Education in Lagos in the early 1960s to 1980 was operating under a system known as shift education system (SES), the system simply means that some sets of students go to school in the morning and other set goes in the evening.
The reason for this system was because of the shortage of schools to meet the number of school-aged kids, children attending schools in that time were given adequate attention from teachers and schools alike.
One major con of this system was that children we mostly exhausted through the day after evening schooling.
With the elections of Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande under the umbrella of the then Unity Party of Nigeria, a mass school building project commenced all over Lagos, providing school structures even in the most remote parts of the state.
Although the initiative or intention in the mass development of school structure everywhere can be seen as laudable, the outcome is what will be discussed here.
The rapid development of school structures all over Lagos quickly plunged the Nigerian educational bodies into a chaotic situation with a massive shortage of professional teachers and even with the inclusion of insourced teachers from Niegbouring west African countries staffs were still outnumbered with classes having as much as sixty(60) students per teacher, the scheme was more focused on the school structure but not on building education.
The inconducive learning and teaching conditions soon gave way to several well-documented waves of abuse on both parts (i mean teachers and students).
For example, if you are a Nigerian and have one time in your life been a student of any government-owned school then you must have been flogged by a teacher or teachers.
The abuse of children in Nigerian schools is truly appalling, children have been maimed by teachers for just one wrong answer in his or her homework.
Imagine as a student, a child and you arrive at school only to be used by the school to clear grass the size of a football field and only have an hour of learning or perhaps no learning just a hard labor job.
Some teachers use students as their house help, with teachers sending students to go and clean their private homes, the resulting consequences of these abuses led to a high volume of inappropriate relationships between students and teachers at times leading to cases of teenage pregnancies.
Life as a Nigerian student from the 1980s up to 2021 is full of trauma, beating, punishments, extortion and a whole lot of psychological degradation and abuse are the norms of being a student in Nigeria, these injustices in Nigerian schools does not even end with government schools alone, for example, a student attending one of the so-called private universities was beaten and told to kneel in the open sun because she could not prove that she was a virgin.....yes you heard that right.
Even as recent as 2020, Boluwatife Omelaja a student was beaten to death by one Mr. Emmanuel who was at that time a teacher and reported by the brother of the deceased Mr. Ridwan Oyewunmi, sadly this is not an isolated case but rather an all too common incident.
Adult brutality towards children has been scientifically proven to be the sole cause of learning blockage where students, rather than focus on the lesson they learn, remain focused on doing things to avoid being beaten, these include avoiding classes, jumping schools, joining gangs.
Students who are brave and decide to go through the above-mentioned abuses only do so with the hope of getting a better future.
Where is our promised future?
On behalf of those students who endured the psychological abuses resulting from a governmental failure to anticipate the consequences of providing more schools than available staff, I ask now where are the jobs? where is the future for which a student was beaten, punished, used as housemaids, sexually abused, and harassed? why did I have to carry my school desk and seat to and from home every time?
Nigerian produces the highest amount of unemployed university graduates per capita than any other country in the world, so why WAEC? why JAMB if you do not even have jobs for us?
The abolishment of the shift educational system was a total disaster that has now left millions of Nigerians unknowingly traumatize and hopeless, this is understandable after discovering that all that beating, all that fear, all that abuse was for nothing. The exponential increase in the number of area-boys AKA agbero, robbers, kidnappers, and even those that believe in money rituals can also be attributed to the effects of building school structures without building education.
Unfortunately, the horrors of the past cannot be taken back but however, there is a light of hope to be seen as the children who were mostly victims of this spectacular failure as they are now the parents of today. You can change things for your child or children by simply saying no, no to the beating of your child or children by a teacher or the school, no to the psychological pressure imposed on students by the school through several degrading inhumane acts against children, say no to a government with no clear plans on what students will do after work, say no to a government with no plans to improve the educational infrastructure.
The issues that went on in the 1980s to 2000s only happened because most parents at that time were not aware of the above said abuses, it is time to understand that the future of all Nigerians is interwoven and by sending your child to other countries to study does not mean that you have provided a future for your child but rather you have made your child a target for traumatized ex-students to attack.
If you want to have a change in Nigeria then be the change !!! join 9jacommunity and let us together build back our country. 9jacommunity stands against child abuse in any form and anywhere, Nigerian children deserve more, deserve respect and this blog is dedicated to every Nigerian student in Nigeria going through these horrors be strong we will fight to make it right again.