The recent mandatory extension by nearly a month for primary and secondary schools to resume in Nigeria to enable the voters registration process, has sparked some ire within the circles of those who are advocates of better education in the country. But somehow such angst has not necessarily translated into an active debate on how the government remains very insensitive to some issues that impinge on a sense of good governance. I am very passionate about education and it seems to be the one issue I am daily engaged in as I read and research. When we were celebrating our 50th anniversary, I took out time to highlight the need to elevate the discussion on education to a national level, compared to debates on whether to hike the price of fuel or not. I am convinced that until it becomes that important, and people see it as a do or die matter, we will be playing into the hands of incompetence that which can likely determine our relevance in a competitive world in a few years to come.
But despite the glaring need to reform this sector, and the seeming interest of the present administration to tackle the demons therein, we are seeing nothing but contradictions already from our leaders. I cannot understand why voters registration”must” be done within the vicinity of a public school. Aren’t there countless other venue to use in doing this? What’s wrong with other public spaces and arenas? Can’t even the innumerable churches lend their outer space for this purpose if the inner sanctum must not be desecrated by secular activities? Even though schools might seem to be the most appropriate place to do this, can’t our leaders for once see that some things are far too important and should not be compromised on? Even if for nothing, there is a symbolism attached to holding sacred the education of our children. Yet we felt it okay to go ahead and bite of weeks from the schedule of these kids and think they can effectively compete with their peers around the world.