‘Politicians killed public education’

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Aformer General Secretary of the National Democratic Coalition, Chief Ayo Opadokun, has called for a declaration of a state of emergency in the education sector, saying most graduates of Nigerian universities are not employable.

According to him, most senior government officials send their children to elitist schools where they pay up to N5m per term as status symbol. He said some of the elite also send their wards abroad for education.

“They killed public schools,” he added.

The Convener of the Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform, in an interview with our correspondent, said almost all the sectors in the country were in poor state after several years of fighting for democracy.

Opadokun recalled that the old style of supervision and inspection of public schools, which he said, enabled public schools to be competitive, had been “terribly brutalised.”

He said, “Our universities are glorified secondary schools. The graduates being churned out cannot write good application forms. They are unemployable. If you listen to the spoken English Language of a very large pool of these graduates, you will be sorry for us.

“The ratio of teacher- student is terribly wide that it can never be conducive for effective learning. What has happened to us? People have been agitating for close to 20 years now that it was time to close down all Nigerian schools – kindergarten to university and declare a state of emergency.

“What Nigeria is offering today, being called education, is a deception. They know that it is a deception. Close everything down and let us have a national discussion as to what we want for our education.”

He also decried power supply, which he said remained epileptic after about $30bn had been spent on the power sector by successive administrations since 1999, while the political class continued to embark on medical tourism around the world with public fund.

Opadokun said, “It makes many of us sad because it is as if most of our politicians have failed to recognise that Nigeria did not get to where it is today on a platter of gold; that some people lost their sweat and blood in the campaign to restore democracy to Nigeria. Some people lost their freedom and liberty; some even lost their lives. They paid the supreme sacrifice in the campaign.”

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