By: Jonathan Ukor
It’s been four months since our students last put on their school uniforms. Four months is a very long time — even longer when spent indoors and in idleness. You can’t imagine the lockdown tales of these students as they resume back to school. Some say they miss school, some would rather continue selling Indomie and provisions in mommy’s store. And there are those, girls of circumstances, who will become mothers come January. Also, the boys of benefits, who are the talk of the town and soon to be the talk of the EFCC. They all have peculiar lockdown tales to tell.
But schools have reopened and the cardinal certification examination will commence next week Monday. The “cruel” examination council isn’t taking it lightly on our students either. How dare they slate mathematics for first paper after four long months of video gaming, retailing, hustling, pleasuring, face-mask hawking, crypto trading, and footballing? Don’t they have conscience? I wonder.
Now our students are full of anxiety. Amidst the joy of returning to school and seeing friendly faces that they miss, there is that fear that mathematics is on Monday. These students are geniuses though. It is evident in their eyes that help will come from the Lord (or from Mr Ajayi the math teacher). The math teacher had given them AOCs (assurance of commitment). In his words, “You students have nothing to worry about; the school has spoken with your parents. Just read here and here and here, leave the rest to the Lord (and to me).”
You see how progressive the Nigerian education system is. So remarkably progressive the whole world should adopt the system. The success of our students is the sole aim of all stakeholders in the education system. And who should be “awarded this blame?” Do we award the blame to parents, schools, teachers, students or the examination council? I wonder.
But parents have done their best, really. The few who have keen interest in quality education have gone the long length to provide support and to pay whatever fees required for the success of their child(ren). Despite the state of the economy, the Concerned Parents Association of Nigerian Students (CPANS), as part of their SDG campaign, donated a huge sum for examiners’ welfarism. How generous! The school proprietor wrote a two-page letter expressing truest appreciation for the thoughtfulness of these parents.
Teachers are beneficiaries too. For months now, they have abandoned the chalk and have embraced the hoe and cutlass to survive. Life has been hard, but not anymore. With this miracle of school reopening, teachers can smile again.
Our students are the golden eggs. Although, they still have to dress in those tightly fitted uniforms. They still have to read (or pretend to read), and be secondary school students just this last time. They still have mathematics to write on Monday. “Nothing to worry about, the good Lord works in mysterious ways.”