By Ray Morphy |
Education is the answer to all our problems as a country. From insecurity, to illiteracy, from high maternal mortality, to drug abuse, education is the answer.
Education is the panacea. Education is the gateway to upward social mobility. Yet, education has suffered prolonged policy disdain and fund deprivation in the annual budgets both at state and federal levels.
For example, in 2017, allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education was 448,443,102,614, representing 6.14 per cent of the total annual budget for 2017. That year, education came sixth position in the budget priority of the Nigerian government. This lags behind the international standard of 26 per cent as prescribed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
This low funding attention, is responsible for the steep fall in Nigerian education standards which can be said to have fallen below the international standard in recent times. This is at a time when it is recognized the world over that education remains the single most important factor of both economic and social transformation.
Political helmsmen don’t seem to appreciate the fact that education is of key essence to modern society and prosperity. Without knowledge, man is but a brute. One needs to learn about culture, history and other important aspects so that they would be able to contribute to modern society. Education molds people into leaders, but it also shows them how to lead with emotions and true values.
Educated people can differentiate between right and wrong, thus education helps reduce the crime rate. As society gets more complex, more competent hands are required to navigate the turbulent world politics and economics!
The importance of education in society can never be over estimated.
Education is the key to turn a weakness into a strength. It offers different tools and ways to understand problems and helps resolve them. More importantly, education provides us with considerable mental agility to make the right decisions and spring into action when needed. Many types of research show that educated women can more easily stand up against gender bias and marital violence as they have improved their decision-making capabilities.
Whether it is about respect, a higher position in society and a professional environment, financial security, family stability, education provides all of these and much more.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” as Nelson Mandela said. It helps people become better citizens, get a better-paid job, shows the difference between good and bad. Education shows us the importance of hard work and, at the same time, helps us grow and develop. Thus, we are able to shape a better society to live in by knowing and respecting rights, laws, and regulations. Learning languages through educational processes helps interact with different people in order to exchange ideas, knowledge, good practices. It teaches us to live in harmony.
The aforementioned benefits of education have eluded many of our children and young men and women who are being indoctrinated to become religious bigots, ethnic warlords and bandits that kills and maim fellow citizens under the guise that they have been neglected by the government. There is no justification for violence or taking on arms against the state.
You will also notice that the insecurity in the country today is more intense in the North East and North West where the education sector had been neglected by the governments of the region, while cultural and religious factors have hindered access to education. These two zones constitute the majority of Nigeria’s 13million out of school children.
If we sincerely want to solve our insecurity problems and other challenges we must began to prioritize education in our budget allocation. Educated youths are less likely to be hoodwinked by conflict entrepreneurs.
The educated tend to be more discerning, more objective, more opinionated and are very unlikely to be easily misled into crime. They tend to be constructively engaged so they are not idle enough to be recruited into banditry or terrorism.
The educated citizen is a contributor to society while the uneducated tends to be a burden on society.
Countries such as UAE, China, India are being powered by the benefit of their serious investment in science and technology. Countries that are backward tend to spend less on education than they should. Indeed such countries slip into a cycle of underdevelopment because of the poor education infrastructure.
Indeed, education is the answer to the challenges of this nation at this time. Particularly the challenges posed by idle and ignorant youth. When adequate funds, manpower and other resources are poured into education, insecurity will take a back seat.