Making the Best out of Nigerian school system: Education is not a scam; By Professor Bamidele A Faleye.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

Making the Best out of Nigerian school system:
Education is not a scam.
Being and address delivered by professor Bamidele Faleye  at a symposium organized by the Ara Nation Students Association (ANSA) today 2nd of October 2021 at the Town hall Ara.

Kabiyesi, Alara of Ara.
All royal fathers present.
All traditional chiefs present.
All traditional title holders present.
The president of Ara Nation Students Association..
Great Ara students.
Great mentors and sponsors of Ara students.
My lord Temporal and Spiritual.
Gentle men of the press.
Ladies and gentlemen.

I appreciate the leadership of Ara Nation Students Association for giving me the opportunity to be the speaker at this year’s symposium with the title “Making the Best out of Nigerian school system”: Education is not a scam.
I wish to state that the first invitation which I got from the leadership of this association came in 2019, when I was requested to be guest speaker during a similar programme, invitation which I couldn’t honor due to reasons beyond my control;for this I apologize. The Bible says that there an appointed time for everything on earth,hence my presence today.
I will like to start by looking into the keywords in the title given to me. The keywords in the title are as follows; Best, Nigerian school system, Education and scam.
According to Longman Dictionary of contemporary English, Best means better than everything else or in quality,skill,how effective it is, e t.c. Thus,making the best out of education connotes deriving most utility out of the various Schooling activities,right from primary to tertiary level of schooling.
The second keywords in the title of the topic given to me is “Nigerian school system” The Nigerian school system bus  one predicate on the 6-3-3-4 system of education. The policy is contained in a document published by the Nigerian educational Research and  Development Council ( NERDC) The first edition was published in 1981 with the series of amendments, with the latest being the 2014 edition. The Nigerian educational system is the one where provision is made for six years compulsory primary education,three years of junior secondary education,three years of senior secondary education and four years (more or less, depending on mature of course and mode of entry) of tertiary education.
Education is a concept that has many definitions. However,I will define it with the context of schooling and pedagogy. Thus, education is the art of impacting new knowledge and skill unto person,referred to as learner  ( pupil or student) by a facilitator called teacher. The process takes place in a setting called school ( in case of primary and secondary level education) and higher institution for post secondary school level of schooling. The institutions at the post secondary level of schooling includes Colleges of education,monothenics, polytechnics and Universities. Those who are successful at secondary school leaving examinations are admitted to higher institutions. Apart from definition of education within the context of teaching and learning, education could be defined as a process of reforming the human mind to direct the human body to work react in a way to contribute positively to the growth,peace and stability of the community or society where the person lives. It involves moulding the individual character  to make him or her work in a way that will make him/her become civil in all things. The last keywords in the title  of the paper given to me is “Scam”  The Longman Dictionary of contemporary English defined scam as a clever but a dishonest way of getting money. Linking this with the topic at hand, attending schools is not synonymous with making quick money in a dishonest way . In fact if someone is interested in making money, attending school is not a way of achieving the desire. It is better for such a person to go in to business world, or better still to go to those that could make him or her get rich quickly with dire consequences. Scamming  involves trickling of other party with intention of swindling the party of his/her hard-earned resources. It is a matter of common knowledge that in Nigeria today, there are many young men and women who are into scamming people to get rich quickly. Some get nabbed in the process while some others are still being lucky; but for sure,the end of people like that are not good.
How then can we make the best out of education and how is education different from scam?
I will start by highlighting the benefits of education,this time, attending schools.
The first is that education bis the best agent of change. It helps in transforming the society to a better one to live in. The benefits of education are many. Not only will one personally benefit from receiving income when one gets employed after schooling,there will be opportunity for career advancement,skill development and personal sense of fulfilment. Society with higher rate of degree completion and level of education tend to be healthier,have higher rate of economic stability, lower crime,and greater quality. According to the university of the people ( those who get an education have  higher incomes,have more opportunities in their lives,and tend to be healthier. Societies  benefit as well. Society with high rate of education completion have lower crime,better overall health,and civil involvement. Other benefits of education according to the university includes poverty, healthier lifestyle, socializing and networking,pursuing one’s passion,personal development of skills,more better productivity, development of critical thinking skills, greater sense of discipline, carrier entry advancement /development,more employment, economic growth,higher income and of course,better communication skills.
The benefits of education is not just personal,there are those that accrue to the society that have education resistants. These include but not restricted to economic growth and stability, promotion of good citizenship and civil involvement, promotion of equality and empowerment,crime reduction,reduction of gender based violence , reduction of child marriage,giving back to the society,creating modern society and enduring peace and general well-being.
From the foregoing,it could be seen that the highlighted benefits are the best that education is capable of bringing to the primitive/crude society where poverty,diseases, and manual operations of almost everything make the inhabitants suffer in getting things done. In ensuring that the benefits accrueable from being educated, certain things must be done. The first is that the person that will be educated will have to be strong, both in heart and body. The strength is needed to endure the hardship involved in physical attendance of classes,enduring meagre amount of money that could be provided by the sponsor (s), copying with the pains of attending to assignments and other tasks that may be given, abstaining from ostensation and distractions that are capable of preventing a learner from doing well and above all,praying to God for good success.
Now,can you all see that the activities needed to attain success are not in anyway through examination malpractice,yahooism,( or Yahoo-Yahoo). making money ritual, embezzlement of funds, swindling or obtaining by tricks. All these vices could not take anyone to any position of fame but shame, pain and short life. Therefore, it is only by dint of hard work and prayers that we can get the best out of schooling or education.
The holy bible talks about hard work and in the book of genesis 2;15 when it says “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care.” Genesis 2;15 (NIV). Thus, the implication of this  is that man is created to work the surface of the earth to make it better place to live in and one of the ways to ensure this is to get educated so as to know how to work the earth better with minimal expenditure of time, efforts and money. Again,the Bible says that whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might,for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working ,nor knowledge,nor wisdom, Ecclesiastes 9;10 (NIV) Thus, human being is created to work while alive, attending schools is one of those works that have to do to make the world a better place.
I wish to use my case as an example, I attended both primary and secondary schools at Ara in the 80s. This was followed by going to college of education and university to obtain NCE and Bachelor degree in the 90s. The experience was so much tumultuous as my parents were very poor and I have to supplement their efforts with farming. The success that is celebrated today wasn’t achieved without pains. Nonetheless, the pain was worthy being endured because the gains outweigts the pain by far.
My prayer is that as you endure the pain of going to school today, the good God will grant you good success and a very good future which you desire. Remember,as you are away in school you are representing your family (Name). Ara town and of course your person.
Try to be a good ambassador by being well behaved, diligent,and prayerful, I wish you good success in your respective studies.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this capacity..

Professor Bamidele  A. Faleye.

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