THE MILLIONAIRE QUESTION
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In my country Nigeria, there is a post-university national service requirement. During my national service at North-Central Nigeria, I worked at a secondary school (high school) with almost no basic facilities. The school had only one typewriter and two shelves (supposed to be a library) with outdated brown paper books. Over a few months with my students, I came to understand the poor quality of teaching they had been exposed to, learnt to value their learning deeply, and resolved to make them excel in their certificate examinations. There were a number of hurdles. The state was notorious for examination malpractice and I was teaching the most senior and stubborn students who had little or no exam preparatory materials.
I had thought up a number of options including making them serve punishments in class to ensure they do not miss out on lessons, starting a Cheating is Disgusting (CID) campaign with the Press Club, providing good books and past question booklets for practice, etc. However, after thinking through them, I decided to help start a library project whereby people can donate and borrow books including past question booklets. In making that decision, it became clear to me that it was not going to be easy and I needed the sincere buy-in of senior colleagues and the principal. I began talking with student leaders, attending fellowship meetings to speak with large numbers of students and senior colleagues, and donating my fan and the books I left with from my home in the South-West. This was just the perseverance needed to get some senior colleagues interested and the principal to approve a room for the library.
So if I had so much money what would I do? I believe that people never really get to that point where there is too much money but that at every point, everyone needs to be society-conscious. Everybody needs to have a Personal Social Responsibility plan. I would like to give to improving access to quality education in today’s technology-driven world. Also, having given much thought to the VOY debate some weeks ago on the relevance of present educational standards in the workplace, I find it very important to contribute to how education in done within schools. I especially think that schools need to do a lot in the area of Career Services, broadening partnerships and applying technology. These are the changes I would be totally excited to be a part of any day!