YOUTH AND SOCIAL VICES
Transcripts of a lecture delivered by Doc Bc Akin-Alabi, Special Adviser to Governor Ajimobi on education, on the 8th May 2018 at LAUTECH Main Campus, Ogbomoso.

Overview
Vice is from a Latin word ‘vitium’ meaning defect or failing. It is defined as a bad habit or immoral activity. Common examples are: Drug Abuse, Alcoholism, Smoking, Casual Sex or Pre-Marital Sex, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Conflict, Pocket Picking, Indecent Dressing, Prostitution, Cultism, Examination Malpractice, Hooliganism, Thuggery, Gambling, rape, sexual assaults, and many other Unhealthy Lifestyles.
SOCIAL VICES are bad traits, unhealthy and negative behaviours that are against the morality of a society and frowned at by members of the society. Peer pressure is the major cause of youth involvement in social vices. Students spend more time with their friends in school or at home. Deviant behaviours, or deviant acts in society refer to behaviour that violate social norms and expectations. Deviance can be something as small as dressing in gothic clothing, or something as serious as burning someone’s house down.
Generally it is rare to find a school or an institution void of social vices. This depicts that they are present in all educational centers – Primary, Secondary & Tertiary
The importance of youths in the socio-economic and political prosperity of every society can not be overemphasized, due to the crucial and unquantifiable roles they play in the attainment and sustenance of peace and unity. Very saddened today, some youths have turned to an agents of ruins and destruction, instead of the agents of peace and transformation. They engage in many anti social vices ranging from Arm-robbery, Cultism, Political thuggery, Religious fanaticism and other nefarious activities that are detrimental to the peace of humanity.
Youths who are supposed to be vehicles of societal progress cum development and as well leaders of tomorrow have turned to tools for perpetrating mayhem, heinous crime and rascality by the politicians, who use them to satisfy their inordinate desire for power and the building of their political dynasties.
Also, youths have fallen prey to the tactics of some unscrupulous religious leaders who brainwash and indoctrinate their minds, by incitement to unleash horror and untold pains on the innocent and defenseless people. Today, our society suffers immensely from Kidnapping, political assassination, Herdsmen and Farmers confrontation and Political thuggery that have held our country hostage hence make it to be stagnant and unproductiveness., and cause the slow socio-economic development we are experiencing.
Causes of Social Vices or Deviant Behavior
Social vices or deviant behaviour is also caused by complex interactions of psychological, sociological, economic and biological forces that encourage individuals to rebel against societal norms.

Peer pressure is the major cause of youth involvement in social vices. Students spend more time with their friends in school or at home. Due to their weak nature and tender age, they can easily be influenced. Children have high level of curiosity to learn, to have fun and practice new things thus making them smoke, drink, have sexual intercourse and so on. The proverb that says “show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are” shows the significance of friends and how they influence lives. A child tends to behave like his or her friends so as not to be labeled as cowards, JJCs, uncivilised or crude. A child who moves with children with poor academic performance can be like them in no time and will be lured to the short cuts to success such as examination malpractices.
Another factor is negligence by the parents or a broken home. Most children that engage themselves in vices are from broken homes. Lack of parental care, supervision and attention can make a child engage in social vices. Children from the permissive and uninvolved parenting styles fall mostly into these traps. They interact with people of questionable character, their movements are not queried; their academic progress is not being followed up. Freedom to do anything without been probed affect children negatively. Negligence of parents can make the wards turn to their friends for love, emotions, care, advice who can lure them into deadly acts.
Other causes of social vices or deviant behaviour include poverty, mental illness, learned behaviors, inherited traits.

SOCIETAL IMPACT OF SOCIAL VICES

Social vices affect the society as a whole and the individual in particular. The mental, physical, academic, moral aspects of an individual are negatively affected. Students divert their time to these vices instead of being serious with academic pursuits. So much time tends to be wasted on pursuingthese nefarious acts which leads to poor academic performance.
Deadly diseases that can lead to the termination of lives and career can be contacted.
A student or youth with unwanted pregnancy will face emotional, psychological trauma which will make her lose focus and attention on her studies.

Ways Of Dealing With Social Vices or Deviant Behaviour

  1. Counseling
  2. Organising Moral instruction Class for youth
  3. Community outreach programmes to educate the public of the importance of both formal and non-formal education.
  4. Seeking sponsorship for needy students.
  5. Entrepreneurship Workshops / Seminar programmes
  6. Launch campaign on the effects or consequences of teenage pregnancies
  7. Organise excursions/ education enrichment trips for students.
  8. Engage students and youth in purposeful activities that are beneficial to their education /future
    Social vices need to be curbed. Youths that engage in these dangerous acts need help advice and rehabilitation for the addicted ones.
    Parents need to know their children’s friends, status, and their academic performances. This is majorly the role of our mothers. Mothers should be close to their children. Close monitoring and time should be given to children by parents. Children should be taught the moral values and the word of God.
    Government should organise forums that will enlighten the students on the dangers associated with social vices. Police must be active and be at alert.
    Schools should have a high level of discipline. Any student seen as threats to others should be cautioned and rehabilitated or rusticated if all attempts fail to bring such students under control.🐝

Transcript of my Speech at the Black Tie Charity Fundraising Event Organised by I.A Foundation in Colliers Row, Essex in the 8th of Feb 2020.

Protocol and Greetings.

I could stand here today and speak on a myriad of issues facing education development in Nigeria as I have been active in that space since March 2001 when I was recognised by the British Premier Tony Blair for Excellence in Childcare and Education. As such I was invited to No 10 Downing Street to have dinner with him and his wife Cherie.

My life took a turn towards Education development back in Nigeria as I was co-opted into committees, roundtable and so on in a quest to finding solutions to the Nigeria Education system.

But tonight I would limit my focus to the issue of Out of School Children in Nigeria.

I saw my friend Weird MC from Unilag and I marveled at the fun we had during our undergrad days in the University of Lagos. The education we had back in the days cannot be compared to what obtains now. How do we solve this?.

One in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. Even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, about 13 million of the country’s childrenaged 5-14 years are not in school. … Gettingout-of-school children back into education poses a massive challenge.

A survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicates that the population of out of school children in Nigeria has risen from 10.5 million to 13.2 million, in Dec 11, 2018. This amounts to about 6.67% of the 180Million population.

Although Nigeria is better than Pakistan, which has 22.84 million out-of-school children, which is 11.41 per cent of 200 million people. However, Nigeria’s West African neighbour, Ghana, has 450,000 children out of school, which is 1.52 per cent of her 29.6 million population. In India, 47 million (3.62 per cent) of the 1.30 billion people are out of school children.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram is a major factor contributing to the increase in out of school children, but not the only factor. Other factors include: Some cultural beliefs and practices, Poverty and ignorance is another factor; Nigeria’s budgetary spending on education is not enough to quell the widening gap – only seven percent of Nigeria’s $24 billion 2018 budget is earmarked for education.

And so far, there appear to be no new policies to boost education spending.

Most of the OOS children are in Nigeria’s northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, where Boko Haram has been waging a campaign against Western education since 2009.

The group abducted 110 school girls from a school in Dapchi, Yobe State in February this year, but returned the girls one month later and warned their parents never to take their children back to school.

Ensuring educational provision in predominantly rural areas and the impact of insurgency in the northeast present significant challenges. In north-eastern and north-western states, 29 percent and 35 percent of Muslim children, respectively, receive Qur’anic education, which does not include basic skills such as literacy and numeracy. The government considers children attending such schools to be officially out-of-school.

Implications
Education psychologist Mayowa Adegbile explains that increasing numbers of out of school children in Nigeria adversely affects economic growth.

“Sixty percent of that population are girls only, and you know when you bring it back home, every girl becomes a mother or a woman who would in turn take care of other children. And for a woman who goes to school it has a ripple effect, an economical ripple effect. When she goes to school, she has education, she gets a job, even if she doesn’t have a job… even if it’s just basic secondary school education, she can communicate basic English and mathematics,” Adegbile said.

She is more likely to support her children or ward to be educated and become economically viable.

The future of Nigeria lies in the quality of education given to her children.

What are the effects of this surge in our society I would.ask?
The most obvious effects are:

  1. poverty
  2. Growing levels of insurgency
  3. Teenage pregnancies
  4. More Crime and ultimately slow development.

Many children from teenage pregnancies would grow up in poverty, and the effects can last throughout the lifespan. Although some researchers argue differently, the main effects of growing up in poverty include poor health, a high risk for teen pregnancy, and again the lack of an education.

No nation can achieve economic prosperity without a sound, inclusive and functional education system. The security and stability of the country, to a large extent, depends on its ability to provide functional education to its citizens.”

Conclusion
Oyo state sadly also have a considerable population of OOS children. We have been lucky to get considerable amount in aids from the World Bank about 650million USD in 2019 to tackle this issue. We also have some support from UNICEF and other education development agencies and NGOs such as the IA Foundation.

The solution lies in multi-level interventions and investments in primary education. Therefore, people holding the reins in Nigerians should not speak anecdotally on the issue of OOSC! The country needs serious data gathering to deal with its problems. Once again, with the aforementioned efforts in the states, the picture of OOSC may not be as bad as we think But whether it is more or less is not important. Nigeria should strive towards zero tolerance for such a future-damaging phenomenon as out-of- school-children.

The education deprivation in northern Nigeria is driven by various factors, including economic barriers and socio-cultural norms and practices that discourage attendance in formal education, especially for girls.

All children, no matter where they live or what their circumstances, have the right to quality education.

My takehome for us is that advocacy such as what IA Foundationn has started will be very helpful in refocusing and reforming our basic education policy and programme if and only if we take this to the doorstep of the people in the corridor of power.

Let us support them either through sharing the stories of their activities in this focus area or by donating cash, resources or volunteering on the field. By doing either or some of of these things we would have contributed in.our own ways to reverse this ugly trend in our society.🐝

Thank you