“It should not be surprising news that Manna falls from the sky in these days. But this will only fall for those who cultivate Manna farms on the clouds above. What one reaps is what he sows, as the saying goes”.
Corruption has never been vetoed and dealt with since its annexation in the hearts of Nigerians as it has in present administration. But as many culprits and different other means of immoral activities evolves, the fight appears to be an exercise in futility. You cannot fight corruption by prosecuting corruption miscreants and economic saboteurs while at the tail end providing safe breeding ground for future fraudsters.
Many of the youths today condone corrupt practices as they see more benediction in it than they do in virtue. And many can hardly strain corrupt practices from morality as ignorance, selfishness, and greediness tends to eclipse wisdom, knowledge and hard work. And for such reasons we find many who see public office as a bonus, an indolent opportunity of getting rich rather than rendering selfless service to the society.
We keep wondering where did it all go wrong? Some even putting the blame on polio vaccines, funny. The truth is, we have sown the wind, we are reaping the whirlwind.
Knowledge and awareness is undoubtedly a key to a successful fight against corruption and the only place that this is formally acquired is the school. There’s nothing as sensitive to a child’s mindset and morals as our educational system, be it school, home or mass media, and once it goes wrong, the future is in jeopardy.
School is a place where the future is shaped, where young minds are primed, mentored, nurtured and empowered for leadership and followership responsibilities. But our schools as sensitive as they are, have been in total negligence, making it prone to corrupt practices.
Considering the investment the nation has solely on its future leaders, education to be precise, one will be left in dismay, suspense as to how will anything good come out of the public schools we have today. Not only that the schools have unfriendly learning environment, nor unqualified and inadequate teachers and teaching materials, no, but the exam malpractices that practically, almost every child is exposed to, and the impressions it left on them. The schools we have today are becoming more of corruption training or recruitment centres than the centre of excellence they once were.
The lack of confidence by teachers in what they trained owing to the substandard education they feed their students results in ‘laying in ruins what they built’ by engaging these same students in exam malpractices during external examinations.
Gradual demoralization is ongoing in sequence in our schools which begins right from the primary school level. Where a child, an epitome of virtuousness, a symbol of naivety and innocence, who supposedly is to undergo stages of mentorship and moral development, at a very tender age, extortion was made from him directly or indirectly, on his First School Leaving Examinations, The Common Entrance Exams, to provide him with answers to the exams questions to ace his marks.
I might have been taken as a child who knows not much of what was happening then, but I remembered vividly what occurred during my Common Entrance Exams. I felt bad about it seeing that all the hard work, the much time I spent studying and getting ready for this exams was all in vain. Answers were provided to everyone in an examination meant to single out the best into the state special schools and the Federal Unity College. Perhaps, I was worried that those who I am far better might get a higher score, which did happen, and reap the benefit of hard work with no work done. It doesn’t end here.
The Senior Secondary School Examination has been the commonest of it all. Many of us have undergone through this or similar or even much worse during our SSCE exams where school authority request additional charges to the exam fees to be used probably to hire expert who are to solve the exams questions, and settle supervisors and invigilators during the exams – corruption. And those who refused to pay for such crime are singled out in a different examination hall, strictly supervised in which a cough or yawn can implicate them. We become fond of it and prefer schools that engage in corrupt practices in the SSCE examinations.
The higher institution is not left out, although one has options as corrupt practices here are not open. But what many learnt from previous stages is that corruption pays and one can buy his way out of all school hardship. With this in mind, the indolent feeble-minded ones try to manipulate their ways in and out of the institution unjustly. We may have all come across the off scour some institutions produced as graduates, who mostly buy certificates, buy or offer sex for marks, or engaged in other malpractices throughout their study years. They have found an easy ride and can hardly let go – addiction. Upon graduation, they are awarded certificates, which in reality is an award in immorality. And by the time the schools release them into the society, the labour market, corruption has become part of them. They buy appointments, or engaged in politics, and when they find themselves in power, they take all means to feed themselves to brim in greed, and no amount of laws or control models (BVN, TSA, IPPIS, etc.) can stop them as they apply the methods of physics, math, philosophy and all they acquired to detour it, being unproductive and certified fraudsters.
As fraudsters in public offices found guilty are prosecuted, their replacements come with same motives and intentions to those ousted. These goes on and on in cycle. The old replaced by new recruits with new technics. This precisely defines our future – corruption – and our educational system is the architect of it all.
So far as the school continues to convey its products through corrupt practices, corruption stands to be our greatest threat in the near future.
Aliyu wrote this piece from Bauchi.