Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Letter to Professor Pius

Dear Prof. Pius Adesanmi,
How are you doing sir? And how has work been? I hope you're fine and that you remain fine to continue your examplary but mostly thankless service to fatherland. Indeed you're a mentor to some of us.
As you​ might remember, we haven't spoken since the first time you called, upon receiving my mail. I'm still pained that, that conversation was cut short by poor network connection which remains an insurmountable challenge in Nigeria.
I'm writing you this time, I'm afraid to wail over the unending nightmare I've had to endure since I entered the University (UniJos) and may I please request that you keep me anonymous if you decide to share this.
So much has been said about the falling standard of education in Nigeria but I think we're been unfair when we say that the standard is falling. Truth is, there's no standard and nothing is falling. It's been buried and forgotten. Tertiary education in Nigeria is in a state beyond sorry. And this decay might be worse in UniJos. I'm an undergraduate of Agriculture as you know and I've got dreams to by God's grace, get to the very top in my field and leave indelible marks of the sands of time. But since I was matriculated into this system of mediocrity, all I've seen are man made impediments to my goal and reasons to get discouraged.
Arbitrary charges and even worse than that; inadequate, antiquated, failed and grossly overstretched facilities is all I'm surrounded by. I've been in a class of over 500 students with no public address system for the lecturer to use. I run to class daily just to get a seat. Students even sit on stones in a 21st century University. Students stand in class for hours or sit on the ailse and I've attached pictures​ to prove this and none of this pictures even came from a GST class. I've been in dillapidated laboratories with an average of 4 instructors to 400 students. I'm not going to talk about the hostel and its deplorable state. I'm not also going to talk about the fact that uptil now, students in UniJos cannot access their results or even lecture notes online. I won't talk about the fact that some lecturers have not updated their notes for years.
In the midst of all of this chaos, I've asked myself several questions: how am I supposed to be at par my contemporaries around the globe, who are taught in mini-heaven classrooms with proper guidance. I've asked how possible it'll be to graduate with the best grade possible because you can't really trust the results you might see. How fair is it to have one lecturer teach 500 students? How will they all be carried along? Where is the place for interaction? How fair will he/she mark assignments, test and exam papers for this crazy number? Won't he get tired and be tempted to do what he deems fit? How employable can graduates produced in this system of utter chaos be? Can you have the next Akinwunmi Adeshina, Amina Mohammed, Odia Ofemun, Kadariah Ahmed and Pius Adesanmi in this chaotic system? What will the place of Nigeria be in a world where intellectualism and ideas are fast becoming the currency? Will our great population add to the world's problem or reduce it?
Now I'm not blind to arguments about increasing tertiary education enrollment, but at what cost to the quality of graduates produced? Do we rather have 1000 quack scientists than 200 qualified ones? To borrow some of the words A.W Tozer a 20th century American preacher used to describe the state of christianity, Education in Nigeria has been so watered down that, if it were to be poison it won't kill anyone and if it were to be a cure, it won't heal anyone I'm even more sad when I see how quick the financiers and owners of this cave of ours send their children abroad to better schools, perhaps so they'll return and be part of the dynasty of crooks.
The ruling class is aware of the power of an educated mind to seek freedom from slavery and hence their deliberate efforts to frustrate both overtly and covertly, anything that liberates the mind. They ironically were better taught, enjoyed better facilities but are neck bent on bequiting nothing to us. But I have bad news for them, I'm out of that cave already and would take as many with me.
Of course I'll do my best to augment all I learn, but I deserve to be treated better. I hope that the opportunity to go beyond Nigeria and position myself properly for the challenging future ahead presents itself soon. I must bequit to my children a better country. A country that'll give them the platform to maximize their potentials.
Yours faithfully,


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