One protester once said on national T.V that what we have today is a ministry of doctors not the ministry of health, thus the need to stress it here that the health sector is a multidisciplinary sector that encompasses the pharmacist, the nurses, the physicians, the lab scientists, the physiotherapist, the radiographers, dietician ,morticians etc etc
Looking at this topic, one might wonder “what has education got to do with this”. Yes, education from primary through to university has got a lot to do with this. It is not uncommon in the primary school for teachers to host debates or ask students to write on topics like father and mother who is more important in child’s upbringing, a teacher and a doctor who is more important in the society, what would you like to be in future and so on, and we all know the obvious answer, the mother is more important, everyone would either like to be a lawyer or a doctor, of course doctors are more important in the society, and thus the mind of these kids are shapened to disregard their father to an extent, wanting to be a doctor and thus can be a more important person in the society, the teachers fail to enlighten this young minds on the importance of the father figure and the need to understand that every member of a society is important and needs not only be regarded but also respected. It would be recalled that in our secondary school days, any bright student would be advised to go to science class, thus creating the bias that commercial and arts student are not bright, I recall in my secondary school days in Baptist academy Obanikoro Lagos, we had this very intelligent math teacher, who taught so well that we were all so happy that the old one was changed, but after few weeks, he was redeployed to teach commercial and arts student, the reason given was that “you guys are bright already, so might not need such a good teacher and that he should go and teach the dumb students”, they forgot that for you to be great, you must be taught by a great teacher. Situations such as this made the science student feel more superior than other student irrespective of the fact that many of the so called science student are so dumb and that a lot and lot of the commercial and arts students are much brighter. Now, within the science class, over 90% of the class wants to be a doctor(and we all know why), the teachers fail to teach these students how to widen their horizon beyond being a medical doctor, so everyone jumps on the bandwagon of a medical doctor, and so over 80% of the average and above average students gets admission to study medicine, many of whom are not even supposed to be there in the first place, not because they are not bright but because they, by nature are not suited for such course. Many gets frustrated in school and turn out to be street urchins on ward coat, Most student of medicine has chosen to be medical doctor not for the passion but for the money and so they graduate, get into the health sector, dissatisfied with their job and keep demanding for continual pay rise, which as we all can see, does not and can never give them job satisfaction. It is not uncommon to see, even in social media, argument between a medical doctor and any other professional like med. Lab or nurse , where the doctor goes on with such reply as “it is obvious you failed out from med. School or could not get medicine in your jamb and now you dey beef us’’, does that in anyway depicts that anybody that studied med. Lab,radiography,nursing,physiotherapy and so on is a doctor wannabe?, does it mean that anybody in commercial or arts class while in secondary school is a weak student?, does it mean that about 20% of science student who never wanted to be doctor are stupid? sorry sir, I beg to disagree, I know so many students who were best graduating student in primary, secondary and even primary and secondary schools but never wanted to be a medical doctor, some, like prof soludo (story had it) even got into med school, failed out and discovered whom they were, I want to point out here that even within the arts students, most of them wants to be a lawyer, they are made to believe that lawyers are fighters ,and so they graduate to be belligerents, if you have had a female lawyer student as a friend while in school, you should know what I am talking about.
Our teachers has failed to educate our minds, they have failed to guide us in the right direction, they, in connivance with parents have turned our students into robots that behaves as programmed, and so the result is a bunch of graduate who do not even know the relevance of what they studied, graduates who hardly think on their own, the educational system has moulded our doctors into a weed that suppresses anything within its reach, the medical doctors has been programmed to believe that they are the most important members of the society, they have become boasters, they have turned themselves into demi gods that should never be challenged, with the help of our educational system, the medical field as become colonial master within the health sector that has refused to grant independence to their colonies. When Fejiro Oliver pointed out the way forward, they cried blue murder, called him all sorts of name and said he was uneducated, saying or writing on things he knows nothing about, but hear me oh Nigerians, the fact that I do not agree with an opinion does not make me a liar, or does it?.
You would agree with me that many students got into the university very bright but left the university as “itii” or “olodo’’,what does that tell us,simple, our education has failed us. When I was younger, one of my teachers used to tell us that teachers are future moulders,yes, as true as it sounds, the question remains, moulding into what?. Our educational system has produced salary earners instead of job creators, we have produced graduates who has become liabilities to the society instead of society builders, our private primary and secondary school owners has killed the joy that comes with that little inscription at the bottom page of our report card in those days like “promoted to primary five” because these days nobody fails, who would want his or her child to fail after paying so much?, they have hidden the incompetence of their teachers in promoting those who should go into arts and trade, as they are not ab initio cut out for education.
Conclusively, I appeal to the government, the Nigerian union of teachers(NUT), and all those involved directly or indirectly with the educational system, to wake up to their duty, teach our young ones to understand that every facet of our society is important, teach them to follow their dream and not the crowd, teach them to understand that a brilliant lawyer is as important as a brilliant soil scientist, our children needs to understand that there is no shame in being a commercial student, they should be made to understand that brilliancy does not qualify one to be a science student nor medical or pharmacy student, but passion and self-confidence is all that matters. The stake holders in our educational system should endeavor to ensure that our young ones,right from nursery school understand that all labour that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaking with painstaking excellence.
Ugwuleke clement is a pharmacist and can be reached at email@example.com or 07039710463 or at www.futurerxdream.com.ng