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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
There is an ongoing ill in Nigeria's basic-education schools. An ill of which the culprits are chiefly the teachers and those in charge of them. A reason why, however schooled the Nigerian child may be, illiteracy would still reign an overlord.

Submitted: February 10, 2017

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Submitted: February 10, 2017




There is an age-old parlance that a teacher's reward is in the heavens. No earthly reward was deemed sufficient to compensate them for their enterprise and positive ripples that resonate down generations. Alas, those were the days. Those were the days when teachers were actually benevolent architects building and defining the fate and fortunes of generations and societies along the pathways of productivity and moral rectitude. Those were the days when teachers were angelic humans.

Unfortunately, folks, those days, like the teachers of those hallowed days, are long gone, dead and interred, excepting a very few. They are all almost gone in a saddening succession. This piece of writing is actually intended to epitaph those good old days in a sort of jeremiad; those good old days when teachers were hailed and their presence heralded with pomp and fanfare, visible or otherwise. Those days when teachers, to their own credit, were living deities, gods, lords, and demigods. Those were the days when teachers were the few ones who could see and who, out of goodwill and enviable charity, work assiduously to bequeath this same gift to many others.

The tide had turned so bad now, that, if it was really true then that the teacher's reward was in heaven, then now it must be that his punishment stored up there must be great indeed.

With all due respect, I am not blanketing all teachers under this category of evildom. I too am a teacher and do believe that there are a few teachers who are worthy of their calling. And for the few and many who are worthy, feel free to exempt yourselves from this castigation.

The reality, however, is glaring and utterly worrisome. Many of these folks we call teachers consider teaching beneath their pride and dignity, hence, they go about their duties void of zest and propriety. These ones, sad to bluntly say, are morally bankrupt and destitute. They are unenterprising and void of initiative as far as healthful teaching is concerned. They consider it none of their business if the children under their tutorage remain the unknowing ignoramuses they were before they were ever enrolled in a school. This crop of teachers are, like the evil rabbinic class of the first century Jewish nation, a bane of society. These teachers and the ones who are charged with their supervision together constitute the core of the teaching evildom, both in the public and private sectors. I speak from personal and heard experiences, surveys and observations. It is the same from the FCT to Delta State.


Teachers in most public schools are not just societal parasites feeding almost free on the collective treasury, but they too are poisonous deadweights. They go to their assigned schools daily just to loaf about till the closing time. Others just sign the register and off they go to their respective businesses.

These ones are glad that the Government has, out of its misguided magnanimity and unrealistic ambition of achieving the Education-For-All (EFA) target, promoted the policy of automatic promotion for all pupils. Hence, there is the certain assurance that the teacher's class is swept clean of all old and wearisome stock every third-term ending. By means of this yearly riddance, schooled illiterates multiply exponentially.

The onslaught of these men and women in schools in rural areas is more devastating. With minimal level of supervision, these teachers are left to their antics as they exploit and enslave their hapless victims.

A parent once challenged a class teacher as to why her child is obviously not learning in school. The unforgettable reply was "Madam, see, my children dey private school. If you want make your pikin learn, go put am for private school. Nor come here con dey disturb us. Abi na you wan teach me my job?"

These are the teachers who would use their pupils as unhired labourers for slavish farm work in the name of school farm. Most of these kids are already practicing farmers by virtue of parentage and circumstance. What then is the gain in making them, at their age and limited learning time, till and cultivate the soil just to enrich their teachers.

There are myriads of pupils in primary three and four in many parts of Edo State, where I currently am, who cannot identify the letters of the English Alphabet. There are many of these ones who are now in secondary schools who still need to be taught three-letter words. There are yet many of these unfortunate ones who, 'miraculously', have graduated from higher institutions of learning but who are yet to learn to read basically well. Thanks to their teachers of those years and classes who saw to it that they learnt nothing. Thanks to them for wasting those precious early years of these pupils' lives.

It is so unfortunate too that most of their parents are either too illiterate or too busy and detached to notice this bogus damage done to their wards and the extent of their own loss.

Funny enough, some of these unfaithful public stewards are already subconsciously working out their own earthly punishment. The nonchalance they have acquired by their conscious negligence of their salaried duties is robbing off on how they too handle their own wards and how these ones are turning out to be. It has been observed in countless cases that these grade of teachers are some of the most disappointing class of parents. One would expect that teachers would be most meticulous and methodical in giving their wards the best of academic attention. But no is the case for these folks who are committed to never doing well. Hence, many of their children are dullards; intellectually arid kids requiring all-out remedial attention. It's such a sad nemetic twist.


Teachers in private schools are not left out as they have allowed themselves to be muled into leveraging the future of their pupils in line with the profit-driven craze of their employers. Fees are fixed high. How would it be then if pupils fail in the face of such extortionate tuition? Parents are most likely to withdraw their wards from such school to try out more cost effective ones. To prevent this from happening, private schools have also enforced their own policy of "no child must fail" whether he fails or not. Parents must be pleased and appeased. To achieve this, pupils' achievement reports are padded and falsified.

Unsuspecting parents, not having firsthand knowledge of their children's academic capabilities, celebrate as they receive their kids' report sheets. Only to discover too late that they have been tricked into an enduring patronage. I have seen this done to others and to my son as early as Nursery 1.

Even children with serious learning challenges requiring withdrawal from school to try out other options in life are falsely promoted with falsified achievement reports, thereby depriving them of actual progress.


Strive, out of your busy schedule, to know your child's academic capabilities. Have firsthand knowledge of your wards so you don't get bamboozled by dubious teachers and their dubious employers. Be your child's own and home teacher. And you'll sure be honest enough to give the best. You may also seek help in achieving this. It's not an easy thing to do. However, the effort you'll put in is well worth it. If you, from personal observation and assessment of your child, were able to detect early enough faults in your child's learning or learning ability, you'll be able to lovingly seek help or make beneficial adjustments before it's too late.

If your child is in a private school, do not be too quick to jump in excitement over his or her achievement report for the term; be sure to confirm that you and your family have not been lied to.


© Copyright 2019 Justice Erhiawarien. All rights reserved.

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