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THE DIGNITY OF LABOUR (An open address to students, teachers and parents on education)   By: Preye S. PAUL


This is an open address to students, teachers and parents on education.  It is an established fact that education is the most essential thing for every person and nation. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s education system is an eye-sore; It is rather quantitative than qualitatively- oriented; what we find as screaming headlines of Newspapers is school dropped-out, cultism, rape case in our campuses, violent initiation of unsuspecting students into various cult groups; bribery and corruption allegations against teachers; campus prostitution allegedly patronized by public office holders who are supposed to uphold the thrust of integrity and cultural values orientation. In addition, Prof. Duro Ajeyalemi identified the problems of the educational system as inadequate basic infrastructure, over-crowded classrooms, inadequate learning and teaching materials and teachers incompetency, among others. However, this address is geared towards the dignity of labour, because it pays to be hard working.



My beloved friends, it is not our fault that many of our parents are financially humbled, but it will be our fault if we later die as poor men and women.

I know quite well that it is not easy to be mentees under mentors in a “tormenting” atmosphere. Seize every opportunity in every difficulty to better yourselves. However, what are your goals in life? Many of us may have very brilliant visions in life, but only some of us may end up achieving them, while others may not due to misplacement of priority. My dear, think about your parents, your friends, and those around you. What kind of life are they living? Don’t you want to be better than them, or are you comfortable with the level of moral decadence and corruption destroying our society? If no is your answer (to the latter question) then put the following into practice: 1. Be prayerful. Cooperate with the grace of God. 2. Respect your parents, leaders, teachers and elders. 3. Love reading good and necessary books. Never allow a day to pass you by without revising what your teachers taught you during the day. 4. Avoid bad friends or bad company and those who steal your precious time. 5. Be very punctual and active in class activities. 6. Go to bed as early as possible (probably 9-10pm). 7. Take good care of your health. 8. Be optimistic. 9. Avoid illicit intimacy/sex and unwanted pregnancy – it destroys one’s destiny. In fact, it is one of the fastest ways of destroying girl-child’s destiny. Make sure you have good understanding of sex education, most especially from your parents and teachers respectively. 10. Set good standard in life. Have self respect. Don’t take what does not belong to you and, also remember that freedom without responsibility does not make a good personality.





My dearly and highly esteemed teachers, it is a thing of joy to be teachers, models and mentors. It is no news that teachers are God’s special instruments for re-creating a better and godly society. You have made yourselves available for this great task even when the Government is not fully faithful in paying your salaries. May God give you the grace to accomplish your good dreams in life and may He spark your endeavours to success. Amen.

However, it is also no news that some teachers have failed in inculcating true moral values into their personal live and that of the students. For instance, some might have lost the sense of duty and priority. They don’t have zeal for their job anymore, but they want the government to be VERY faithful in paying salaries. More so, punctuality and enthusiasm for academic excellence are out of their “dictionaries”. Some are very smart in updating their office files overnight or few days before the arrival of inspectors of higher authority. They are always “punctual” at their office attendance register, but in reality they are not. What a pity! They lack the virtue of honesty. Some even receive illegal money from students just to pass their examinations. This nonchalant attitude has created a lot of “miracle centers” in our schools today. Many students, as a result of this, don’t see the need to work extra hard anymore. They (students) seek for favour without labour. Instead of saying, “there is dignity in labour” they prefer saying, “there is dignity in favour”.

That apart, I remember a letter a concerned student sent to P.T.A general meeting, held in her school. The title of the letter was: “10 Tips for parents and teachers who care”. The tips are: 1. Don’t soil me. I know quite well that I ought not to have all that I ask for. 2. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me. I prefer it; it makes me feel more secure. 3. Don’t let me form bad habits. I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages. 4. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it. I will take much more notice if you talk quietly with me in private. 5. Don’t nag. If you do, I shall have to protect myself by appearing deaf. 6. Don’t put me off when I ask questions. If you do you will discover that I stop asking and seeking my information elsewhere. 7. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me too great a shock when I discover you are neither. 8. Don’t ever think it is beneath your dignity to apologize to me. An honest apology makes me feel surprisingly warm towards you. 9. Don’t forget that I love experimenting. I could not get on without it. 10. Give us the best education so that we can be of good future leaders and teachers to your children’s children. So, please, put up with it.



It won’t be wrong to use this medium to also address parents. Nobody ever said that children were easy to raise or educate. They don’t come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don’t come with a “pause” button. What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. Failure of the parents to meet these specific needs can have wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects. No wonder, Aristotle said, the education or upbringing of a child is the most difficult task.

Nonetheless, some parents despite the economic recession in Nigeria, do go extra miles to buy expensive clothes for their children during Christmas, New Year and other festive reasons but their children have terrible note/text books and tattered uniform when going back to school. This is truly a heart burning situation.

The following outline provides few essential responsibilities that parents should adhere to in order to foster their child’s educational well-being:

Communicate regularly with your child’s teacher(s).

Make sure that your child is completing his or her homework each night.

Assist your child with his or her homework, but don’t DO the homework.

Talk to your child each day about school (what is being studied, any interesting events, etc.).

Recognize and acknowledge your child’s academic achievements.

Make your child’s education your priority.

You are to spark the spirit of punctuality in your child at school.

Don’t encourage your child in examination malpractice.



There are lots of benefits in raising godly students. The benefits of raising godly students reveal the sweetness of hardworking. Some of the major benefits are: 1. Your students will bless you and testify of your godly influence in their lives. 2. Their good and godly behaviour will bring honour to you as their teacher. 3. You will enjoy peace of mind, happiness and fulfillment in your hoary days. 4. An enduring foundation for your family’s peace, progress and prosperity is laid. 5. Heaven rejoices seeing your students living godly lives, as Satan mourns. 6. Your students will flourish and prosper in all their ways and; 7. You and your students will live eternally with God in heaven.



Finally, my lovely parents, teachers and students, it pays to be hard working. It is in this regard that I will encourage stakeholders of education not to disappoint God in their individual and collective responsibilities. As for the students, my humble submission is that they should put these four RIGHTS into consideration if they want to be greatly successful in life: Be in the RIGHT ENVIRONMENT, with the RIGHT PEOPLE, at the RIGHT TIME and with the RIGHT DISPOSITION. The right disposition is the core aspect of the four rights. It makes an individual to be more outstanding than others in the society.




PAUL, Samson Preye, is a lover of academic excellence. His intellectual agility and creativity is highly fantastic. He is a patriotic Nigerian, a dual citizen of Delta and Bayelsa States of Nigeria. Precisely from Ayakoromo and Aghoro communities. He had his Philosophical studies from the prestigious University of Benin, Benin-City Edo State. Currently, he is at the penultimate class of his Theological studies in the Catholic Major Seminary of All Saints, Uhiele-Ekpoma, Edo State (In affiliation with the Urban University, Rome). He is from the Catholic Diocese of Bomadi. However, Preye has gifted hands. He is a motivational speaker and writer. Some of his classmates call him an Orator. He has been invited for several student conventions, seminars/workshops and paper presentations in academic and non academic platforms. He has to his credit, awards of excellence, articles published in international journal, magazines (including online), powerful reflections in religious bulletins and others. He has passion for volleyball and music.



Phone no: +234(0)8138903438.



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