Saturday, July 02, 2005

suffering and smiling

Still no running water chez moi. We are faced with having to buy water from street sellers - who get the water from a small lake at the bottom of our street (I'm not sure whether the sewage from our area goes into this lake) - certainly it did yesterday during a bout of torrential rain). This morning I had the bright idea of getting water from the ministry where I work this morning (there's a tap in the car park). So for the moment, we're surviving on Federal Govt water.

Can't help feeling ambivalent about the decision yesterday to cancel Nigeria's US$34bn debt over the next 6 months. Not sure if the reform movement is strong enough to take advantage of the opportunity this provides (massively needed investment in infrastructure, health and education). I met a 22 year old student yesterday - she is 'studying' economics at the University of Abuja. She says 120 students have to cram into a small room with 60 chairs and only one ceiling fan (everyone sweats). This is however when the lecturers actually turn up - most of the time they dont receive any teaching at all. Even when they do turn up, the level of teaching is abysmal. One of her lecturers begged her for N500 to mend his shoes the other day. Often, the lecturers wear flip-flops. While this is the height of fashion this season in London, its somewhat looked down on here.

And here I am, more than willing to teach young Nigerian's how to think and offer courses in philosophy and writing - but have yet to work out how and to whom to offer these courses.

Meanwhile, the completely irrelevant Live8 is one more reason to feel pissed off with the day.


Folabi Akinrogunde 11:58 a.m.  

It's good to see you're back on the net, letting us know how you feel about the things - both big and small- happening around you.

While you do have a point about the abysmally low standard of tertiary education in Nigeria, I do believe that all hope's not lost. There are, as you know, still quite a lot of people who care about the way things are going and are doing something about it. It's going to be a long, tortuous journey, but we will get there.

About philosophy, I did some courses on philosophy of mind, religion and ancient greek pilosophy when I was at the Lagos State University. I'm not quite an aficionado of the entire subject, but these three areas quite interest me.

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