February 24, 2024


International Student Club UK

The Nigerian boarding school and its enemies


A number of times ago, Queens University, Ibadan, executed the opening of a multi-purpose corridor dedicated to the memory of one of the school’s illustrious alumni, Dr Ameyo Adadevoh. This was a lady who pretty much stood amongst the people of Lagos and a threatened epidemic of Ebola virus.

It appeared only a number of shorter months back that the alumni of the college, led by the indefatigable Amazon of Nigerian psychiatry, Dr Taiwo Adamson, held a gala event in Lagos to increase funds for the venture. At the function, recent learners were being conspicuously existing, wanting immaculate in their uniforms, and all seeking as if they had been currently dreaming of getting upcoming Ameyo Adadevohs. It was uncomplicated to presume that the pupils have been taking pleasure in the same lifestyle of civic grooming and planet-class education and learning that people prior to them experienced thrived on.

Unfortunately, that was not precisely the case. And it is still not the circumstance both for the tier of colleges that may be thought of the equivalent of the so-known as ‘Public Schools’ of England. The reference here is to educational facilities this kind of as Governing administration College Ibadan, Federal government College Ughelli, Kings University, Lagos, and the like.

In which they should really have been pushing for new educational facilities to occur up to the benchmarks of the previous ‘centres of excellence,’ they seemed to consider a perverse satisfaction in tearing down the pretensions of the ‘big name’ educational institutions, in several situations abolishing their boarding properties

The latest drama bordering the endeavours to rebuild Govt Higher education, Ibadan, to its previous glory is illustrative of the troubles skilled by this class of faculties in Nigeria. They are elite faculties of benefit, not cost-free, but available to the little ones of the inadequate and the rich, because the fees are deliberately pitched at a lower amount. Governing administration University, Ibadan, for case in point, was owned by the authorities of Western Area. Enrolment was via hugely competitive entrance examinations carried out throughout the country.

You can recollect that in your course, in the college, there ended up small children, not just from the Western Area, but from the East and the other locations of the region. These a long time in boarding university in Ibadan had been between the most impactful several years of your lifestyle to date.

In 1979, the ‘progressive’ UPN authorities that held currency in Ibadan and in Lagos decided to just take Schooling to the grassroots. The best faculties, which include Mission Faculties, ended up taken from their homeowners. Their enrolment quantities were massively increased. New faculties ended up created on the soccer fields of some. Training, such as it was, was built absolutely free for all. The people today at the helm, Bola Ige – ‘the Cicero of Esa Oke, and Lateef Jakande – ‘Baba Kekere,’ were being your ideological heroes then, as they nevertheless are now. But they ended up erroneous. They ended up levelling down, fairly than levelling up. Wherever they should really have been pushing for new universities to come up to the criteria of the old ‘centres of excellence,’ they seemed to acquire a perverse satisfaction in tearing down the pretensions of the ‘big name’ colleges, in numerous situations abolishing their boarding residences.

Superior-traveling young young children, loaded and weak, that should be nurtured as the outliers and cream of their generation are ruing the fallout of that coverage shift to this day.

Quite a few non-public faculties have tried out to phase into the breach by constructing elaborate facilities and presenting ‘British’ or ‘American’ training. Apart from bearing names that can be viewed as an expression of a unhappy lack of self-esteem, the fees of lots of of these universities are way beyond the get to of the kids of the very poor. Despite that, the working experience they supply are not able to be as opposed with what these fantastic governing administration educational facilities offered in their heyday. But at least they are there.

Browse also: How very poor, out-of-college children get schooling with N100 in the FCT

Alumni Associations, pushed by a enthusiasm to give back again, are stepping in to check out to give the students of right now some of what they savored for a pittance in the times of yore. The Alumni of Government Faculty, Ibadan, have spent billions of naira striving to revive their boarding dwelling process and recreate the civilized ambience in their previous faculty. They have even signed an arrangement to take around the management of the university for a period of time. Surprisingly, they are meeting resistance, simply because some tension teams in Ibadan worry they are seeking to ‘buy’ the college and just take absent the government’s promise of ‘free education’. It is a sad improvement.

In Lagos, the threat is an overweening regulator with a proclivity for knee-jerk reactions. Youngsters of one particular non-public boarding university that is aspect of a chain had been filmed in sexual shenanigans when on a foreign group journey. The regulator shut down all the educational facilities in the chain indefinitely. The preposterous conclusion was rescinded soon after a number of times, even as investigations proceeded apace uncover out what went erroneous, punish the culprits, and test to avert a recurrence.

There is a further university that has been under lock and crucial for various months, soon after the sad demise of a pupil. The social media had been awash with lurid tales of wrongdoing. The regulator, in tandem with the public sentiment, shut the faculty down, its physique language demonstrating that it considered the sensational tales. Notable citizens and non-state gamers got into the fray.

Finally, the nation’s primary centre for forensic pathology carried out a article-mortem evaluation and pronounced the result in of loss of life. The reality, when it emerged, was inconvenient. Even a coroner’s sitting, typically a sober medico-authorized exercising lasting a working day or two, concentrated solely on challenging pathological evidence, grew to become theatre, with adjournments and authorized pyrotechnics. The query continues to be – why was the university shut in the 1st put? Why could investigations not have long gone on, even as other little ones continued in their university?

Management, afterall, is not keeping a wet finger aloft to ascertain the route in which the wind of general public sentiment is blowing. It is, as Bill Clinton showed in returning a Cuban boy to his moms and dads in Cuba in the enamel of general public opposition, calmly doing the appropriate matter, irrespective.

Ideally, the Boarding Faculty technique in Nigeria will endure its existing travails and continue to be a builder of long run opportunities. The old educational institutions will return to glory, and new outstanding, cost-effective kinds will be part of them.


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