I come into contact with many colleagues today who are dropping out and who are proud of it. Many of them display some kind of success, which is somehow described as something to do with their graduation from school. When they speak in a rally, they subtly brag about their decisions, letting their audience know they’ve never looked back. They like to talk about how easily they earn money that many civil servants cannot dream of earning. When one truly considers the epileptic nature of education in Nigeria, one cannot say that they are wrong or at fault.
For many of us who are still in school, education is gradually becoming a mere hustle and bustle. The problem is simply that such a display by the so-called dropouts, coupled with the ongoing punches of the University Academic Staff Union/Federal Government, makes young people frustrated, irritated and their plans disrupted. While many students are already tired and desperate to make (money) in life, any clue that makes education absurd will find easy passage in their faculties. What those of us still in school just don’t want to regret the decision not to join the dropout league.
A few days ago, on my faculty’s WhatsApp platform, a reliable source shared a conversation about the decisions of a dozen students who decided not to return to their studies after ASUU canceled the ongoing strike. The message was that many have already moved on and are living well thanks to the monetization of the digital skills they have learned. Some even got jobs in international organizations after taking online certification courses. For them, the ASUU strike is not a problem. And such is becoming the dream life of most students these days.
It is now becoming indisputable that education at the higher level in Nigeria is no longer really a big deal, especially among the student victims of this ASUU strike, most of whom are students in public institutions. In Nigeria, education lacks the attention it needs while senior Nigerian government officials are busy frolicking, striving for the acquisition of personal wealth and the realization of political ambitions.
A friend of mine, Oyin, who is in her final year at the University of Ilorin, told me that except that she is already in her final year, that assuming she is in her second year or thereabouts, she would have given up as well. Being someone who believed so much in education, she is frustrated and her hope fades due to the relentless disruption of her studies. According to a report on Vanguard, in 2020 Nigeria has spent 1,500 days on strike since 1999. What makes the situation worse is the lack of hope for a better life with guaranteed stable livelihoods after finishing those roller coasters. academic activities.
With the way Nigeria manages its own, education is losing ground. Students are no longer ready to study. Although the undeniable truth remains that nothing can replace a standard education (not the kind in Nigeria currently). Many skills acquired in most cases only bring financial freedom. Education is the only thing that can bring real transformation to human society. Most modern interventions and innovations are products of research and experimentation that originate in large academic institutions.
The situation of education in Nigeria becomes an occasion where those who have access to sound education are those who can afford private universities or study abroad. This is costing the country a great fortune as the talents of these students will mainly benefit overseas countries where education is not considered secondary as it is in Nigeria. According to a report in The Guardian, “Nigeria loses 1.5 trillion naira a year to study abroad”.
Apart from factors such as lack of funds and health issues, the constant disruption of education programs due to the strike leads to higher number of dropouts in the country. As far as these dropouts are making financial progress, the Nigerian government still fails to prioritize education and respond to the lamentations of undergraduate students, our dropout friends won’t stop using us to take a cruise .