ASUU Strike: Health workers
ASUU strike

By FRANCIS OGBIMI

IN view of the expanded primary, secondary and tertiary educational systems, thousands of teachers/lecturers/professors in Nigeria, ignorance is the cause of strikes in educational systems. Nigeria is a moping and drifting nation without direction.

So, she does not know what the growth and development of a nation entails. In the circumstance Nigeria does not know the role of education in national growth and development. Why would there not be strikes in her educational systems?

The great nations in Western Europe are about 2000 years old. China, India, Korea and Japan are over 2000 years old. The citizens of these nations suffered for thousands of years when the nations were ruled by kings and land was the only resource valued and all the citizens were tied to the soil.

Many of the learned Nigerians today have no sense of history so they do not know that European and Asian nations are 2000-3000 years old.The Nigerian educational systemsdo notsee history as an important area of knowledge. The result is that Nigeria is also a nation without a sense of history repeating the errors Asian and European nations made in the past.

Asian and European kings did not think that their nations needed education.The kings reasoned that education may spoil the people and make them to say and ask questions that would annoy and embarrass them. There were no public educational systems in Asia and Europe for thousands of years.

Consequently, the nations did not have the knowledge to prompt rapid growth and development. Nigeria is dying because of lack of the knowledgeof the development process.The “as-given education” which Nigerian governments have tolerated for decades could not provide the knowledge to guide the development of the nation.

Nigeria has been moping and drifting for over six decades because there is no good development guide to direct the development of the nation. Our curiosity-driven research showed that all the rich nations in the world today had low-productivity agricultural/artisan economies for many centuries. They became rich after they acquired large quantities of scientific knowledge, skills, competences, KSCs, and achieved the modern industrialisation. That is, industrialisation is the solution to unemployment, poverty and insecurity.

Industrialisation is achieved through learning (education, training, employment and research). It is for ignorance that Nigeria has been erecting structures (roads and bridges, power plants, dams, cities, etc.), under the pretext of pursuing growth and development in line with the claim of Western intelligentsia/intellectuals.

Western intellectuals claim that capital investment is the primary basis of promoting sustainable economic growth and industrialisation, SEGI, for lack of a sense of history and lack of understanding of the science that underlies the industrialisation process. It is therefore for ignorance that Nigeria has been neglecting education and other aspects of learning and erecting structure with inflated contracts and owing huge debts, stagnating and being the poverty capital of the world.

 Nigeria has“as-given” education and governments have only been tolerating it. Yes! The African educational system is a colonial heritage. It has been implemented as Britain gave it to African nations including Nigeria. So the Nigerian education is still being implemented “as given”.

There has been nothing in substance added or subtracted from the educational systems Britain gave to Nigeria. Unfortunately, the Nigerian educational system is dominated by Western social sciences (economics, sociology, psychology, political science, etc.) and related areas of knowledge like accounting, banking and finance, law, administration, etc.

Western social sciences do not understand how a nation develops and the special role of education in the process. The process of transforming an economy from the agricultural status into an industrialised one is scientific. Western social science is not science like the physical and biological sciences and cannot be the intellectual premise for managing industrialization – a scientific process. 

No one solves the problem s/he does not understand. Western social sciences existed for over a century before the Western industrial revolution (IR) which began in England in the period 1770-1850. Western social sciences did not pre-empt the IR and they have not explained what led to it. The IR in the West was a consequence of the evolutionary development of the artisan-industry.

If Western social sciences did not promote industrialisation in the West, how could they promote industrialisation in Africa? Consequent to the lack of understanding of the development process and lack of understanding of the specific role of education in promoting rapid development, those who work in the as-given educational sector including all categories of teachers are unable to marshal intelligent arguments to motivate society and government to provide the necessary inputs that the Nigerian educational systems need to promote rapid development.

This is the basis of the frequent strikes in the Nigerian educational systems over the years. If the teachers in tertiary educational systems were scientists they would long have realized that education, alone, coexists with mass unemployment and poverty. They would long have stopped frequent strikes over education, education, education, and focused on learning. That would readily have attracted support because it would promote obvious growth and development. 

 The Nigerian university educational system has always been tolerated by Nigerian governments since the administration of General Yakubu Gowon in the early 1970s. Nigerian governments think they do not need it but the people like it. It is a dilemma for the government. Nigerian governments are forced to tolerate the educational systems. The nation had to be drifting, walking head-down and doing disjointed things pretending to be planning for national growth and development.

What must be done to make education promote rapid development in Nigeria?Western education merely indoctrinates; it does not educate. Western social sciences are indoctrination packages which make Africans think and do things the way they ought not to do . Western social sciences should be offered at the postgraduate level alone in Nigeria. Nigeria needs educational systems that will produce people who can think, nation-builders.

The 89pp + v booklet: The crisis in the Social Sciences – The Nigerian Situation, is a reprint of the Inaugural Lecture presented in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, on October 6, 1976 by IKenna Nzimiro, a Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Nzimiro in the lecture observed that the development of social theories emerges as thinkers ruminate upon the social problems of their times.

Each stage in the development of civilization, therefore, has its intellectual doyens, irrespective of the way they conceptualized man’s existence in society. When any social theory cannot give man insight into the workings of his society, and cannot therefore guide his actions, then that theory is in crisis. It is in the crisis of irrelevance. Western social sciences have crisis of irrelevance in Africa, including Nigeria.

In such a situation, a re-examination of the existing theory and the substitution of old ideas with new ones become imperative. Otherwise, human society will decay mentally, and culturally. This has been the experience of all civilizations. The crisis of ideas occurs from time to time and from generation to generation.

I am being mocked by my arrogant colleagues here everyday except King Robert Ebizimor, High Chief Ekpemupolo Thomas Osen,  Hon.Teiyeibo Agbeotu and Chief Coach Suoye Lokoja who daily comfort me with great words of encouragement.

Memorably, I must mention here that Chief Coach Suoye Lokoja who has just arrived is most memorably comforting to me in many ways because it was he who energised and persuaded King Ebizimor, Hon.Agbeotu and High Chief Thomas Osen and convinced me to walk on the epistolary path instead of embracing the suicidal path bound to put to an end to all the possible avenues of communicating with you from the Dueama prison where sureties and bailbonds are perpetually embargoed by His  Royal Majesty, Dueama Pere 1.

‘For the purpose of unsolicited emphasis I feel compelled to journey again and again to the already familiar creek that thoughts of committing suicide have already begun to invade me.The moment I commit suicide here I would be totally cut off from you. It was the moment  thoughts of committing suicide invaded me repeatedly that King Ebizimor, High Chief Osen, Hon.Agbeotu and Chief Coach  Lokoja came to comfort me and pleaded with me to embrace epistolary communication.

Let my long awaited final burial rites be therefore performed this 2022 my son because I can no longer tolerate the taunts, innuendoes and jeers of my arrogant colleagues here. And hopefully, this will be the first and last letter from your mother now away from you like the two conjoined plantains of King Alfred Izonebi’s creation cut and  separated from each other’.

This is obviously no more than peer envy at work as Lawal does not provide any evidence to support his attack on Shettima. In what way, for instance, is Shettima over ambitious? Is he not eminently qualified to run, even for  president? Is he not more qualified and temperamentally suited for the position than a volatile and unstable fellow who can’t subordinate his emotions to logic and reason?

Eminent Christians leaders such as Archbishop Ignacious Kaigama, Bishop Oliver Dashe, Archbishop of Maiduguri Diocese of the Catholic Church and Borno State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Nagga Williams Mohammed, have at various times given glorious public testimonies to Shettima’s fairness to all religious faiths, inclusive administration, open-mindedness and liberal disposition during his tenure as Borno State governor between 2011 and 2019.“

“Yet, this is the leader that Babachir Lawal seeks to denigrate and malign through an attempt to taint his integrity. This campaign of calumny is dead on arrival. But what really is Lawal’s grouse and what secret agenda is he pursuing? It is not impossible that he himself was hoping to be chosen as the running mate to Tinubu. And now that that has not been the case, he wants to pull the house down on everybody. But this is a voyage doomed to disaster. In the first place, what is Lawal’s electoral value?

How many elections has he contested and won? He who seeks to cast aspersions on the image of another has perhaps forgotten the multi -million Naira grass cutting scandal that cost him his job in the federal Cabinet; the case is pending with EFCC. Again, his quick recourse to temperamental tantrums in the public space without reflecting deeply on issues and events as they unfold make him  emotionally unfit for public office at the highest levels.“   “* AYODELE OLU PETERS IS A PUBLIC AFFAIRS ANALYST BASED IN LAGOS.

*Ogbimi, a public affairs analyst wrote via: [email protected])

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