The pervasive corruption within Nigerian political leadership has critically exacerbated the chronic underfunding of the country's education sector. Successive administrations have neglected education to the point of decay, fostering a situation where paper certificates are valued more than genuine knowledge. This has led to the emergence of shortcuts, with individuals seeking degrees in three months, undermining the true essence of education.
Incessant strikes further compound the issue, stretching a typical four or five-year course to seven or eight years. The decay is evident in graduates who struggle to construct a proper sentence, showcasing the deterioration of educational standards. Admissions are auctioned to the highest bidder, undermining the merit-based system established by JAMB. Financial demands from universities force deserving students to forfeit their merit-based slots to those with monetary resources.
Allegations of financial misappropriation in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs underscore the prevalent money-sharing culture, often resulting in the creation of disasters to justify borrowing. Money laundering is rampant, evident in lavish constructions and shopping complexes across the country. Despite substantial budgets allocated to education, the government seeks additional funds, diverting attention from critical sectors. The irony persists as billions are embezzled while public tertiary institutions struggle with insufficient funds, leading to unjust tuition fee increases. This stark reality questions the sincerity of those entrusted with steering the nation's progress.
Addressing this crisis requires urgent action. Government accountability and transparency must be prioritized, with thorough investigations into corruption within the education sector. Recovered funds should be redirected to alleviate financial strain on public tertiary institutions, ensuring affordable education and rebuilding the integrity of the sector. It is imperative for Nigerians to collectively resist the destruction of their education system by holding those responsible accountable.