Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and our people rediscover their identity and thereby increase their self-respect. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcom X
Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
I am sorry to say that I woke up in a very sombre mood this morning. This is because of something I witnessed yesterday. One of objectives of my visit to Lagos was to conduct some research for my new book (due for completion 7th December 2015). Part of this research was to visit a public school, but because I couldn’t make it to Lagos on Tuesday I couldn’t make the pre-arranged visit. So I took an opportunity to visit a random public school, I will not name the school for obvious reasons. My cousin Habeeb and I took an Okada to a local secondary school, the sight that awaited behind the high walls and iron gate was truly shocking. What I saw put my head into a spin, I could not believe that what I was looking at was a place of education. Ladies and gentleman, I can’t fully describe what I saw and experienced but I was totally numb throughout my 15 minute visit. I can’t even describe where students were taught as classrooms, they were four ramshackle, depilated brick building with a tin roof. As I am writing this post, tears are flowing through my eyes. I was emotionally drained through the visit and I became angry after we left.
I am firm believer in not washing one’s dirty laundry in public, but for all the accolades that Nigeria has been receiving about being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, popularity of Afro Beats and NollyWood etc etc….We must remember the forgotten generation, the kids who cannot afford private schooling, but still have hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow.
As I left exited the school gates, I heard laughter from the few school children who were in the playground…so I took solace in the fact that despite the conditions there were there to receive an education. I guess poor education is better than no education. But I cannot testify to the quality of what was being taught in the school which gives me some hope. The child who wants to learn will gain more from being taught under a mango tree than one who is forced into the most prestigious classroom in the world.
I know inequality is not exclusive to Nigeria, but what I saw yesterday was a wakeup call for me personally. Once I return to UK, I will put plans in motion to try to enact change and I will be calling on my fellow Nigerians in diaspora to give their support.
Till next time- KKB Out