That the state of education in Nigeria is in perpetual decay is no longer news. The national question; though rhetorical, is whether Nigerians should henceforth take the promise of the nation’s leaders to reform our education sector as a mere disingenuous statement of intent. The rhetoric question stems from the unfulfilled promise by every successive government to redeem our bastardized education.

One of the greatest gift of God to man is the ability to relieve and enjoy good memories. Though time does not stand still, but memory can go back many years in time. Within the past 69 years of history, University of Ibadan has grown and recorded demonstrable progress. Today, it is a pride to the graduating students who have been goaded by character and learning. It has been more than ordinarily audacious in choosing to tread on the terrain of life building. It is certainly not easy to take up the responsibility of educating a group of students from the first day in school to the final exam day, in a society where morality, decency, fairplay, honesty and respect for life have all given in to all manners of vices. Be that as it may, I feel blissful when I see UI students (present and former) doing us proud in various undertakings. Kudos to the great citadel of learning!

However, Nigeria’s education has witnessed a lot of innovations over the generations and more of dilapidations over the ages. In our time, the educational journey through any institution is undoubtedly not the one to remember for good. As many of us can testify: should we keep the memories of the days we went for lectures at CBN only to sit and watch slides with unseen voices? Should we keep the record of the lecturers that never stepped the lecture hall to lecture but to sell out lecture materials? We are all living witnesses to the programmed strike actions in the university community. Should we be boastful of these? For the larger percentage of people who probably did not attend a practical school or training offices on the course of study before coming to UI, might end up having their studentships questioned by the uninformed lecturers who had no time to take practical but derived pleasure to reading out lecture notes. As a student from a queen home, you must learn and adapt to read without power supply- it’s part of the struggle for excellence anyway. The current status of education in Nigeria, we are all to blame.

“The most important decisions in your life, trust your intuition, and then work with everything you have, to prove it right”. – Tom Rick

 Graduation, Induction or Convocation is a roller coaster of emotions for grads and their families alike. It’s a moment of celebration, achievement, and hope for the future and reflection on the past. It’s a day to always remember, not because it all ends but because it starts the real journey of your life.

University of Ibadan, to some extent, has granted you all you need to be a success like others. Don’t be too happy with the result, and don’t be dismayed with it; because what awaits you is higher and bigger than what you have witnessed. Erase the unpleasant memories of the days spent on campus, accept the challenges of education in our institution & nation, and hope for the best. After today, where else? And after convocation, what’s next?

Lastly before the ink in my pen is exhausted, to every graduating students of the university, I would say you should have big dreams, full dreams, not half dreams. You know, it’s very simple. You can’t put a large box in a small box. Well, you cannot put a full life in a small dream box.

Happy Graduation, Induction and Convocation Week!

  • ProfThePoet™