Recession: Education too is not safe

A N average Nigerian can feel the dire effects of the present recession in the economy of the country. The standard of living of the people is drastically and amazingly falling despite the glimmers of hope that heralded the present administration which promised “change”. Endlessly, they keep on waiting for what was promised during the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Rather than having respite after the performance of previous administrations, the hapless Nigerians are faced by economy recession — inflation, scarcity of food.

Lots of people have been commenting on the national issue and its unfathomable consequences. Some of them include hunger that increases the number of beggars on the streets, aggravates and makes poverty flourish, rampage of kidnappers, burglars, armed robbers. The implications of the economic downturn also include retrenchment of workers, which also increases the unemployment rate. In a nutshell, almost all sectors, such as banking, agriculture, health, among others, feel the impact of the issue.

However, little or no attention is paid to the educational sector just because there is no immediate result to be felt. Now, schools and school children are resuming for a new academic session. They will need many things, including notebooks, textbooks, pens, bags, new school uniforms, among other things, as they are expected to have everything new, although this is a mere convention.

But with the economic situation in the country, many parents will not be able to perform a large part of their responsibilities. To worsen the issue, costs of these materials needed by the children are unbearable. Like the price of any other commodity in Nigeria, these school materials, let alone the unimaginable school fees, are tagged with skyrocketing prices. How do their helpless parents afford these when their salaries are not paid, when they are being sacked, when debts are piling up like refuse? Even feeding their children is a difficulty.

Considering the psychological implications of the challenges, many of the pupils will be forced to use their old notebooks, uniforms, bags. This can lead to depression, which can later cause poor performance. Without adequate textbooks, learning and teaching in the classrooms might bring boredom.

This is also a thorn on our education system, though unlike other sectors, the outcomes are not near. Or how do we expect a poorly-fed pupil to have interest in learning? No theory is yet to prove Maslow’s Theory of Motivation wrong.

Apart from that, students at the tertiary institutions across the country might be propelled to engage in piracy, which is a crime against creativity. This is certain because of soaring prices of textbooks. The matter, then, as every Nigerian knows, calls for urgent, perhaps temporary, measures to arrest the trends before they affect our future as a nation.

The economic challenges as a matter of fact, can negatively impede the education system of the country at all levels. Poor performances inimical to national development are imminent, not even far as we may deem. So, the Federal Government should hasten its plans to resuscitate the economy because, apart from the individual life, business, which is at risk, education too is not safe.

  • Timothy Faboade,

OAU, Ile-Ife.