As usual, Nigerians have been throwing up all sorts of emotional arguments since this broke. Do you blame us? Not at all. This is sad and stares us in the face as another sign of a failed society. This generation continues to fail itself and our children in all spheres, be it in leadership, the economy, and now in parenting. So, how do you now leave the solution, especially the urgent need for a short-term solution in a space that is bedeviled by fluidity and ambiguity? Furthermore, the parental space lacks the uniformity that is required for a standardized approach. Parents reserve the right to bring up their children in any way they deem fit, and this throws up confusion only a credible educational and mentoring system can clear up. This is where my position is that we engage the authorities squarely on this matter, and its overhead challenges very squarely.
Our children spend 80% of their time within the educational system. At that point, the parent is restricted and constrained, but he is relaxed because he feels that better-equipped individuals are in his son’s case. So, what exactly is a parent expected to do when the child is 80% of the time in the school system? He can only strengthen what the child is being taught in the school and no longer be at the forefront of engaging the child. People calling for parental care at this point lack the power of deductive thinking and are very far from reality.
The environmental forces mitigating against the parent in performing his divine role are too strong, and that is why he is relying on the educational system to do the work. Let’s keep fooling ourselves and shouting “parental care.” We are not equipped to engage a teenager of the information age. We do not have the time or capacity to do it. How many of us understand apps, the internet, and crypto? Beyond calls, texts, and whatsapp, is it not over? We are dealing with super-intelligent beings who are light years ahead of us. These are aliens. These are not Nigerians; they are powerful beings.
When we are watching Network News, they build machines, create wealth, and hack US Airforce planes all from their bedrooms. Do you really think these ones will be afraid of your cane? Or your yell, or your admonition. What we have with this Christmas debacle is the negative side of aliens. The positive sides far outweigh the negatives. In our usual confusion, we are shouting, not understanding how to deal with these ones. They expect to use the old-fashioned style they used for us to engage these ones. We will fall on our faces in shame.
This is where the government must step in with effective policies derived from studies, research, and psychological analysis to strengthen the school system. This is why I am angry with the authorities for their school closures. Instead of asking what is going on, pulling in resources both human and otherwise to fashion an engaging ecosystem that will involve all stakeholders, including parents and the schools, they are shutting down the schools. While we, the parents, are sharing the videos and wringing our hands in fake disgust but thanking God that it’s not our kids involved, I never get emotional. We always do, and when we get emotional, we lose the plot.
So we want this girl to go back to her parents for what? Or worse, to a church for deliverance while we wait for the next scandal. A child has been killed and others are doing sex orgy and we don’t know the millions that are up to all sorts of things and all we can do is to shut the schools for one second and go back to bed. We had better go to countries like Rwanda and Kenya and see what they are doing with their educational sectors and copy it.
They are certainly not shutting down schools the moment teenagers decide to have sex and film it. They are much more constructive. We had better smell the coffee and begin to engage realistically and practically from the level of policy and enforcement down to execution and then finally to the last line of defense in parenting.
If we don’t do this, I shudder to think of the consequences. Let’s discuss this thoroughly at the Fresh Ministires discussion on the matter this Sunday with Eunice Thomas, the First Commisoner for Education in Akwa Ibim State.
“Duke of Shomolu”