17 November 2012

Nigeria: Do Parents Influence Wrong Choices of Their Kids?


How much influence do parents and guardians have on the wrong choices their children and wards make? Respondents say what they think of it all regarding a seven year-old boy saying openly that his mother paid for someone to write an exam for him so that he could attend a wedding.

A seven-year-old boy was to be ring bearer at a friend's wedding on the same day he was to write an entrance exam. Surprised that he still made it to the wedding the following conversation ensued.

Bride-to-be: Ehi, I thought you were supposed to be writing an exam. What happened?

Ehi: Yes. But I'm not going.

Bride-to-be: Why not?

Ehi: My mummy has paid somebody to write it for me.

"This is what I would describe as a calamity and a big shame to us as parents," said Mrs. Roseline Agha. The chartered account said, "It is something that everyone who reads this should be very worried about; particularly because of the naivety and innocence with which the child answered the question. Imagine such a one growing up to perceive this as the right way to go. What will happen if he becomes minister of education tomorrow or holds some serious office or is even a father?"

For mother of two, Mrs. Ufuoma Egere said, it is impossible for any generation to grow without the influence of the one before it. "Of course the upcoming generations are influenced by us. A child until a certain age thinks a parent can do no wrong and seeks to copy our every word, gesture ... If you swear your child will, if you don't have good manners your child won't ... If you want to change the future you must start by training the future generations in all aspects of life and this means leading by example."

When I was in my fifth year of secondary school is when I knew what cheat notes were. Our school had organized for us to go and write GCE in a public school. I was shocked to see a girl seated next to me raising her skirt. I thought she was trying to get my attention and began moving away from her only to see a few people ahead of me with papers on their laps or looking at their arms in a funny way.

After the exams when my classmates and I asked our teachers what was going on, the other students were laughing at us and calling us 'aje butter'. I had no clue what cheat material was because the school I went to was very, very strict about it.

"So, it's very shocking for me that a seven-year-old is already being exposed to such."

For Isaac Aimurie a father of two, the result of these short cuts is the huge number of musicians in our society as against inventors, theorists and other such people who have made enormous impact on humanity. See the Facebook guy for example.

Any parent who does this has actually killed the child's capacity to do things on his own. On the streets of London I have seen children of Nigerian big men who are bent over as they walk; some of them into drugs and other similar addictions. They most likely had parents like this one in question. The thing is such actions boomerang."

Henry Agbonika, a technical advisor at the Canadian International Development Agency, said parents play a major role in how their children turn out whether good or bad. "There has never been a generation that hasn't been influenced negatively or positively by the generation(s) before it. We have been influenced by the generation before us, and we are influencing the generation behind us."

Every now and again we read of exam malpractices all over the country. Results are withheld for long periods, some never released. This is a situation predominant with secondary schools. Is it something we should worry about when parents are making malpractices the norm and having such conversations and deals in the presence of innocent children?

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