Deep Thoughts with Othman
It is time to allow the esteemed readers of this Column to air their views. There were verities of views on almost every topic I presented in this Column.
It is really difficult to share all the views expressed but it is important to select few ones that critiqued my opinion to give the readers a wide view, pros, and cons on each topic.
Today, I am presenting some edited views on the topic “Nigerian Youths and Nation’s Future: A Waiting Time Bomb?”.
Dr Mohammed Umaru, Kaduna wrote, “Thank you for sending me both a print copy and text of your article highlighting the very important topic of the situation of our youths whose tomorrow we are failing to secure. I agree with you that as a result of our failure to do the needful the nation is at risk. It is good you are bringing up vividly this unfortunate situation to our reading public although we are few. Most of our elites, who are the leaders don’t read Nigerian newspapers but listen to foreign news in their offices and homes instead.
“By sending the article to me I presume you want me to say something. I will not critic the article but I would like to present some of my observations. Before I do so I would want to point out that I agree with the general principle of the article and hope that our politicians and policymakers would take heed and start working on solutions to the problem.
“Let me at this point state that from primary school to higher school I attended private schools and the only public schools I have attended in my life are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the University of Reading, United Kingdom.
“Parental responsibilities: Most parents to our generation (70+) were not educated and were not in a position to assist us in our school work but yet they made sure they were not found wanting when it comes to paying school fees and buying books. They sweated and in some cases shed blood to ensure that they met what they saw as a sacred duty to ensure that their children are better than them. Flip to today and the scenario you painted is now like the norm. That, I am sorry to say, is not an indication that we love our children.
“The main job of a student is to learn. Today, there are too many distractions including parental distraction from well-to-do parents. The result is what we have today ‘pass by all means’. Unfortunately, there isn’t that mix of students from various societal classes. This has always been there but maybe it is now more pronounced because the “elite” students study out of the country. In the past, we had ‘elite public schools’ where students of the elite were in preponderance. Remember Kaduna Capital School, Kings College, Queens College, Barewa College, Government College Keffi, Government College Kaduna, Federal Government Colleges Sokoto, Ughelli, Enugu, Warri, etc
“Government responsibility: I can’t agree with you more than the government at all levels has failed the education and health sector. I say with all sense of responsibility that government does not have the necessary data for planning. All their figures are cooked up figures and so cannot result in realistic planning.
“You were so generous with ASUU. The curricula we are operating at all levels are not fit for the 21st century that is why we produce students that have no talents to survive on their own. There has never been so much money flashed by the government for entrepreneurs as we have under this government. I haven’t seen many graduates of our universities and polytechnics stepping up to grab the opportunity. Why? Why? Let me stop here”.
Alhaji Musa Barau, Bindawa wrote, “Prof, you have done a great service to this contentious issue, from some indices as divulged by United Nations, countries with a higher population have been developing economically and prosperously making use of their population to their advantage. However, the case with Nigeria is becoming advantageous, because we are good at making perfect plans but always fail to implement such plans. We are praying to have good leaders who will take advantage of a high population of youth to increase national productivity through job creation in agriculture, communication, and other key sectors”.
Yakubu Yunusa Sakpe, Badegi wrote, “My prof, this piece is an alarm bell ringing across entire Africa, but only sages can hear. Thus, there is a very great catastrophe about to fall on this country unless our leaders are ready to structure an economic reform to accommodate this current and in-coming population explosion. But are our leaders ready? My prof, in this piece, you have pointed out the window of our salvation. Where are the sages? May God save this country”.
“People should be aware if youths are not educated and find a job after university, the country would be a bomb waiting to explode. Education for all and less corruption, more transparency in governance, and more effort to create jobs is the only way of preventing the bomb explosion”, an anonymous wrote.
Umar Salisu, Bindawa wrote, “You have said quite enough, already you highlighted the contributory aspect of the problem faced by the society at present, you later brought up the needed/expected strategies to cope with these problems, but Sir, implementing the said strategies seem undoubtedly by the relevant authorities. But prayers will surely serve the needful. God bless Nigeria, bless you for the information, and save our youths and our educational system from the explosion of the time bomb”.
Professor O. Owolade, Ibadan wrote, “The bombs are already exploding. May God save Nigeria, amen”.