Sunday, May 13, 2018
[email protected]


"Besides food, only education [i]s necessary for survival."

- Abiodun Junaid

hy is education up there with food? Because ignorance kills. Ignorance of healthcare causes a diabetic to drink soft drinks; ignorance of building codes causes one to erect a majestic edifice on the tributary of Ogunpa river; and ignorance of ecology caused government and citizens alike to watch Lake Chad dry up to a fraction of its size. Ignorance kills, and education liberates.

So, how do we know if a candidate is serious? Ask him or her what s/he plans to do about education because without education, we're going nowhere.

Which kind of education?

Take STEM education and add CE as a basic recipe. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math have been shown to produce development and growth in a society. Science pervades every aspect of our lives and studying Biology, Chemistry, and Physics help us to live well. Technology is continuously expanding and not paying attention to it places us centuries behind other countries. Engineering provides sustainable and environmental solutions that are vital to our continued survival. And, mathematics provides the foundation for methods and systems that have eluded us so far.

Adding Commerce and Entrepreneurship to make STEMCE, would help students make the leap from academics to the marketplace. It's not enough to learn microbiology, a student needs to know how to take that knowledge and set up a medical laboratory, research lab, or consulting services as an environmental/water resource inspector. Likewise, a student majoring in English, needs to begin to write and market books in order to make that degree relevant. Every degree must be market-ready just like vocational training.

So, what does your electoral candidate say about education?

Nothing? Everything?

Review feasibility of promises made. See beyond lip service or leaps of faith such as recent Lagos State declaration to conduct all teaching and learning activities from assembly to closing to be done in Yoruba. Question where the pedagogical or theoretical materials to undergird such an implementation will come from? Do we even have such facilities at the primary level? For example, have we written books that teach basic algebraic concepts in Yoruba?

And the budget?: How much is this candidate willing to commit to education? Is s/he planning to invest in books, computers, infrastructure, and personnel training? Or is s/he building castles in the air?

Finally, what kind of education does the candidate have? Arguably, those who have little or no education are unlikely to invest in it. In addition, who has s/he tagged for minister or commissioner of education? A country focused on development does not change its Minister of Education every two years!

No shortcuts and no grand gestures, ask tough questions before you vote.