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Solutions And Ways To Uphold Educational Values - ETCSINES

This write up makes an attempt to do two things, firstly to call our attention to the neglect of positive social and educational values that have made our society great in the past and secondly to remind us of the importance of reviving and upholding this values in order to eventually see the great society we have desired and dreamnt of.

it would be an understatement to state that the present and modern Nigerian society is in dire need of positive values, but this lack of values did not occur in a flash, it was a gradual and systematic descent into decay and rottenness. I would make bold to say that the acceptance of foreign values as a superior form of value for us to practice as a nation was a fundamental foundational flaw that we are yet to recover from, even when we talk positively about our values , our mentality still remains in a defeated form, hopefully we have recently started gaining victory in the way we think about ourselves as a nation.

It is as clear as crystal that the Nigerian society we heard of in the 70's and 80's and which some of us has read about in books or were told about represented and could be compared to the cream of the English society and all other international enviable societies at it's best form. "How did we get to where we are now?" or "what were the values we had then that we evidently lack now?" I shall highlight some of the values and also give suggestions on how to revive and uphold them again.

The first and foremost that I would like to talk about is the relegation of cultural values. Here I am not talking about the worship of deities or the observance of festivals which are to a verifiable extent fetish and inconsistent with some major belief systems, I am specifically talking about respect for elders, observance of honour for your family, mutual respect for the other gender be it male or female and regard for the dignity of labour.

One of the obvious causes is that recently we have been bedevilled with a lot of irresponsible and arrogant elders in the society and a lot of the younger population have been obviously misled to think that respect and regard for elders is no longer compulsory, desirable or necessary, we need to retrace our steps and get it right. The Entertainment industry and the internet has brought with it a persistent influence of external values which are corrosive and inconsistent with the mutual respect for gender. 

The feminist groups are obviously doing a good job and have being campainng strenuously about respect and regard for the female specie but we encounter videos and watch media content every hour that brazenly displays or connotes the female as an entertainment tool or objects of pleasure, this has obviously given rise to  wanton disregard for a lot of  females and  increased the commission of several sexually related offences like rape, defilement and sexual abuse. We have a collective duty to expunge a debased use of the human person for material gain and restore mutual respect to our society. Respect can not be forcefully achieved, it must be earned.

I shall intertwine the issue of dignity of labour with contentment and honesty. The Nigerian society we heard of esteemed merit above ethnic,  cultural and biological preferences, this was obvious in the fact that most Nigerians that were selected to represent us internationally years ago always made an impact in the international front because they were truly the best that we could find, where they came from never mattered, nowadays we see obvious show of  incompetence of people who are alleged to have been chosen as "the best" in sporting events and educational competitions because almost half of the population are convinced that the better and the best have been left out in the selection process while even family members of officials have travelled at government expense and in replacement of those who are supposed to compete.

This has obviously had the effect of discouraging people from putting in their best or even trying at all, we need to revive the merit system of choosing and the respect for genuine effort made by people.

I shall make reference to the debasement of educational values. In the 60's and early 70's when  Nigeria still practiced the regional system of government, we had a keen system of competition between the regions for relevance and some regions actually stood out because of educational accomplishments. It was a time when some governments declared compulsory and free education and granted scholarship to students who could not afford to educate themselves and grants to students who could only afford part of the expenses. 

Every community strived to have educated people and contributed communally to even sponsor some people into tertiary institutions. The recent and up to date books were in the library and equipments for experiments, research and practicals were regularly updated, a lot of the top students in faculties were already assured of juicy choices of jobs beofre they even finished their final exams. It was a time of bliss.

Gradually, as a nation we had the foolery of committing serious educational policies into the hands of educated but unexposed people, they made a shipwreck of the standard of education and even advised successive governments to tow the line of retrogressive programs and policies.
The nation started experiencing the gross underfunding of educational institutions at the tertiary, secondary and primary levels to the extent that all our international and national achievements in education became a mirage and a thing of the past, most of the infrastructure became dilapidated and a lot of confidence was lost in the educational system.

A lot of Nigerians concluded that it was not worth it pursuing an education as all they needed to have was material accomplishments which had gradually become the benchmark of success in the Nigerian Society, a lot of the youths started resorting to "get rich quick" options as the usual conclusion they always had was "we are getting educated so as to have money anyway" . I beg to differ because in the process of my education I discovered that I became open minded , exposed, cultured and well mannered, this was not taught in the classrooms or in any course, they were learnt within the educational system. We have a solemn and important duty of helping to restore the Nigerian society to a state of high regard and value for education.

I will conclude this write up with the call to reset our political mindset especially to political participation. Why is this necessary? I have carefully and solemnly observed that our political system affects every aspect of our society and has the unblemished effect of determining our values in each sector of the economy. We have been satisfied for so many decades in Nigeria with the phrase " politics is a dirty game". Is this true?, I do not think so. If it were true why are we not having the Nigerian experience in every nation that has politicians?, because the quality of people who participate in politics at any given time determines the sanctity or the sanity of the system.

In our dear Nigeria,  most of the exposed and cultured elite and the educated avoid politics like a plague and this has given room to miscreants, thugs and other unwholesome social elements to hijack the system. This set of people become our "elected" representatives and implement their own agenda in consonance with  their level of exposure, while the "more qualified" people watch on and engage themselves in continuous discussions on the way foward on the pages of newspapers, on radio shows, on television programs and on the social media platforms without impacting politics at the very least.

It is time we find a way to participate in politics not for the end result of being elected into any office but for the effect of ensuring that worthy and presentable people become our choices when called upon to take electoral decisions and when we by our influence elect the more qualified persons into office we shall see the emergence of politics and policies that will help us revive, revitalise and uphold the positive values we so much long for. 

Thank you.

Writer: Tola Arawomo

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