By Dorcas Musa
The importance of education cannot be over-emphasised. It plays a key role in the development or otherwise of any society. It is said that an educated person is a sound mind. One cannot make informed decisions or advance the cause of development or growth of his world without education. That is why individuals and nations are often counseled to embrace education for their own good and that of course is why forward looking persons, organisations and nations budget so much for education yearly.
Being educated means being properly informed and an educated person thinks logically and contributes intelligently to societal problems. Education is the right of every child according to Article 13 of the 1966 United Nations international convention which recognises the right of everyone to education. In 1948, the right to education was affirmed in article 26 of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights, which further underlined that education is not only a human right but also a pre-requisite for the development of the society.
This means every citizen of the country is entitled to education, hence the establishment of government schools all over the federation and free education in some parts of the country. The system of education in Nigeria is the 6-3-3-4, that is, six years of primary education, three years of junior secondary education, three years of senior secondary education and four years of tertiary education. The completion of sixteen years of academic learning qualifies a person for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.
Education positions people to effectively assume their responsibilities in the society, tolerate one another, resolve conflicts and provide lasting solutions to problems facing the society. For avoidance of doubt, the level of development of a society and peaceful co-existence of its members depends to a large extent on the level of education of the people.
This is why the large army of out of school children in the country is unfortunate and the trend needs to be urgently reversed. Seeing many of these school age children hawking on the streets, begging by the roadside or sitting at home when they are supposed to be in school learning with their peers is disheartening. These children are exposed to different dangers and abuses with the girls mostly vulnerable to cases of abuse like rape, kidnap and so on. The child who finds himself or herself in such a condition grows up with feelings of inferiority. Education confers on people a lot of advantages and respect which uneducated people hardly benefit from.
It is an established fact that a person who has necessary education and formal training is more useful to the society than an illiterate. It is often the uneducated members of the society that become a burden to their families and the society. It is also the uneducated people, particularly the uneducated youth that become willing tools in the hands of criminal elements and terrorists.
Education is like a backbone of the society without which it cannot stand strong, grow well and function properly. That is why it should be promoted and embraced by all for societal good.
– Dorcas Musa is of the Department of Mass Communication, University