Pains of Nigerian teachers and absurdities of the NANS

October 8, 2015
2 mins read

ON Monday this week, Nigerian teachers joined their counterparts around the world to celebrate World Teachers’ Day. The National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Michael Olukoya underlined the serious security threat that faces Nigerian teachers today, against the backdrop of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Today, 19, 000 teachers are recorded amongst the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast part of our country; while over 600 teachers have lost their lives to terror attacks.

They included 308 teachers in Borno; 75 in Adamawa; 18 in Yobe; 25 in Kaduna; 120 in Plateau; 63 in Kano and 2 in Gombe state. Central to the belief system of Boko Haram, is that ‘Western’ education is a ‘sin’, and they have therefore targeted teachers; pupils and educational infrastructure in the Northeast of Nigeria.

The people of these states have suffered untold hardships and that is made particularly vicious by the fact that these are already disadvantaged people and states in the first place, and so the little that they possess has been systematically targeted for destruction by the insurgency.

Reconstruction of infrastructure

It is imperative not only to defeat Boko Haram, but to also begin a process of rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure, particularly educational infrastructure, in that part of Nigeria.

And the best way to defeat the fanatical and backwards ideology is to ensure that education is given a pride of place for girls and boys so they can help to build their states, region and our country in general, in an atmosphere of peace and democratic consolidation.

In that process, adequately remunerated and motivated teachers will play a central role.

As we talk about our teachers and their plight, a tragedy of monumental proportions is unfolding amongst Nigerian students at the tertiary level of education. The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has made a transition from conscience of Nigerian society to an association of student touts and thugs.

I say that with pain in my heart, because as President of the University of Lagos’ Marxist League in 1980/81, it was my generation of student activists that drew up the NANS NIGERIAN STUDENTS CHARTER OF DEMANDS.

It was a very militant, democratic and anti-dictatorship platform, which represented the yearnings of Nigerian students for a patriotic education that served Nigeria’s development and was in tandem with the demands of the Nigerian working people and the patriotic democratic movement in Nigeria.

Nigerian students had a proud tradition of standing for the best interests of the Nigerian people. But today the story is different.
Our student movement has become an organization of thugs and touts available for the highest bidder, usually the most despicable and corrupt politicians in the land. NANS now issues very dubious awards as it did this week to the controversial politician Buruji Kasahamu. And a few weeks ago, it was also hired to demonstrate in support of Bukola Saraki!

Certainly, that is not the same NANS that we painstakingly built as a platform of ideals and patriotism. If we wait long enough, everything changes.

In NANS case, the change is for the worst and its mercenary condition just shows that Nigeria’s future is in considerable jeopardy with the type of characters posturing in today’s NANS leadership! Pity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Don't Miss