Rev. Fr. Oliver N.C. Amaechi

The mess started in the Primary Schools in the early ’70s when teachers introduced entertainment of Supervisors during Common Entrance and First School Leaving Certificate Examinations to enable them assist their school children in the examination hall. With this assistance, the two examinations started recording no failure. From mere entertainment to entertainment and envelop. Supervising exams became less stressful and more lucrative.

Rev. Fr. Oliver N.C. Amaechi
Rev. Fr. Oliver N.C. Amaechi

As time went on, automatic promotion with or without taking promotion examination came in, in both primary and secondary schools. Teachers and heads of schools allowed that to continue. Parents gave their nod as that saved them the headache of repeating the payment of school fee for the year. The spirit of reading to pass exams to avoid failure was killed, and today we are crying over school children’s apathy to studies. It never occurred to us that a stitch in time saves nine.

In the primary school, the practice of handiwork was replaced with payment of money. The teachers became lazy as they stopped taking the children to the school farms and gardens for work. Attention was focused on the activities of the newly formed NUT and their agitation for the improved welfare of teachers brandishing strike actions.

In the secondary school, boarding system was scrapped due to incessant students’ unrest characterized by destruction of school property. This development compelled the education administrators to introduce neighbourhood school system which spelt doom for the beautiful ‘Teachers’ Quarters’.

As there were no more repetition of failed classes in both primary and secondary schools, heads of schools stopped demanding for Transfer Certificates from students changing over to their schools, making it easy for lazy ones to jump into any class of their choice to enable them leave the school environment quicker.

As time went on, teachers in the secondary schools copied their counterparts in the primary schools in assisting their students in answering the questions during external examinations for a token. This was before 1976 when examination questions started to be exposed to the candidates prior to the examination.  In the homes, parents do their children’s take-home assignments instead of teaching them how to do the assignments by themselves for mastery learning. Today, we are crying over fallen standard of education.

Home video came in to strike a deadly blow on students’ interest in studies and the arrival of the Social Media has nailed it into the coffin waiting for burial. Why are we crying? Why was NECO introduced? Who conceived the idea of JAMB and why? What problem did JAMB come to solve? What was the remote intention for the introduction of the Federal Character or Quota System in Nigeria? The Aptitude Test by Universities is a vote of no confidence on JAMB. JAMB, to be or not to be? Why different cut-off marks for different schools and Courses? Why can’t all Courses be professionalized and uniform periods assigned to their study? Dichotomy everywhere!

Away from the education sector, the idea of one woman officially allowed a maximum of four children is another issue. For Christians,

it is one man one wife; for Moslems, it is one man four wives. There is no Federal Character in the Population of States. Who is deceiving who? Those earlier declared ‘faceless’ are said to have had many Camps (Barracks) in the North. Were there no DPOs and their officers and men posted to the Local Government Areas harbouring the Camps? They were all blind to the existence of the camps that warranted the inhabitants being said to be faceless? Nigeria we hail thee! Why are we crying? Insincerity everywhere!

In Nigeria, a leader digs a hole to fill a hole and the followers are clapping for him that he is busy doing something. Of course yes, he is not idol. Experience has shown that those who are smiling today may cry tomorrow. If you doubt it, ask the past leaders. How many of them did not appear in Court to defend themselves either in person or by proxy? How many of them did not enter the prison cells even for one day? Why are we crying? The government uses Bulldozer to sack thousands of self-employed youths (illegal traders?) without first relocating them and turn around to advertise internet employment opportunity in Germany. Why are we crying when we fail to take precautions against ‘announced’ impending flood disaster around our area? An autonomous community unanimously selected one of their beloved sons as Eze-elect and presented him to the Government who subsequently recognized him and presented him with a staff of office. His Royal Highness later descended to His Slavish Lowness by allowing his Palace to become a den of armed robbers and kidnappers, and we are crying. Why? Who selected him for us? Da mihi locum et terram movebo  (give me a place outside the world and I will move the earth – Rene Descartes). Everyone is crying about the devastating effects of corruption in Nigeria while nearly everyone is involved. Who will then bell the cat? Who will make the law on corruption if the law makers are accused of being corrupt? The impatient drivers on our roads cause traffic jam and everyone in the jam is crying including the impatient drivers themselves. Why are they crying?

The prosperity-minded preachers want to start and finish their magnificent Churches (Cathedrals) in a record time, buy Jeep or Jet and we are crying. Is our God a poor God? Weep not, child of God!

Forward ever, backwards never. Everything that goes up must not come down. Stop crying.  Remember, everything that goes around, comes around. Please let us stop crying. We are the architect of our own fortune/misfortune. Once you have seen the hidden treasure, what follows is – ‘Let’s Do More’.


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