I listened with rapt attention, although by accident or co-incidence, the discourse on the issues raised by the Governor of Ekiti State , Dr Ayodele Fayose as it concerns the 82 Chibok Girls which were just negotiatedly released by the Federal Government from the Boko Haram terrorist group. The discourse took place on Splash FM 105.5 morning programme today.
The Governor of Ekiti wondered , among other reasons, why students who were said to be abducted while about to sit for final School certificate examination in Physics could not express themselves in English Language. His fears are not unfounded, but Dr. Fayose seems to be alienated from the people he is governing notwithstanding his self- acclaimed grassroot connection and attachment.
I attended Urban Day Grammar School , Elekuro, Ibadan , Oyo State between 1980 to 1985. Our teachers’ language of instruction even in English Language up to the time we passed out was Yoruba. None of us could converse in English Language. It was even a prescribed rule in our school by our teachers that we must not try to ” use ” our own English during any any test or examinations. We must just pour it out as it was written down for us either in notebooks or in textbooks. Cramming was the order of the day in our school.
It was at Higher School and some other tertiary institutions that very few of us were privileged to attend that our oral English was improved upon due to our interactions with other students from privileged backgrounds. Even at that, that foundational deficiency is still apparent in our communication skills till today.
If such grievous educational issues occurred in the pacesetter state of Oyo State in the South- West Nigeria, one can imagine how ridiculously low it would be in the Northern part of Nigeria, especially in the rural Chibok village.
That problem has even crept into and prominent in our universities(both public and private) too today. We are now producing a quarter baked graduates and unlettered professionals in all fields of human endeavours.. We must all rise up and be alive to our responsibilities in Nigeria as it concerns our educational system failing which we would be more doomed than we are at present.
I heard the interview clip of Gov. Fayose as played on that programme and I am not in doubt he suffered the same primary and secondary educational backgrounds like myself and the Chibok Girls that he complained about. Every sentence made by him as played on that radio was full of grammatical blunders. It is not Gov. Fayose’s fault, just like mine and the poor Chibok Girls, rather it is our fate as foisted on us by our poor educational system.- Adebayo M.Ojo

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