Privilege: The unequal opportunity to good primary school in Nigeria

Just because I was privileged to attend private primary schools, which put me on a solid academic foundation, and paved the way for later successes in life, I’m not going to look at my friend who went to a failing public primary school, and now an ọmọ onílẹ̀ and call him lazy. I will not.

Just because I’m privileged to have had immigrants parents in the US while growing up who worked themselves to the tee and sent us to best schools and ensured we had a decent childhood, I will not pretend like I didn’t have friends in the neighborhood who had to work their way through high school. I will not pretend like I don’t know people who went to failing Oyo State public primary schools and from then on there paths were set. Some are now agbèrò (with probably all the vices that come with it.)

I will not pretend like all I know today is purely because of my hardwork without preceding sociological structures in place facilitating my journey to knowledge and career.

There’s something called confounding factors in experimental psychology. These factors make it hard for researchers to prove causality. So a good experiment controls for them. Until you control for the factors that place me above some of my friends in achieving a quality primary education and ensured I had food to eat before going school, you have no right to call my friends lazy because I turned out better than them. I had a huge edge at the beginning, we didn’t start on an equal plane.

Just because I’m doing fine, alhamdulillah. I will never, ever call the person dancing one corner and getting high all day lazy, no. Not until I make his children and my children have equal opportunities at getting good, quality education and basic social amenities. Maybe then we can talk about lazy. Maybe.

Tí o bá fẹ́ pé ọ̀rẹ́ rẹ ní ọ̀lẹ, go ahead. Count me out!


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