When traced to its Latin origin, “educare”, education primarily is about rearing, training, raising and bringing up people, especially the young ones, in a way that they will be beneficial to the society. As a system through which a generation passes its mores, values and culture to the next generation, the ultimate beneficiary of education is the society, a core component of which is the family.
For the individual within the society, Plato considers education as the most essential ingredient of achieving the virtues of life and in his Utopian state, he agreeably deems education the cornerstone upon which the society rests. To say a person is well-educated is to be well-behaved, cultured, dignified and socially responsible. This is why two of the aims and objectives of the Nigerian education are to inculcate “the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of individuals and the Nigerian society” and acquire “the appropriate skills, abilities and competencies both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society.”
However, it is an open sore we live with today that education has been narrowed down to literacy in English and acquisition of certificates among many Nigerian students. It appears the ultimate aim among many Nigerians is to acquire as much of Western culture as possible and dissociate themselves from those norms, values and character that characterise us as Africans. In the mad rush to grab the shell of civilisation, we lose the essence of culture. The values that are losing their steam among us, which defined our forefathers, include patience, truthfulness, honesty, decency, discipline and integrity. The society is paying dearly for this deficit as the crime rate is soaring.