Today, I was opportune to attend the 2018 Youth Migration Summit organized by former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
The focus of the summit was curbing irregular Migration of Nigerian youth. This was somewhat inspired by the ongoing rescue of the indigenes trapped in Libya.
A route they have to take to get to Europe.
They risk their lives crossing through the Mediterranean Sea in search of greener pastures, but end up getting more than they bargained for. Those who make it out of the desert alive are abused, maimed physically and physiologically, sold into slavery and most often killed.
A select of the rescued migrants were also called to share their experiences in the hope to create awareness for what could only have been a result of ignorance, deception on the part the migrants.
Education was pin-pointed at root cause of illegal / irregular migration- lack of education to be precise. And still the solution.
Digging that factor to the root cause, we’d see education only constitutes half of the solution.
What do you mean? You ask.
Simple. You can force a horse to the river, you can force it to drink water. You can take the children to school, you can’t open their heads and put the understanding of what is being taught in.
No matter how many school buildings are put in place, it would have little or no effect on the children been cajoled to go to school.
There can be no solution to the problem, if he cause isn’t tackled.
I mean, how do you explain education and it’s future benefits in say six, ten, or even twelve years, to a child who is only interested in finding food that would keep him till the next day?
How do you expect them to concentrate on what is been taught, when their tummies are rioting in hunger?
Let’s not even go into the how unconducive the learning environment is, in term of distractions which come in form of poverty, lack of basic amenities, and the unpaid, undedicated teachers.
Demographic shown in the summit explain that most of the illegal migrants are SSCE certificate holders, and semi illiterates.
Tell me, if the motivation for learning was there, would they have dropped out of school in the first place? Even if some still decided formal education wasn’t for them, the statistics won’t be as high as it is now.
Education used to be the key.
Generally unlocking the doors of ignorance, illiteracy and poverty.
Now most graduates don’t even know how to write an informal letter, much more defend their certificate.
What door did their education unlock?
The educational system has been corrupted.
Most youths go for the certificate and not the knowledge, why?
I’ll tell you why.
It doesn’t seem to be any use to them. The graduates they have seen are still unemployed, and the number is growing each day.
Every youth is looking for a quick fix to their problems, they are tired of waiting on the Government.
Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo mentioned something in the lines that people who travel out have no idea that what is out there, is actually worse than what they are currently going through.
So the question popped in my head.
“How long should the people take solace in the fact that their current suffering isn’t as bad as the one they are bound to face if they decide to travel out through the backdoor?”
What if they decide they don't mind if the grass on the other side isn't even green? What if they just want grass, no matter the colour, as they are tired of the rocky grounds they have been made to bear for so long?
Those who recognize the need to hustle, leave school early enough to start a business in the name of Entrepreneurship, but end up worse off than they started- in terms of incurring debt.
Basic necessity such as electricity, water and transportation are still missing. These people can’t even help themselves or find it hard to because a lot of factors are working against them.
Whilst their concentration should be on their intended businesses and pursuit of their dreams, half their focus and drive is expended on factors that should long ago have been fixed and set in place.
The current situation of the country makes it harder for them to strive in their chosen careers.
Education has failed them, Entrepreneurship is failing them.
Imagine when the biggest problem of majority of populace is putting food on their table.
So tell me, what coercion could be given to these hungry ones?
Education isn’t a 100% solution, part, but definitely not all of it.
I’m still going to put this up on Instagram, and tag the organizers, maybe give them a different perspective to see things from.
Thanks for stopping by.