Kudos to El – Rufai for taking his son to public primary school. It is a good way to start before public schools and other public institutions can be in the hearts of high profile public officers, elected or appointed, that are saddled with the responsibility to manage our public institutions for maximum outputs.
How will leaders manage well public facilities whose products they and their family members are ashamed to consume? He who feels it knows it, when you lose confidence in public institutions that you are to manage for public consumption, how can such facility be ultimately effective?
It is like Iya Seki Alamala food canteen with big signboard advertising her food as very delicious but anytime she herself wants to eat, she crosses to Iya Ila Amala joint to buy. That her singular action means she has passed a vote of no confidence in the quality of her food and only stranded poor customers with no option will patronise her with such behaviour.
It is hypocritical of leaders to preach patriotism when they and their family members do not attend public hospitals, public schools, do not board public transport, at least once in a while, they don’t consume local food, local shoes, bags and even they don’t marry Nigerian ladies but prefer expensive foreign women (the result of their unlimited trips abroad in search of the always elusive foreign investors). Leaders should just not preach nationalism and patriotism to Nigerian citizens, they must show by example and epitomized it faithfully.
With El – Rufai’s son in public school, the governor and his wife can now have a fair and better grasp of the condition of public primary schools and pupils because the young innocent boy will always tell his parents anytime rain removes his school rooftop, when there is no chalk, not enough desks, how hot their classrooms are or when their teachers don’t come to school and the reasons. The governor will know how to avert strike action by teachers because his son will also sit at home if there is a strike. His son’s eye witness account of any bad situation of his school (provided the school has not been given a special and privileged status of ‘a governor’ s son’s school) will be more factual than any official censored report to impress the governor.
But beyond symbolism, El-Rufai should look critically into other Germaine areas of adequate funding and facilities, training and retraining of enough teachers paid their living wages timely and regularly, democratic management of public schools and regular supervision and monitoring.
When public schools, health facilities, public waterworks, power and security among others are very functional and are patronized by leaders and citizens, there will be less propensity to steal public fund and cutting of corners to survive because of the high cost of living aa a result of privatization and commercialisation of essential services. This will reduce corruption in low and high places.
Hoping that other elected and appointed will emulate this good example of El – Rufai.
Best wishes to Boy Rufai and his new classmates and friends.
Opinions expressed in this article are solely the writer’s, not ALEDEH’S