The great poet Anta Diop once wrote “I want to sleep but the indolence of the younger generation won’t let me sleep”.
A large chunk of the nation’s resources has been pumped into education since independence. However, available facts, as revealed throughout this country by reports of judicial: and administrative commissions of inquiries show that much of what is ostensibly spent on education is not wholly used for education, but also diverted by business, political elites, agents of multinational corporations as commission’s fees, kickbacks, other earnings for those who control this very lucrative educational industry. Today many administrators of education and others connected with the industry have become wealthy through shoddy and dubious deals.
For instance, in the UPE scheme for which the sum of N636,03 million was allocated for the construction of 150,955 classrooms during the 1975-1980 Third National Development plan, only 63,000 classrooms were completed, yet an additional N126,000,000.00 was incurred at the end of the plan period. This is despite the very poor quality of work done. There are many problems bedeviling our educational system. Maybe, arising from its colonial heritage, the system is not particularly geared towards production. For instance, many graduates are released from institutions of higher learning, every year, we are faced with students who learn what is not particularly relevant to stage of development; the orientation is towards white collar jobs which has led to over-staffing in Government Ministries, and Parastatals. Consequent upon this, we now have mass unemployment, including graduate unemployment all over the country.
As a result of the poor and unproductive quality of education in Nigeria, many members of the privileged class have established strings of elitist private schools. They therefore, do not seem to care about the quality or otherwise of public schools even though these schools are under their control. Many have argued that it is a deliberate strategy by the ruling class, aimed at perpetually dominating the majority of the people of this country.
However, the decadent state of education today and with the release of 2015 May/ June WAEC results for the Senior Secondary paints a sad picture for the educational sector of the country. Added to this, is the sixty-one percent failure rate recorded in English and Mathematics by students. Another worrisome dimension to this scenario is the recent announcement that 1,805 law school graduates failed their final law examination.
On a balance sheet, both examinations are of different levels, but suffice to add, their out put in the long run is for the up liftment of Nigeria, and its peoples’. Our youths have deliberately refused to read, instead, they focus on gambling, social media, stealing, engaging in odd business to become rich overnight.
Some analysts have argued that globalization is a process of increased interconnectedness between societies, such that events in one part of the world more and more have effects on peoples and societies far away. Viewed from this perspective, youths are expected to benefit from the educational expertise from other nations of the world. But reverse is the case, our youth have abused the social media and by extension, they have showed total neglect of their studies, hence, the outcome of the West African Examination result should be viewed by all and sundry as a sorry state of our educational standard.
Therefore, all stakeholders’ should be blamed for this sorry state of our educational standard in many fora problems associated with the falling standard of education have been, over stressed but the Nigerian factor has kept on rearing its ugly head. For now, stakeholders’ should identify those factors militating against the low performance of students in WAEC. This has become very germane, to gain admission into the Nation’s university, a candidate is expected to obtain credit in five subjects including English and Mathematics. It is for this singular reason that the sixty-one percent failure in English and Mathematics becomes very worrisome.
•  Victor Ilumah, a Public Affairs Analyst is of the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria (RRIN), Iyanomo

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