This haste is unjustifiable -Thursday Column with Dikko Muhammad

If you ponder a certain things we do, you would come to a conclusion that most of them are done hastily with and lasting, often negative, implications that spiderweb us till the last breath of our lives. One of these action is the manner in which parents, especially in middle class families expose their wards prematurely into the sensitive and hectic environments called higher institutions.

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A quick investigation into the conducts and birth certificates of candidates attending the 2016/2017 admission exercises in our universities would show you that a large number of them are below the age of 18 and still trying to get into the university system. There are many reasons given by parents to justify their actions.

Most of these parents pedalled the social ladder at a later stage in life. Most with degree qualifications got them in their late twenties and early theirties. They believed they have wasted a huge chunk of their years idly sitting down or trying in a repeatedly discouraging way to get the requirements for university programs. Hence, having such an experience, they try to guide their children, usually forcibly, to follow the quick steps into the attainment of that social fray; a degree at 20, NYSC 21, and by the age of 22, they are ready to venture into the labour market. That’s the point they are considered successful. The parents tell everyone who cares to listen to them how their kids have achieved such a tremendous success at such an early stage. Sometimes, parents are not just over-ambitious of their kids. They are just concerned about the uncertain nature of making a living, virtually getting a job, especially in a thoughtless, carefree, and unplanned society such as ours. The parents in this category live in perpetual fear of their kids being disqualified for jobs, which are becoming scarcer everyday. For instance, in the recent screening conducted by Nigeria Police Force, many people were weeded out because they were above the age requirement. The situation is so dire that some go back to university for Masters degree when there is no job, and after completion, continue with Ph.D in anticipation of something better. By the time they complete that study, they are labelled, “Overqualified” during these screening.

However, the question that immediately begins to ask itself is that, “How do the aforementioned reasons justify the haste in our lives?”

Parents are competing with time itself to their kids to university neglecting the fact that cognition, ability to score A Grades is not the only factor to be considered before exposing their kids to that vulnerable life. The kids, being psychologically unprepared for the task, might end up being badly influenced by peers. Thus, some of them fall into traps of smoking, pre-marital sex, sometimes becoming actors of the worst act that was never practice even among animal species, lesbianism/gay. These kids might not fully understand the implications of their actions because their minds could not sift things adequately.

In some cases, the kids got into smaller problems. They tend to misuse the “freedom” they find on the campuses. Instead of being disciplined by whip, they are to be brought to order by pen with red ink. They might not understand why it would be compulsory for them to attend lectures. After all, they are now in a FREE WORLD. Thus, they buy new jeans and use razor blades to create holes in the front; for ventilation? I still cannot tell! The jeans are worn in a particular way called “ass down” by the boys and the girls would be competing in indecent dressing to be called the hottest on campus.

Another category of these amateurs is of the lesser evil but still vulnerable anyway. They are desperate to get the grades to impress their parents. Since they know what their want, they might be ready to go to any mile to possess it. Thus,  to get marks, they are ready go to every office of their lecturers to say good morning in anticipation of academic rewards of 5 marks for being obedient. In some cases, where a university is infested by corrupt academics, these category could succumb to extortion and sexual harassment for them to get the good grades.

So, in their quest to make their kids “successful” they might end up destroying them completely. Success is relative. Preparing your kids to become a modern slave, (sorry civil servant, public servant, whatever but still servant) might not be a success if it is morally and philosophically explored. After the graduations, the getting jobs, the houses, cars etc, what would these kids do? Wait for death?

Before you take that your kid under 18 to a university, which by its name is universal; peopled by the good, the bad and the ugly, think of the ramifications. For all your haste, you cannot go ahead of the clock!

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