By M.A Iliasu
Education in Nigeria is not yet indoctrinated because it’s neglected. After all, why dictate what you can deny in the first place? The discord between the intellectual class & the ruling class is a piece of good news that suggests freedom of thought, but not when you realize the latter is intentionally suffocating the former. It’s like the mother who grants an infant freedom despite knowing he’s naturally obligated to her milk; is that called freedom? Yes, but freedom to die a horrible death or to survive and become anything that could have gone wrong in a human being.
Basic Education has never been worse than it is. The universities are on an eight-month-old indefinite strike after coming out of the previous one which lasted for almost a year but isn’t acknowledged because it was overwhelmed by Covid-19. Every tangible and intangible force that’s holding education together is shaking. And such caused me to take a nostalgic look at the good old days with a tearful eye. Back in 2002 when we were first enrolled in Primary School when every pupil gets two sets of school uniforms annually with reading and writing materials every term. When they’ll bring food to our table during the two breakfast hours; firstly at 9 AM and secondly at 11 AM.
We all thought it was a norm that’ll persist forever until two years later everything changed when we were merely in primary three. We enquired why we no longer get school uniforms, reading, and writing materials, and food during breakfast, and the school administration said Rabi’u Kwankwaso is no longer the governor of Kano State. That was the first time I learned about government change at the end of its tenure; and what sad learning that was!
Looking at the reality of political establishment in Nigeria especially as the elections approach will expose any person that’s capable of thinking to one index, which is the length and depth at which education is bastardized. Do they even care? Yes, they do, but in a very bad way! The intellectual output of the emerging bracket of youth in Nigeria is a pity. And the only effort being put in is to further exacerbate it.
When we graduated from secondary school we all failed SSCE. And where we come from usually marks the end of one’s education. But with the little we gained, we were counseled by a group of scholars who got scholarships in Nigerian universities, thus feeling the urge to pay back to their society through mentoring. They told us that we should all apply for CAS Kano, because not only would they allow us to rewrite SSCE before we finish, but we’ll also enjoy the scholarship. Thanks to no one other than the famous Dr. Kwankwaso who won the elections once again. Whose government paid for their scholarships that brought us into contact in the first place? We quickly applied and the rest is history!
I read an interview co-edited by the Nobel Laureate in Economics Sciences Professor Paul Samuelson, and Professor Bannet, elsewhere, that the famous Nobel Laureate in Economics Sciences Professor Franco Modigliani wrote his Magnum Opus at the age of 25. And when Professor Robert Solow, the interviewer and Nobel Laureate himself, asked him how it happened, he said: I hadn’t studied very much in Italy of any use. There was no useful teaching of economics. What was taught there was something about the corporate state. (Thanks to the fascist alliance between Hitler and Mussolini). So all I picked up was at the New School of Social Research in New York with the guidance of Jacob Marschak (with which he wrote the paper).
Prof. Modigliani was pitying himself about how much he would have achieved if there was a functioning education in Italy, which compared to how efficiently he used the little he learned in America, he would have done something far greater at 25. As I’m writing this piece I wonder, would I have had the proficiency to have done so if Dr. Kwankwaso hadn’t served two tenures as the governor of Kano State? What would have happened had all the governments that succeeded his own followed in his footsteps?
Let this be a campaign or promotion or whatever, but as an educated person, someone who can think, who knows the value of education, who loves and knows the use of knowledge; you have got a moral obligation to vote for someone who stands as an outlier in the politics of education in Nigeria. The politician that upgraded the most populous human establishment in Nigeria from informal traders who are content with basic education and undergraduate degrees to an elite intellectual society with numerous postgraduate degree holders and Doctors of Philosophy, with which development occurred the swiftest climbing in the socioeconomic ladder in the history of Kano society. The only politician that satisfied the demands of both the gold-diggers who wish to climb and the patriotic who champions the society; in no way other than giving both the weapon of education.
Dr Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso is the personification of the only
instance in which individual interest equals collective interest, and perhaps the only time when self-interest is enlightened enough to equal collective interest. He is loved by the working-class comrades because he gives them the weapon to climb and sit at the discussion table through education. He is loved by the liberals because he gives them the intellectual satisfaction through education. He is loved by the conservatives because the class he represents is their class, and he brings new members to it without threatening the establishment or whatever informs their bias.
When voted, he’ll be the president for all and sundry!
Iliasu is an economist, essayist, blogger, public and socioeconomic affairs analyst. He can be reached via Muhada102@gmail.com