Monday, December 15, 2008

Under education and non education trap

heard a view point about the problems of Nigeria and how long it will take to address them from a lady with a unique perspective.
Born in Nigeria, the lady was sent to the UK by her parents at an early age where she was educated. She only returned to Nigeria after working for years in the UK and is now employed in the administration department of a private school in Lagos.

Recalling her experiences since she relocated to Nigeria, she has found it difficult to reconcile the quality of life in the UK and Nigeria. Describing her experiences in Lagos as harrowing but challenging, the grueling nature of life in Lagos has pushed her to the brink.

And when compared to the ordered existence of life in the UK she wonders at times why she came back to Nigeria. But then again Lagos is home and she would rather be here than in the UK where she sometimes felt like an outsider looking in. She did opine though that it would take Nigeria more than 50 years to get things right and for a semblance of order to be injected into the status quo. Taken aback I asked what could have informed such a position considering I am one who wants urgent solutions to our numerous problems.

Her response set me thinking and could be paraphrased as follows: Consider the millions of children in Nigeria today who are not being educated or are being undereducated. Also consider the millions more who are being raised in poverty in the midst of ostentatious display of wealth by a few in the society. 20 to 30 years from now they will have come of age and will constitute the majority in an environment where the few educated ones must interact with them. Until such a time when minimum standards are put in place and there is a leveling of sorts between the rich and the poor then Nigeria will continue to struggle.

Educated youths would have thought twice before engaging in maiming, killings and destruction of propertied like what we witnessed in Jos, Plateau state last week. The principle is that whatever one sow that is what will be reaped and this is why I left that lady's office in a somber mood.
Man is not born to solve the problems of the universe, but to find out what he has to do Johann Wolfgang von Goethe