesy of ReverbNation)

Name: Dach-Mo
Real Name: Solomon Dachomo
City and State of Origin: Jos, Plateau State
Featured Songs: Love Song, I believe (featuring Mista Seth)
Here are the songs (thanks to ReverbNation):
Love Song:

I believe (featuring Mista Seth):

And here is a YouTube video for “I believe” by Dach-Mo, featuring Mista Seth, a talented artiste and producer (whom I will soon feature on this blog):

Did I mention that I love the smooth, R n B flavor of 'Love Song' (especially the fact that the chorus is written in Hausa) and the patriotic and heartfelt message behind 'I believe'? Well, I just mentioned it!

Thanks for reading (and listening).


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