‘School na scam!’ This disheartening cry puffs into the cyber space and could be heard inside the four walls of a dilapidated university classroom from the lips of a disgruntled young generation. Their pulsating anger worries. “Of what use is it in investing time and resources in a system that has proven to be inefficient, corrupt and almost useless?” they quiz with a gloomy face discoloured and contoured by grief.

The reason for their agony is not far-fetched.

Enamoured by the prospect of what a tertiary institution offers, they had walked happily into its compound but before one could chant Jack Robinson, sexual perverts feigning to be lecturers prepositioned sex to female students in exchange for good grades. Yes! Lecturers who are entrusted to teach furiously sought for means to peep through the underwear of their students. How horrible. More disturbing is the fact that those who resisted this affront received some terrible lashing. Using the strength of silence, these varsity monsters humiliated, harassed, blackmailed these students until a considerable number of them had to drop out. These were learners who had trusted their future into the hands of lecturers cheated out of their destinies. Isn’t it fraudulent to take advantage of someone because of his or her vulnerability or status? This answers the question why this young generation of learners could have the effrontery to call Nigeria’s school system an abode of scammers.

Granted, Nigeria’s education system have been dragged into a stinky cesspool by the very ones entrusted to man it. Lately I perused through a report that exposed how university lecturers cozen thousands of naira out of the pockets of their students all in the name of selling ‘vital’ handouts and ‘supervising’ projects. This ossifies my position that our universities and polytechnics are only a sheer veneer of a walking corpse. What legal ground does a lecturer have in forcefully collecting huge amount of money from students? Varsity teachers tantalised by greed are seeking to be business tycoons overnight such that they have stooped so low to help students plagiarise projects for a token. This is the trend in most institutions. Students no longer do projects and research as long as they slip some ‘change’ into the bank accounts of their lecturers. Often times it is the lecturers who threaten these students to engage in such malpractice. An attempt by any fellow to deter in this fraudulent scheme would lead one to hole an F.

Las las, school na scam! This cliché isn’t just some jocular remark but clear picture describing the rottenness of our education system. It is very proper that the phrase should be resounded because stroking the mammalian glands of silence on this matter would lead to a regrettable future. Isn’t it worrisome that getting admitted into a university is no longer by merit but by who you know or how much you can pay as bribe? Now there’s a clandestine backdoor forum where individuals desperately seeking for admission could visit to liaise with some corrupt university officials. That forum where admission is guaranteed as soon as fat brown envelopes changes hand from the giver to the receiver. Legally qualified students now have to be shoved aside for some special students to walk in. Isn’t this fraud? No wonder for the geometric increase of quack graduates.

Welcome to Nigeria’s education system where degrees are auctioned. The kind of degree you want depends on the amount you are able to cough out. This explains the dearth of manpower in the various fields expected to drive up the goals of this nation. Universities churn out thousands of graduates annually into a gaping-mouthed society but how many ever turn out to be productive? We hear of doctors killing patients by ‘mistake'. We hear of surgeons leaving medical tools inside the bodies of patients after a surgery, leading to avoidable deaths. A saying goes this way: what you sow is what you reap. This applies to this awful scenario. Since death is what have been sown into the lives of those graduates, there is no doubt that the society will reap the same thing. Our school system has failed in ensuring that only qualified individuals are poured into the society due to corruption that has entangled its webs around it.

School nascam because Nigeria’s school system is not living up to expectations. Nigerian youth — the ones yearning for a change — having considered the predicaments surrounding their learning institutions, couldn’t fight better than to cry foul and we must keep crying foul until a positive solution is tendered to bring the anomaly to an end.

Education is the bedrock of any nation. Where this is besmeared with corrupt practices and managed by conmen, Nigeria would forever remain inside the gulag of darkness. It is time for a revolution in our academic sector.

Promise Eze writes @ [email protected]

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