The above title is a classic; a work of art that, in a slightly humorous way, tells the story of a man in a society that does not favour him. For the purpose of this discourse though, the use of the above title is a gleanable, metaphorical meaning accrued to the use of the word DEATH.
Death, as we all know, connotes finality of existence; a state of nothingness. However, as used in the text, death represents the changing of persona; a shedding of ‘what was’ to pick up a ‘what is’ for reasons known only to the maker of the choice. The character- Sizwe Bansi- a poor man, shrugged off his identity and picked another for reasons both economical and personal. This is a change based on positivity.
Having said all these, I intend hereon to discuss the crux that this discourse is laid on: the dearth and death of the model student. A digression to discuss who or what the model student is however needed. As humans, we of course see things from different perspectives, but some things can be generally agreed on and some of these, I believe, include the fact that a model student is one who is defined by such attributes as cleanliness, obedience of authority, and punctuality. Note should be made that academic excellence is not mentioned, this is not because I do not believe it is a necessity as not all are born geniuses, but it behooves on one to be diligent in his/her academics. It is sad to note that this brand of student is fast becoming an endangered specie- a rarity.
With the advent of technology, the pro-western leanings of the majority of the citizenry and a fall in the standard of all things Nigerian, it is now a common sight to see students think the teacher is just a figurehead, education is a waste of time and scruples are for the weak. This pervasive outlook is rampant and can be traced to many factors, some of which I intend discussing.
Firstly, the seemly reticence on the part of teachers and mostly-absent parents to employ the use of strict disciplinary measures when they are needed. Not advocating needless beating, but the need for corporal punishment cannot be overemphasized.
Secondly, blame can also be laid at the feet of the society at large. Gone are the days when every adult could have a say in your attitude; when “omoluabi” was a term greatly cherished. However, what goes now is a “mind-your-own-business” attitude and a turning of a blind eye to the mischief of the children they are supposed to oversee.
Thirdly, the individual- the student himself- carries a bit of blame. What we do, though influenced by our environment, is not decided by our environment. Each person is the captain of his ship, master of his destiny and is therefore answerable to his decisions.
I do not intend this to be doom-gloom, but a sort of wake-up call for parents, teachers and the students themselves, to reverse this bad trend as decisions made now sometimes have far-reaching and long-lasting consequences. There is a need for a revamping of the educational system, yes, but what is the use of a revamped educational sector if the individual for which it was revamped is decadent.