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‘Start!’, was the commanding voice I heard almost immediately I got the question paper and answer sheet. Though like a river my pen delightfully flow in the direction of the current coming from my hand, as blown  from my brain, which is as a result of my sleepless  night. I froze at a point and  what started as a drop became an ocean and what was just  a little whimper became a yowl, as the grief I can bear no more.

 Probably because I am just a child with a feeble heart and so much believe in her country. Tell me, what pain is more baneful than that of a broken heart. My heart is broken and I bleed heavily because there is a tear from within.

My teacher came to me. ‘What is the problem? Don’t you know the answer? Don’t worry...’ But just before he could finish his statement I screamed for I believe his words are vile to my ear. This made everyone in the examination hall worried. Every pen was dropped and every eyes focused on me as every heart was filled with fear. could have been the cause of her wailing? Was the capital question on every mind. The school counsellor together with the principal, vice principal and my teacher assembled before my table and hurled different questions at me. ‘What is it? They asked. Are you in pain? Have you been abused? Were you raped? Is there a problem at home?’ 

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I went numbed to every questions as I detest from whose lips they came from. The external invigilator with great impatience shouted, 'take her out if she won’t stop crying’. With great bile I said, ‘I can’t go out?’ 'Why?’ they asked with fear. ‘I am bleeding' I replied. ‘What! Get a cab we are rushing her to the hospital’, The principal ordered. Knowing not what may have possessed me I regained my voice and what came out was an hysterical laugh:  
“What an emergency
Let’s call Mr president 
If a doctor he could get 
Education needs a cure 
But first let’s find the cause 
Who is the worm?

The principal who sworn an oath to produce useful and egalitarian citizen but his allegiance is only seen in his negotiating skills as he struck a deal with the wolf in sheep's clothing. Education is now a business. What an outstanding entrepreneur you are. Success has a price they say. Guess ours is the #3000 paid to the wolf. But then what is the  gain in our pain. Only if the money can be geared towards motivating teachers who cry for more then may be education will be gold again and melody would have  been the song blown from my trumpet.

Or may be we should call the sheep and ask why? Why soil your white? Laziness or lust for wealth? You pace up and down the hall sweating profusely like you are in hell yet everyone complain of cold. You said you are invigilating yet all we see is a tip in white sheet while you cut a chip off our future. Only if the dedication can be brought to the class then may be a toast you would have had on the day of your subject knowing  fully well it is harvest time and your student will do nothing less than to make you proud. Instead you said your salary or should I say stipend is neither enough nor on time. Why not try management and satisfaction. Little wonder you can’t manage a class.

Oh! We had better hit the gong and make a call to the  apathetic students whose confidence is in the silent whisper of the teacher rather than their effort, forgetting that what we worked for is what last forever. But then who doesn’t want a drum stick on a platter of gold. Only if you will remember that not all that glitters is gold then may be you will understand that being the norms doesn’t make it right. 

Probably we should have a panel discussion with the august visitors that come in groups from the ministry and leave with a brownish wafer thin, they call it refreshment. With the wave of the hand wrongs are made right and an exam becomes an open Test. I’d say they are the wolf that devour our future. The thief that comes with a robust tummy and eagerly devour  the sweet meal of our tomorrow. They sold our birth right for a penny. Hope the penny is safely saved in a Swiss? Oh! #3000 must have built you a mansion.

Call a spade a spade. We only pass blame when not ready to take responsibility. Yes! We all are victims of examination malpractice. However I am puzzled on how a perpetrator becomes a victim. Yes! You are the worm. What started as a hole is now a tear in no time it will become a rag. If only time can be changed, then I wish to have a little rewind may be I can be a part of the past. So I may be able to say, as in my father's tales: ‘back in time, when Naira was money though free, EDUCATION was GOLD'. Thanks to you, that wish may forever be a Mirage”.

Written by @ormoret for Rising Child Foundation.
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