I was asked ‘what message do you have for Nigerians? “
Quite an interesting question.
I was on my way to work and heard someone calling “Mr. Abdullahi”.
As it was not the first time, I knew it was someone I knew and these were the kids calling my name.
On a fellowship with Teach For Nigeria, I teach in a low income school in a low income community and two among these kids belong to my classroom. When I asked them why they weren’t in school, one replied saying his mother told him to look after her room. She had traveled. The second said that he didn’t have shoes and the prefect threatened to seize slippers so he decided to stay home. His parents did not ask why. Why bother sending him to school when the country has the highest number of unemployment graduates, right?
It’s no surprise that Nigeria still has about 10.5 million out-of-school children – the world’s highest number. Sixty per cent of those children are in northern Nigeria with girls taking the larger share. Those who attend school have a significant number dropping out for reasons way too numerous to mention.
A typical Nigerian will read this and scroll past. In reality or on social media, Nigerians are always complaining about the sad state of the nation, corruption and others way too numerous to mention. Sadly, an insignificant percentage are doing anything at all to solve the problem.
The sad reality however is that these kids will grow up to become successful in positive or negative regards. If they become leaders, we sure as hell know what kind of leaders they’re going to become with this kind of attitude towards education, not only because the parents do not care enough but also because the society doesn’t either. No one asks why they push tires around in the morning, playing. Nobody cares. Their kids are in school, it’s non of their problem.
For sometime now, I have engaged in sensitization across low income communities on the need for parents to not only send their kids to school but also ensure that content is delivered in the right way. In most cases, abject poverty and corruption do not allow for this to happen.
No surprise then when it happens over and over again, the worst leaders are yet to show up.
The rise of insecurity in the country is alarming and it’s a result of this same processes.
Forgive my bad habits catching up with me again. To answer the question what message do I have for Nigerians?
- DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOUR COUNTRY.
- ENSURE NOT ONLY YOUR CHILD ATTAINS EXCELLENT EDUCATION. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES HOME.
- YOU HAVE THE UNIQUE ABILITY TO SOLVE A SOCIETAL PROBLEM, DON’T HOLD IT BACK.
- IF YOU HAVE THE TIME TO COMPLAIN, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO IT IN A DELIBERATE AND MORE ELABORATE AND EFFECTIVE MANNER TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM. ALSO MAKE SURE YOU DO SOMETHING IN YOUR OWN CAPACITY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
I wish the hearts of the citizens are as strong as the country’s national anthem.
*May the labor of our heroes past never be in vain. *
God Bless this Federal Republic.
Na bar ku lafiya (I leave you in ✌ peace).