Education is the bedrock of modern civilization. Qualitative education is the antidote for peaceful coexistence in modern and progressive society.
An educated population finds leverage for harmonious and cooperative living. Education is important because it creates a mentality towards discerning right and wrong. Investment in education is paramount to human capital and other forms of development that guarantees quality standard of living.
Educating the population requires huge financial capacity and commitment. Why some societies more peaceful and developed than others relatively lies on the literacy of the population. That’s the glaring difference between developed and less developed countries classified as first and third world countries.
Driving home to the classical case of our country Nigeria, how much efforts have the leadership in both Federal and state been making to educate the it’s citizens to maximize their potentials and garner developmental growth to remain competitive.
The glaring answer is that not enough has been done by the leadership, both federal and state and other major stakeholders to prioritize education. Much of the jobs are shifted to families and some or most families lack capacity, resulting in a huge number having half baked individuals or no education. The cultural aspect or factor is also a hindrance towards achieving an educated society.
Some cultures prevent women and girls and certain low class in the society from acquiring meaningful education. They maintain the status quo for easy control and manipulation. These situations are more prevalent in the northern states than in southern states of Nigeria.
That explains the low turnout of educated citizens in the north than in the south. Statistics show the conversion rate of pupils from primary to junior secondary school is very low in the north compared to the south. It’s very marginal. These increased number of dropouts is quite disturbing.They are easy prey for manipulation and being used for violence. The idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
The various governments are not investing enough to educate the citizens. The 6 percent national average investment money from the national annual budget is very marginal and can’t do much. It falls far to short of the United Nations 20 percent of the annual budget.
These neglect and it’s resultant consequences are not good to our developmental goals.
The Boko Haram, bandits, militants, almajiri, IPOB etc are the products of neglect and low investment in education.
The prevalent insecurity nationwide is endemic. The leadership seems clueless to proffering lasting solution. They created the monster by their negligence. They need to go back to the drawing board and remove all the bottlenecks and prioritize education for the much needed developmental growth and peaceful coexistence.
Stakeholders and activists should do more to awaken the consciousness of all concerned. Education is key.
Patriot Patrick Osagie Eholor, a human rights defender, writes from Benin City Nigeria.