Reforms & Policies

A Presidential Media Chat and the Concern of a Young Man

Written by Elvis Boniface

Disclaimer: I’m not one of those people that sit in front of the computer’s keyboard to criticize the government or those at the helm of affair. I rather prefer to be part of the solution and am creating my 8th wonder. My concern is in education; I am a student, teacher and do business in the sector.

It had been a hectic previous week for this young man, having volunteered for the Social Media Week, Lagos. Seven sleepless days and nights. He woke up in a Monday morning with agbo(a local medicine that boost energy). He proceed to see his business clients to gather money for his school fees, from there he went to obtain a form from Nigeria Institute of Journalism, NIJ for a photojournalism certificate. From whence he went to repair his phone in computer village, delayed by the ‘boys’ of the market because he acted too smart to be outsmarted by them. On his way back home, he was trapped in the traffic jam for more than two hours. Ikeja traffic like every other part of Lagos is chafing but not for this long usually. This Monday, the Lagos Commandant, Mr. Adesuyi Clement of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC was driving by.

President Jonathan

President Jonathan

Two pick-ups in from of his official car…two at the back, the occupants were doing the normal military-civilian (there are actually Para-military oh) harassing. Stop there. Don’t move, they were shouting. This is a man that his predecessor does not know their website. Google Oga at the Top! Who knows if he knows, probably he would have taken tutorials. I leave the job to channels, when his time comes, there know what to ask him. In other climes, this man would be hiding from the public because of the shame caused by Mr. Obafaiye Shem. The foolishness demonstrated was not a personal ignominy; it was and still remains organizational.

After all this, the young man got home few minutes to 7:00pm (Nigeria time). Hungry, tired, stressed, and in darkness (obviously electricity will be stable when Christ comes again). Without rushing for food or water, he wanted to listen to his president, the president of the Federal Republic. Don’t ask him how he did this without electricity. China effect came to the rescue. One phone carrying television, radio, Bluetooth, mouse, and you know the remaining specifications. He was glued to his phone. This is patriotism from my point of view!

Dearest president, I don’t know if it is your fault or the journalists that fail to ask you our most pressing problems. Your friends in APC said the chat was pre-recorded. Others said it was the best night for the selected journalists to sit by the number one citizen, there dare not ask any unnecessary questions. This achievement has already reflected on their curriculum vitae and their complimentary cards.

Your Excellency, we stayed at home for more than five months. All your education minister could do was to threaten lecturer’s sack. Sir, is Wike the best man for that job? Forget the senate, considering the vitality of the sector, get a better hand. Do you remember Nigerian banks have better their services to a level that customers are speedily alerted of any credit and debit transactions in their accounts. But the FG paid N200million to ASUU account, and there never got alert, It took a Doyin Okupe to announced the alert, and the cow almost past through the eye of the needle for him to show Nigerians the teller. Recently the ASUU chairman, Dr. Nasir Fagge cried out the FG is not meeting the agreement reached. I like to humbly remind you the strike was suspended and not call-off. What is the fate of our future as the leaders of tomorrow? When are we going to graduate? I have a good business plan with angel investors begging to finance my business, but there are not ready to give this money to a student. Would your government allow me to graduate?

How about my younger siblings and my elder brother two kids, will there not be killed while trying to acquire knowledge in school one day? And you’ll just condemn it. If you can withdraw security personnel from Bornu state Governor’s office, and deploy them to the country’s primary and secondary schools. Okay Sir…please just reduce them for the poor school child.

Your Excellency, do you know our Colleges of Education and polytechnics are still closed, due to strike. Yet your JAMB registrar is doing his work perfectly by selling forms, while those admitted in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME have not sat in class for one day. The students that attended secondary schools without computer laboratories and computer teachers are preparing to write the UTME via the computer. What an innovative registrar!

In 2010, you once said, the employability of Nigeria’s graduate is hampered by the poor acquisition of relevant skills, in some cases the total lack of it. Your mission was to address this when voted in 2011. This is 2014. My dear president, the situation is getting worst, and then we use to have full theories without practical knowledge, now the theories are half or lesser. Before the strike, some lecturers had not even introduced their courses. After the strike; it was examination time-table. I wrote examination in three courses that I didn’t attend classes-the classes were never held. The lecturers told us there would be genial in their making. There said it was not their fault. Strike, it was. I have written the examination. Oh, am in a new and higher level. Just like that!  What is the fate of our manpower in the future if this routine continues?

Universities are abandoned for those that cannot make a living in other ‘juicy’ sectors, not scholars any longer. The reason is not farfetched; you the managers at the ‘top’ take them for granted. If we keep on losing the Festus Iyayis in our Ivory towers, who are the people to impact knowledge to Nigerian students without greasing their hands.

Your Excellency, six students’ bed space in my University is occupied by a minimum of twenty one students. And is usually a great privilege to even find this opportunity. A listening and helping father that you are; your wife, our first lady, Dr. Patience Jonathan was in my university on 21st February to laid the foundation for a 15-story building hostel. This is laudable Sir. Thank you Sir. This project is to be completed in two years’ time. Lucky me! If UTME does not ‘jamb’ my kid sister; she is supposed to be in the university in three years’ time. The family’s choice still remains University of Lagos. But Sir, am aquiver, because some of the projects you are awarding now were awarded in 2002, when I first enrolled in JSS1. I rebuke a repeat of this malady on this anticipated hostel. I must attend the commissioning, even though securities will not allow me to come close. I’ll stand very far!

The purpose of the presidential media is to initiate dialogue. The most recent is focused on the centenary, even though Sanusi Lamido Sanusi suspension took forty percent of the time. We need an education-centric presidential media chat. Quality education is that singular constituent we need like every other developed nation to harness our abundant resources, and hone our manpower.

 

About the author

Elvis Boniface

Ordained Evangelist of the Education Ministry. Learning is my lifestyle, credo and religion. On a mission to disrupt and redirect Africa's Education conversation using Technology and Media. We can do it. Open to discuss any Education initiative and idea. #peace

Speedy reach: +2348185787349 & elvis@edugist.org

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