By Onilemarun Kareem
Few days ago, Kwara witnessed one of the heated debates on education. However, the unfortunate thing is that it somehow found its way into politicking, total dismissal of genuine points made by the Former Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, not everything he said is correct, however, what has the CPS said differently rather than conceptualizing what the former Minister has said? It is important to note that the CPS cannot be dubbed as an “intellect”, he is nothing but a brilliant man. In displaying that brilliance as a writer, it came at the cost of showing his intellectual limitations and comprehension level, even when Bolaji Abdullahi’s position was written in simple language.
It is not strange or unusual, after all we have seen Ministers and brilliant men defended the indefensible under Buhari, not only have they sacrificed their intellectual and moral obligation, they have designed a “leaflet of stupidity” that they hand over to everyone who visits them. I mean, Ajakaye slammed Bolaji Abdullahi with “intellectual dishonesty?” A phrase initially used by one of his Ikorodu Boys on a Whatsapp platform? That is unbefitting of his office, it makes one doubt whether he was truly the writer of that piece, Ajakaye hardly faces important issues about his principal with the humour contained in that article, it must be one of his Ikorodu Boys.
Most importantly, “intellectual dishonesty” is a phrase that crept into our political space when the former CPS to Bukola Saraki alleged Wahab Oba of being one. Beyond wiki, we all know how that phrase crawled into our political space. Well, it is not bizarre once more, people like Ajakaye are known as “the borrowers”, people that steal pins, blades and other little items from your house without consent, then you start looking for those items – despite being sure where you kept them. Stress yourself no more, Ajakaye is in the building.
Plato designed an education system for Athens, where the state must be responsible for the education of the citizens, determines what they must learn and become, Aristotle disagreed, he said the state should not do that, rather people must be free to choose their profession and decide in what capacity they want to serve the state. Why didn’t Aristotle say his teacher lacks proper intellect? It is because Athens was smaller than Rome where Aristotle spent his lifetime, bigger and more populous. So, if I may ask, what is the fuss by the CPS about? We have existentialists, naturalists, idealists, realists, pragmatists in education, each speaking and propounding education they feel is best for their century and those coming after them.
Education has moved from being philosophy dominated to integration of science and technology, that is why you see STEM being upgraded to STEAM, all in the best interest of the society, there was no need to insult or dub someone as intellectual dishonest person, scholars over the years have argued from different school of thoughts, all you needed to do was to clarify your school of thought.
It is important to note that the CPS is not the creator of the information he dished out, his job is to merely disseminate, hence, it is inappropriate to judge his intellectualism. That will be very unfair as it is evident he lacks proper understanding on the subject matter, nor is sufficient experience at his disposal to understand his own cognitive dissonance. “Prisoners of Geography?”, are we discussing about education or how environment contributes to wealth creation and distribution in a state? If we want to speak of environmental and structural correlation with education, the appropriate recommendation should have been Maria Montessori and other scholars who argued that you can’t separate classroom settings, control and management from education. In recent time, there are agitations in advanced countries to change the title of “teachers” to “Classroom Directors”, this is genuine agitation for Bolaji’s position, that the society should produce critical thinkers, problem solvers.
After all, that is the goal of this century’s education and why core educators designed aims, goals and objectives of education. In lesson plans, you see “behavioural objectives”, in scheme of work and curriculum, you see goals and in our philosophy of education, you see the aims of our education. The urge to fire Bolaji Abdullahi must have been because the Governor’s name was mentioned, dismissing all genuine points raised and narrowing it down to politicking.
If you are making beautiful efforts as such and complimenting the efforts of your predecessors, you will receive the applaud of the public. In fact, education is one of the least things the public clap for in our space, roads and other infrastructural projects are usually more appreciated, so in the end, it is not about who dominates or rewrites history, most of the graduates today in Kwara are product of Saraki’s revolution in education, at least those you now use as writers and important crew members of your Ikorodu band. Either in the past or future, the history that will be before us are competent learners who are able to reason and solve the generational disadvantages of our dear state, that is what is important.
You are making wrong recommendation of books, Plato discussed the Republic separately from Education, was he foolish to have done that? Prisoners of Geography and education related discussion? Next time, the urge to speak fine English should be avoided, being capable of speaking or writing fine English does not translate to deep understanding of the subject matter. There are books that argued on the importance of Education and environment, you can’t just waste the work of Behaviorists and Congnitivists because of ignorance and arrogance of words.
Bolaji Abdullahi has not said anything bigger than his mouth or he shouldn’t have said. Technically, there was just this urge to speak and abuse him. Though Ajakaye writing that piece is still in contest and that piece had every tone of unofficial Deputy CPS(“Amugba legbe”) , if that is true, then one must start to question Ajakaye’s competency or the extent of his unofficial DCPS’ influence on him must be measured and policed next time. Do not rubbish the office of the CPS for your successors at least.
Neither Bukola Saraki or your administration is doing us a favour, the job of all government across board is to see education as part of public good. The society must continue after your politics and coming generations must be handed over sufficient knowledge and information that will help them to advance the society.
It doesn’t take 15 years to fix deficits in Education by any serious government. What should take 15 years is waiting to see the manifestation of our concrete efforts in rebuilding Education. Class rooms are important, environment is important, Bolaji never said they are not, he said they also did that, he only argued that they must be backed by sufficient policies that will guarantee the ultimate goals of producing fine products. We can’t wait for 15 years for all classrooms to be renovated, equipped, there are many agencies in Nigeria that spend billions on infrastructure in our education. Yet, have policies in place for staff development and trainings, to get education beyond infrastructure.
What you needed to do was to give clarification, such a delicate issue shouldn’t have been handled with humour. The clarification given was marred by the immaturity of the handler of the office, writer of the piece. You must not see the perspective on important issues from the lens of a child next time.
Conclusively, a friend just cracked a joke with me when he saw the news of new Commissioner nominees. He said Abdulrahaman is in his usual one year Commissioner nominees calendar syndrome, it is now a festival. The era is here where the degree of one’s attacks on WhatsApp groups cum how much one has condemned Bukola Saraki remains the gate fee to be appointed into AbdulRahman’s cabinet, others must work harder if they want food on their table. The Governor surely rewards hardwork.
Onilemarun Kareem, a Sarakist and member of Devoted Minds