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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Nigeria's Misplaced Priorities

Abia – Male (130) Female (130)
Adamawa – Male (62) Female (62)
Akwa-Ibom – Male (123) Female (123)
Anambra – Male (139) Female (139)
Bauchi – Male (35) Female (35)
Bayelsa – Male (72) Female (72)
Benue – Male (111) Female (111)
Borno – Male (45) Female (45)
Cross-Rivers – Male (97) Female (97)
Delta – Male (131) Female (131)
Ebonyi – Male (112) Female (112)
Edo – Male (127) Female (127)
Ekiti – Male (119) Female (119)
Enugu – Male (134) Female (134)
Gombe – Male (58) Female (58)
Imo – Male (138) Female (138)
Jigawa – Male (44) Female (44)
Kaduna – Male (91) Female (91)
Kano – Male (67) Female (67)
Kastina – Male (60) Female (60)
Kebbi – Male (9) Female (20)
Kogi – Male (119) Female (119)
Kwara – Male (123) Female (123)
Lagos – Male (133) Female(133)
Nassarawa – Male (58) Female (58)
Niger – Male (93) Female (93)
Ogun – Male (131) Female (131)
Ondo – Male (126) Female (126)
Osun – Male (127) Female (127)
Oyo – Male (127) Female (127)
Plateau – Male (97) Female (97)
Rivers – Male (118) Female (118)
Sokoto – Male (9) Female (13)
Taraba – Male (3) Female (11)
Yobe – Male (20) Female (27)
Zamfara – Male (4) Female (2)
FCT Abuja – Male (90) Female (90)

The above figures are the cut-off scores, out of 200, which students from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria need to meet in order to gain admission into Federal Government Colleges. I am not being mischievous, but it can be seen from the figures that the states of southern Nigeria have the highest scores, and a male student from Taraba state who scores 5 out of 200 will gain admission while a female student from Akwa Ibom state who scores 122 will not. Federal character indeed! In my time, the old Bendel state (now Delta and Edo states) used to have the highest cut off point, and my parents challenged me take the National Common Entrance Examination as a Bendelite, since we lived in Bendel state but are not originally from there. If I had failed to get the required scores, I would have lost a year so I could repeat the exams.
While the southern states were busy investing in education, the northern states encouraged their young men to join the army and plot coups. They instituted corruption, executed, exiled, and jailed our (southern) intellectuals, and annulled the "freest and fairest" elections in the history of our country. Now they want to stall our educational advancements and truncate years of hard work, while they play catch-up of the most mediocre kind. Is it therefore any surprise that Nigeria has no foreseeable future? A country that is serious about competing with its peers will not be haemorrhaging medical doctors, scientists and other intellectuals in numerous fields. It should be seriously investing in education; instead, it sends pilgrims on fruitless religious retreats, and deliberately undermines the educational strides made by a sub section of the country.
The sad truth is that the north may have skewed this result in their favour, but it still does not encourage their boys, especially, to go to school (remember the abducted Chibok girls). These boys would rather remain almajiris, islamic school child beggars, pictured above, and easily targeted by boko haram recruiters.
The northern states in particular are buried so deep in their own excrement, they do not even know they are even drowning in it. They cannot make the south an unwilling victim of their own unwillingness and refusal to prioritize education. They are more interested in investing their money sending pilgrims to Mecca, and sponsoring religious nuts to pray for them. Let the north invest in education if they want to catch up with the southern states, not stall the educational strides of the south. What the makers of our education policy are doing is like asking a mother to starve her child who is willing to eat, and and is therefore well nourished, so that her other child who refuses to eat can play catch-up growth.

Kudos to Please follow me on twitter @naijaanarchist

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