The intellectual world of any nation determines its progress, in every aspect. Intellectuality cuts across self-awareness, communal awareness, reverence for others, respect and dignity for a people with different perspective to living, etc. This is the major issue confronting the Nigeria nation. However, it’s possible we attribute the problem to variegated facets, e.g. structure of the government, economy, sociology of interrelation, insecurity amongst the heterogeneous population, etc.—but unfortunately, it is not.
These are merely the characteristics of not applying individual education to social matters. Now, discussing education, or the lack of it, as a catalyst for Nigeria’s downward trend is delicate. How is education a solution when the process of getting it is a problem? How do we solve the impasse? How do we become refined people when the nation’s economy stiffen the access to a tertiary institution?
The solution I can propose is if the public sector cannot fund the academic, there should be a kind of private-sector setting that administers scholarships to students.
This scholarship should be a pre-scholarship response team. The recipients of the private-sector-led would be engaged in a six-month fellowship-style lecturing that prepares them for western school scholarships. These recipients will come back to the country to be sponsored by the same association to become state administrators, commissioners, etc.
Of course, these recipients will choose different courses. Most importantly, there must be psychologists and intellectuals who have mastered the scopes of teaching the typical child. These people, who are psychologists, will personally oversee the employment of teachers, to also ensure these teachers are not mere legalized terrorists, but psychologists who know the child, the student, and help to improve the student efficiently.
In addition, if this method is encouraged, we can get supports from other African countries, and African-led organizations abroad.
But for every solution we propose, we must also consider the confrontations.
These private-led settings are delicate, and if one part is corrupted, the whole idea burns off. Then how do we deter corruption from the setting?
Precisely, corruption cannot be deterred, it can only be controlled. To realize this is to know peace in part.
A panel of twenty members must be set up. Five members must be Europeans who are volunteers, who have no ties whatsoever with the people in charge, who have never been guilty of any state crime in their country or the diaspora. Five people must be from Africa-led organizations in diaspora (it could be tech companies, rubber industries, etc). Five people must be chosen from Arts Foundation across the African continent. Five people should be from Nigeria, from top respectable institutions.
Of course the meetings of this twenty-person panel will be held online, and they may meet twice in a year.
Private companies who wants to be top donators, who wants to be officially recognized as part of trustees, shall be scrutinized by this panel.
This out of all is one out of many ways we can repair the stability of Nigeria’s citizenry.
Adepoju Isaiah Gbenga, 17, won Pengician Chapbook Prize 2021. He’s an interviewer and a poet.