For all the development and advancements the South West region has recorded for decades, it surprises me that education remains a big challenge for this region. The region is by far the most successful, stable and developed and enlightened of all the regions in the country. Yet, educationally it has a serious problem.
This baffles me. But what worries me most is actually the poor state of the state owned schools and the sort of students they graduate.
In the South West, educational institutions are owned by either private individuals, owned by religious bodies or the government. The privately owned schools are by far the better of the two. The state-owned schools are owned by either the Federal government or the state government. Between the two, Federally owned schools perform much better and their students more disciplined. But the state owned schools are extremely terrible.
In every local government area, there exist one or more state owned schools. They are free and usually have a lot of students. Yet these schools are poorly equipped, and their staff poorly paid. This of course contributes to the big problem the schools face: thuggery.
Due to the fact that these schools are free to attend, are poorly maintained and their students lack discipline, they have become a breeding ground for thuggery and cultism at its infantry. Frequently one hears stories about how kids from these schools engage each other in violent confrontations. Check the bags of some of these students and you’ll find knives and other violent objects.
Why? They are getting ready and are always prepared to attack any student they have clashes with, particularly students from other schools.
These students have gone mad I tell you!
And they sometimes organise themselves to fight: one school against another. I tell you it happens, particularly at Interhouse Sports Competitions, when different schools are invited to participate in different sport games.
Fights usually break out when one school utilizes “machineries” (using a person skillful in a sport, but not a student) and wins. Or, when the results don’t go the way of their school, violence breaks out.
But the most common way the thuggery of these students display itself is in disputes ‘over woman’. If two students from different schools like a girl from a particular school, they could fight each other over her, and in some cases, their colleagues in school would support their own.
It’s true! I remember an episode like this happened while I was in secondary school. A guy from a public school came into my school with a knife and wanted to stab one of my teachers because he flog a girl he liked. The girl transferred from his school to mine. His colleagues came along with him too. It was crazy that day.
The situation is only getting worse as these students have started officially joining confraternities. You’ll see them “flying colours” of one cult group or another. At this stage they become very arrogant, misbehave, abuse drugs and drink alcohol.
There’s more to this but this how far I can go today.