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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Discourse 272 My Words, Your Comments

Discourse 272

By Dr. Aliyu Tilde

My Words, Your Comments (2)

Buhari, the Moment of Decision

Sorry for your loss. Another young life was lost probably from a disease that could be easily cured if not for our state of decay. Accept our condolence. (The contributor was referring to the death of Ladidi, my late milk-maid friend who I mentioned in the article.)
Like you said about Buhari, he has to stand for what he believes in. His values and beliefs have to stand tall to be seen and identified. Otherwise, probably he is not the messiah we are looking. May be we should look for a younger person that carries the pride of Buhari's values and beliefs and his own: someone with empathy for the common man; a younger man who is responsible and could be accountable looking into his or past records. I don't think the country wants to hold on to past glories. I think the country wants to move on with the backing of great minds like Buhari.
Like you said in "Abokin Darwin", an old man should not have any business giving birth at old age. He doesn't have the energy psychologically and physically to handle the task. He is only able to produce good offspring at a younger age.
I think Buhari should not be put out there to suffer the rigors of campaigns and politics in general. He should be preserved as a kingmaker and mentor to the younger generation since he is a rare breed.
Mary Agbo

"Abokin Darwin"

You have "spoken my mind"! I recall the advice of one of my Islamic Law lecturers in a paper he presented on Birth Control and Family Planning under Shari'a. He castigated people who often supported unrestrained, unplanned procreation on the authority of a hadith to the effect that the Holy Prophet will be pleased with our numbers in the hereafter. The learned teacher remarked that the Prophet will definitely not be pleased with a large number made up of criminals, illiterates, etc. He also made intelligent commentaries on the hadith of a man who complained to the prophet of poverty, and the Prophet advised him to get married-and repeated the advise a number of times, assuming that the hadith is sound.
Maliki Umar:

Thank you Mal Tilde for the expose. It had really widened my views on so many other issues. I think 'Abokin Darwin' should be a must read for all in the North. Has it been translated to Hausa and published in a Hausa daily? If it has not, please endeavour to get it published. But guess what? Next November 11, my marriage would be twenty years old. I have been thinking of adding a second wife but you have "polluted" my thoughts now. I don't need kids. I have five and I am contented with them. With your permission am sending this piece to all in my friends. Very best regards
Dr. Hussain Muktar

On Education

I just want to respond to your article on the Fate of FGCs and on education generally.
First of all, I believe that a harsher tone should be used in advising the government given the appalling state of our educational system. This should be tackled at the soonest possible time because the educational system has been running a vicious cycle for the past, dare I say, twenty years or so. What I mean by vicious cycle is that it is the same students that graduated from a failed system are at present teaching the next generation of students. The irony is: what are they going to teach when they themselves did not learn up to 40% of their required learning? Secondly, it is this same caliber of people that are found in higher institutions as well. And the condition of learning in these institutions is pathetic. Even if a student gains admission into the university or polytechnic, his spirit is broken before the end of the first session through (1) overcrowded lecture halls; (2) poor infrastructure with halls lacking sufficient ventilation, lighting, etc; (3) lousy lecturers most of whom do not cover the syllabus until the end of the term when they fix rush classes at odd hours and weekends just before the exams; (4) poor living conditions especially the lack of water and electricity; and (5) ASUU THE GREAT with its incessant strikes whose motive has more to do with wages than the academic fate of students.
Maybe my own personal experience is jaundiced, but I had a hell of a time in university. There was a particular lecturer that I had from my second year. He always gave us weekly assignments of 5 pages in 200 level, 20 pages in 300 and 10 pages in 400, unmindful that we had about eight other courses to study, not to mention the fact that he would not have the time to read the assignments. In the end, at 300 and 400 level, a student had to answer three questions in not less than eight pages each within 3 hours! After going through all this pain, one would expect to make a good grade in his course. I took the pain of writing the 24-page exam, making my writings bigger but always ended up with an E at all the three levels in spite of my effort. If I had not decided that I would not let this experience pull me down, I would have gone into depression at that point in life. The most painful part of it was when I realized that there were many who did less but were favoured with better grades by the lecturer. Yet I persevered.
I also painstakingly avoided any situation that would make a lecturer know me so that no complications would arise in my university years. Though all I wanted was to pass through the system, I was not desperate enough to try and pay through my way (for which my father would have skinned me alive if he would know) or prostitute for it (for which my mother would kill me outrightly, without any exaggeration). So I persevered. But it was not so with many other students who pass through the system comfortably through money or prostitution. The system is so weak to allow this.
Such products go back to teach the unsuspecting youths in secondary and tertiary institutions. These half-baked teachers can only produce raw illiterates, not even half-baked graduates. I am sad at this because as a graduate there are some things I should know; now I realize that I do not know them. There are things I should be able to do; yet, I cannot do them. I fear what my son who is just starting playgroup would learn from such a failed system.
I recently attended a seminar abroad and was quite amazed at the rate at which girls, younger than me, could phrase intellectual questions with such confidence that left me wondering. At a time when I was going for NYSC, my age mates overseas have at least five years working experience under their belts, no thanks to great ASUU! I was amazed and ashamed at the same time. I was so ashamed one day when my husband realized that I did not, as an African graduate of Political Science, know who is Desmond Tutu. I told him it is not my fault but that of the system that produced me.
Thanks and until I respond again, if you are not bored with my surutu.
Khadija Usman


Thank you for your articles, particularly the back issues. I pray for the success of your crusade and may your pen and brain NEVER run dry; and may you NEVER falter. You are planting a mustard seed behind for generations. May you live to witness the entrenchment of some of these core values that you preach. God bless you and your family.
Lawrence Ganchok
United Kingdom

The article next week will be on death, unless something convinces me otherwise. It will be one out of tradition. I hope the subject does not come our way too late. Happy Sallah.

27 November 2009

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