I was at my alma mater – Federal Government College, Idoani, Ondo State – to grace the 30th anniversary of the institution. Haunted by the memories of the hey days of traumatic boarding school experience, I set on to idoani last Friday hoping to relive those peculiar experiences, reunite with friends as well as to know the state of the school after my exit. With patience I endured the four hour journey and joined the grand reception granted the old students of the institution.
I was taken aback by the condition of the school which is still the way we left it, now even worse. As against the about 3000 students during our tenure, the school population has been depleted to remain only 500 students. The reason I gathered is due to the intellectual depreciation of the school which has made parents to withdraw their wards . The scanty population of the ss3 students is made up of folks who are in the dark on career issues. The good thing to know there however was the good show they put up in the science exhibition, the presentation of one of Osofisan’s plays as well as their will to ask questions bordering on things worrying them. Much as we got carried away by their performance, we were bordered by the image of the school: to be concise , the school has deteriorated, the glories, the pride have fizzled out. A grim reminder of the poor management of unity schools in Nigeria . What is my point?
What informed this write-up, though spurred by my experience at idoani, is the general problem which the youths of Nigeria face. Grooming youths from secondary school to the university and to the saddening stage of graduate unemployment is a gradual process. Each of these stages is important that none should be considered trivial. A students poorly groomed in career issue would be wrongly placed in the university. To day the effect of this is that university graduates are wrongly positioned in one course or another: they are thereby not armed in mind to generate ideas and plans to achieve their divine destinies.
The psychology of Nigerian youths has been tailored and poorly managed to follow the pattern dictated y poor grooming, poor management evident in the educational system of Nigeria, as well as the bad leadership that characterizes the country.
The desire of every youths is to live a good life, to express himself in his environment .and when a youths sees one of his colleague in exotic car(which might have been gotten from hook or crook means) feels he deserves the same. And when he turns around to express himself and the enabling environment is not there, he is tempted to take to dubious means to augment his plight. Festus Iyayi’s novel Violence defines violence as “ when a man is denied the opportunity of getting a job, of being educated, of feeding himself and his family of getting medical attention cheaply, quickly and promptly. former Minister Of Educaton, Obi Ezekwesili said that by 2020 Nigeria may have a significant population of highly skilled criminals if nothing is done today.
We have heard of vision 2020 and the numerous ideas attempted at positioning Nigeria to an enviable status. The symbolic thing inherent in vision2020 is that today’s youths are going to be in leadership position then. Is the bulk of today’s youths who indulge in yahoo yahoo, crime, examination malpractice and other vices going to be a feasible leaders of the vision. the poor educational system of Nigeria -whereby out of the I million students that seek admission into tertiary institutions annually only 150000 get admission and; that only 10pecernt of annual university graduates get job; going to be left to realize vision 2020?the youths form 40percent of Nigeria’s population. To what extent are they meaningful?
The significance of the youths to national development cannot be overemphasized. The youths form the engine room of the labour force; they are the future, the prospect of any nation. A vision is unrealizable in an environment where the youths are not properly groomed, properly orientated. .what is the way out, how do we begin an overhaul on youth matters currently waxing in neglect?
Social responsibility informed the presence of the alumni of Federal Government College Idoani at the school’s 30th anniversary. The alumni agreed that a letter should be forwarded to the federal ministry of education that no “tired” principal should be sent to manage the school, as well as other resolutions. And this brings in the point that one should be concerned about his antecedents and be ready to influence his environment positively so that others coming up would enjoy better life. The presence of the old students was a good mentoring process as the students listened to advice and experience with great enthusiasm. No matter how far we go, we must not forget our root.
The government of Nigeria has the responsibility of creating an enabling environment for her citizens. There is a Jewish saying that before one starts up a ladder, he should count the rungs. Nigeria government must count the cost of realizing the vision 2020 by taking bold steps at addressing problems afflicting her youths. You cannot realize vision2020 where opportunity for higher education is scanty, where students go through hell to study, where graduate unemployment is raging. These problems must be looked into otherwise we are chasing shadow with vision 2020.