Dear Graduates, Are You Certified To Be Lazy? By Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose

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Dear Graduates, are you certified to be lazy?

The present socio-economic reality of Nigeria offers unemployment as a persistent problem. The surprising and unfortunate thing however is that this unemployment characterizes the world of those with formal education. The most likely problem of apprentices or those who have acquired informal education is how to secure working tools to go about their work. When they cannot find help to procure these tools yet, they are found in others’ shops rendering their expertise and being paid daily or weekly by the shop owners. They are at such times called join man. It is pathetic that the reverse in such productivity has become the norm for those with formal education: graduates.

Education, has among many other definitions, been said to be the ability to meet up with life expectations. The end goal of education is to produce human beings who can be functional members of the society and not those who hope to be fed by the state. To recall that graduates in the 1960’s were offered jobs immediately after school is to cry while the head is off already and to be blind to the reality of the increase in the world’s, not just Nigeria’s, population. The Nigerian  government has awaken to the present reality of the country by introducing the Skill Acquisition and Enterprenurial Development (SAED) programme into the agenda of the National Youth Service Corps and encouraging the entrenchment of this into school curriculum at all levels.

What is left is for our prestigious graduates not to see themselves as being larger than life and too sophisticated to use their hands. Education is the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitude and values which make one a functional member of the society. Certification should not prohibit anyone from living in line with the socio-economic reality of his or her country: soil your hand! Be a farmer.  Be an okada man, earn twelve thousand as a private primary school teacher. Someday, some close day, the dignity in labour will reposition you to where you really belong. If you remain too big to do the little things, you will remain too small to do the big things. Do not pray all day. Hasn’t the Lord told you already that he would bless your handiwork? Don’t nurse dignity in poverty. We can’t all get a space in the few offices at the same time. You are not certified to be lazy!

©2018 Ganiu Abisoye Bamgbose (GAB)

University of Ibadan


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