“Nigeria is chasing away its best resources” Obinze’s mother said, resignedly” in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel “Americanah” (page 100). As I pondered on this very line in the light of the context in which it was used, I recall my childhood friend, way back in my Junior Secondary School days at Milly International Academy, Rivers State who called to inform me that he was going to start afresh at a university in Ukraine. A genius who was already in his 2nd year in Uniport…. guess his reason must have been “Even if I have to start from the beginning, at least, I know when I will graduate”. I am certain he isn’t the only Nigerian student who is tired of incessant strike actions by ASUU and the Federal Governments knack for betrayal of trust and disregard for agreements.
Personally, I surf the internet tirelessly in search of scholarship opportunities and essay writing contests that would potentially take to a place where education and the welfare of teachers are valued. Another friend of mine from Government Secondary School, Karu, Abuja, had to apply admission in a Ghanaian University after several failed attempts here in Nigeria. She was extremely intelligent and still is, but was never admitted in her own country. Thousands out there have faced and are still facing similar issues. Just yesterday, I was rejoicing for Emerald, my younger sister who just got admitted into Unizik after three years… as if it was a favor Unizik did her. Years later, when the current crop of leaders and intellectuals are all dead and gone, these illtrained students will be saddled with responsibilities they were never prepared to undertake and their own children and children’s children will curse and blame them. There is no way on earth you can train students with yesterday’s tools and strategys and expect them to perform magic in today’s world.
We complain of brain drain. Secondary school leavers longer bother with Admissions into Nigerian universities because it has become a dead end and graduates seek post graduate degrees abroad and when they come back, they are easily employed in companies and government parastatals because they are believed to have learned well. who then will employ the graduates whose potentials ASUU and FG have killed?
It’s clear that the students are on their own in this matter as the Federal Governments is obviously busy trying to secure his second term ticket from his Fractious Partizan political roommates and ASUU is sleeping and getting paid. And when eventually ASUU succeeds in subjecting the FG into obedience, we’ll resume school for another one week or so and then Non Academic Staff Union of Universities will embark on another strike, opposing the disparity in pay; as usual, we go back home once again…. for another long long holiday…. the cycle will only repeat itself.
No wonder Loyola Jesuit Students never study in Nigerian institutions after graduation…. It’s a pitiable bisma bisma.