By Emmanuel Onoja
Education liberates the mind. It illuminates the mind. Whoever is not literate is to thought to be in the dark. The beauty of education is that, it is not a one-off event. This is why they say ‘learning never ends’. The reason learning never ends I guess is because every day poises new challenge or problem. So, we need to keep learning how to face the new challenges head-on in a new or better way. Education is seen as the driver of innovation and the school is the major dispenser of this knowledge or education.
From computer to automobile, aircraft to drone, handset to vaccine productions, just to mention a few. These are products of education. With this, it is sufficed to say the more educated a society is, the more advanced it becomes. America is what it is today, majorly because their schools are serving them well.
Sadly, the reverse is the case in Nigeria. Yes, I agree that government is not doing much to improve the quality of education. But with the little they have done, what have we been able to achieve with it? This is the main crux of this piece. Schools are supposed to be the drivers of innovation but the case has always been different in our clime.
For instance, majority of the universities and polytechnics in Nigeria have computer science (departments) faculties but I am still in wonder on what they do there. In this 21st century, I don’t understand why a university would put out a job advertisement and request for hundreds of hardcopies to be submitted when it can easily tap into the wealth of its computer science or engineering department to automate it by building software that can take care of that or just send mails. Do you even know that some of these schools even have software department or courses? This is preposterous.
A close friend recently swore that he would never send his application to any university again that requests for many hardcopies of application letter, resume and other documents such as certificates or results. He lamented the cost of printing, photocopying and courier service. To make the matter worse, they hardly acknowledge the applications, let alone contact the applicants.
One would think that with the way the world is always screaming global warming at the top of its voice, our schools will be the vanguard of advancement but we choose to take the back seat of innovation. Issuing transcripts is another tug of war. In some schools, it takes the students forever to get it which is costing many of them scholarship opportunities overseas. It is high time our schools started serving us.
*Onoja is on the staff of Southwestern University, Nigeria.