Cultism is of particular interest to me because it touches on one of the most frequently discussed problems in the education sector today. It is worthy of note that, indiscipline in schools is central to the factors which we can attribute the fast dwindling, declining and deteriorating standard. The various acts of indiscipline commonly perpetrated by students such as truancy, stealing, hooliganism, examination malpractice, sexual immoralities and cultism among others are all destructive to the educational system.
The unfortunate scene on our campuses today is that the teachers or lecturers who ought to be custodians of discipline in our schools at all levels are also found wanting in so many areas. Most of them fail to do their work as expected. Some encourage examination malpractices and even extort money from their students.
In fact, there is obvious display of acts of professional misconducts in the rank and file of the teaching profession. If teachers, who ought to be disciplinarians are destitute or bereft of this virtue, then it becomes apparently inconceivable for the students to be disciplined. I believe that alarming rate of cultists operation on our campuses today has assumed such immense and seemingly intractable proportion, that we need nothing less than decisive and concerted effort of all concerned to be able to find a way through the dark tunnel of our present predicament without any delay.
To start this discourse on such a patently negative note, is not in any way intended to dampen the enthusiasm of colleagues and zestful professionals whose daily commitment is towards educational advancement. But we have reached a stage in the seemingly endless discussion of the subject that I believed a few home truths need to be told. More than enough seminars, symposia, workshops and task forces have been held or set up on the subject. This is, perhaps, because the problem provides an ideal subject that lends itself easily to intellectual exploration by scholars with perhaps, the easy and instantaneous revelation of the concomitant agony and frustration of untimely death of innocent students and destruction of academic work in most of our institutions of learning in recent times.
Cultism include the activities of secret cults or societies that is very rampant in our institutions of learning today. The founding fathers of such societies do not have the mind of carrying out evils but as a pressure group that can monitor and defend the interest of the generality of students populace without violence. But the activities of the various cults seen today in our institutions are far from the above reasons. They have constituted themselves to gangs of “no good intention” set of people. Their mission today is to loot, kill, steal and destroy lives and properties at will. They have been seen as a big barrier to the community and because of the fear inputed into the minds of other innocent students who might not be able to resist the peer pressure, were forced to join and become members of such indecent societies.
What we are all witnessing today in the education sector, I believe, is a sad reflection of corruption in the society and the low priority placed on standardisation and improvement of the intellectual custodians of our time by those in governance. It might interest us to notice that most of the members of these cults are from rich homes and are never serious with their studies. Whenever they fail their courses, they react violently through their cult members against the teacher in charge of their failed courses. Again, some of the cult members are womanisers. Any female student they approached without any suitable or palatable response as to be their friends are in trouble; they could plan to eliminate her. On the contrary, if any of their teachers are caught moving with their girlfriends, such teacher’s life is in serious danger. But on a more serious note, let me state that with the above enumerated activities of cultists, you will agree with me that no cult member has a good motive this time.
Therefore, such society that operates at night while carrying out initiation of new members at dawn are not fit to be allowed to function or operate in our institutions. They come out with dangerous weapons at the middle of the night when students are ignorant of their activities or not, will definitely fall victim. The recent arrest of some students who were believed to be cult members at Esa-Oke Federal Technical College is what prompted my interest on the subject because it is still fresh and rightly comes into focus.
There is no equivocation to the fact that most parents of the cult members in our institutions of higher learning today are the brains behind the sponsoring of evil clubs. They release fund and weapons to them to carry out their obnoxious acts against humanity. This indecent moral values impacted into these youths are giving them more confidence to feel that nothing will happen to them even if they are caught with the belief that money answereth all things.
In the other way round, most of the lecturers too are cult members even there are cases whereby vice chancellors of universities are the initiators of activities of cultism in their institutions. The mind of most people within our society today are so polluted to the extent that they hold to the belief that you can do anything to make money and go unpunished.
CULTISM: A REFLECTION OF A CORRUPT SOCIETY. WHICH WAY OUT? (II)
Can anyone be in doubt about the veritable threat of intellectual malnourishment of our students through various manner of strikes which translates into a major downturn, in the production of unemployable, unqualified graduates roaming the streets today? The idle hand is the devil’s workshop. As the moral standard experienced in our society today are below unimaginable proportion and hence the upcoming generation are following the footpath of the elders ahead and feel so unconcerned with progress in any form except fast money making ventures.
Cultism in the larger society has become a celebrated phenomena among the political class who equally happen to be in control of the wealth of the nation. There are enough resources to sponsor the baby-cultist in our institutions by these set of people. Because without their backing, the unpalatable situations seeing today would have been a thing of the past in the education sector. You may care to know that they equally used them to project their inordinate political ambition as thugs to silence their political opposers or acclaimed enemies.
Considering the various killings of innocent students in our institutions by cult members, one might be tempted to ask, why have solutions eluded us these years in bringing a stop to the menace of this anti-social behaviour? We have remained in our present state of confusion for a number of reasons, principally:
- Lack of concerted and consistent political will to deal with the problem once and for all;
- Constantly shifting and unsettled socio-cultural and educational policies and practices which tend to negate previous efforts at solving the problem
- Sudden and drastic dislocation of our scale of values whereby the intellectual custodians have become systematically relegated yielding place to other less important priorities;
- Worshipping of money to discredit intellectual zealousness among the upcoming youths.
The real problem is that, far too often, a lot of people view and recommendations have generally not made the desired impact on those who are in the likely position to take a decisive action we talked about at the beginning of this paper; either because they are ill-equipped to fully assess the impact of the problem(s) addressed or are generally insensitive to the mood of the victims and the ordeal of potential innocent students who are in constant fear at all levels of the school system. Some radical steps have to be taken, very fast too, to stop the operations of secret societies on our campuses either main or satellite. The following precautions should be taken into consideration in our bid to eradicate cultism;
- The university authorities or any of our tertiary institutions should desist from various abuses through various inconsistent policies which often led the undergraduates to find themselves compelled of protecting their interest with whatever means at their disposal including cult activities.
- Also, the university authority should keep eye on the “third force” the radical group of lecturers who are always looking for a means to stir up trouble on the campus to advance their political, as well as, economic gains and send them parking however influential they may be.
- There must be a great close monitoring of the vice-chancellors of universities performance by the NUC and the unnecessary imposition of vice-chancellors on our tertiary institutions by the government should stop. This step had led to violence initiated by cultists across the country.
- The parents should turn a new leaf by rejecting all indecent acts which have led to the current level of decadence in our society today at home, so that their parents both in and outside the school to prevent them from mixing up with intricate network of indolent students, hooligans and evil genius will go a long way.
- Students too should note that it is hardwork before pleasure and face their studies with all concentrations, let them preoccupy themselves in religious activities or programmes such as Christian or Muslim associations on campus, where they can grow spiritually, which will equally prevent them from being manipulated by unserious peer group influence.
The diminishing economic prosperity worsens the situation. There is therefore crisis of confidence and crisis of faith in our educational institution. a general state of anxiety prevails and an erosion of confidence in getting jobs after school. So from the state of confusion to which the society exposed our youth, one would conclude that cultism is a reflection of a corrupt society. For too long the nation’s education sector has been caught in the doldrums of endemic problems. I have the confidence that through collaborative pressure for improvement in the economic and undeniable sincerity from our leaders towards this sensitive sector, we will be able to get out of the woods in the foreseeable future.