Nollywood Blogs | 11 June 2011 08:13 CET

Teenagers: Why They Do What They Do (1)

By Amara/pmnews


This topic was given to me by a teenage fan during the Children's Day celebrations. Through this smart teenager, who is a die-hard fan, I eventually realize that teenagers have been neglected by the society.

Below are some of the messages I have received from my teenage readers:

Aunty Amara,

I love you so much and I want to have you as my friend and mentor. I like the way you handle issues and I want to grow up to become like you. I am still a teenager, but I have learnt a lot from your Tuesday column for women and I know they will help me by the time I get married. I love you aunty.


Dear Aunty Amara,

I have a friend who left the house and the mother is not even bothered to look for her. Please advise me on what she should do because her mother doesn't care.


Hello Ma,

I am 18 and my boyfriend has finished university and got a job. I don't like sex, but he keeps telling me to sleep with him because that is the only thing that can keep our relationship and make the bond stronger. I am confused because I don't want to do what is wrong before God and my parents and I also don't want to lose him. Please tell me what to do.


My beautiful Aunty,

I really like your articles. I am seventeen now and I started keeping boyfriends since I was 14.I am really hurting because my parents believe I don't have any such life in me. Now I am out of secondary school and I can't even mention it to my parents because they will kill me. But I can't stop getting attracted to boys. Aunty is there anything wrong with me and can I have a boyfriend?


Dear Aunty Amara,

I have a boyfriend, but he slept with my best friend during our social night in school. I wanted to report them, but I really love him and I don't want him to be punished. Please, help me and tell me what to do because I now hate that girl and also angry with my boyfriend. He wants me back, but I can't stop thinking about him and that girl.

These are just few of the numerous messages I got from teenagers. I am not going to respond to their questions because I have done that privately with them. But I decided to release this for us to be aware of happenings in our society. I also promised to keep their identities as some of them gave me names of their schools.

It is really sad to see parents ignorant of the games being played by their children. There are things that determine what our children grow up to become and most times we neglect these trivial areas of life.


When I see parents come up with choices of schools for their children, I laugh because we do these things out of ignorance. I have taken out time to look at the reasons parents give for their choices, all I can say is that we are still blind and far from reality.

Having a degree in education has really helped to open my eyes to see what most parents don't see. It has helped me in the choice of schools for my children. I am going to look at this with Lagos in view.

The truth is that the influx of private schools has messed up the education sector. It is in Lagos I see people pay for facilities and cost of living instead of the quality of education. Like I recently told a friend, many parents pay money for the destruction of their children.

We send our children to schools where they are taught to say “hi” when they see their parents in the morning. I remember what I saw that made me pull my daughter from a very popular school around Epe to a place where there are morals. I saw a student stand boldly before a teacher to remind him that he is not allowed to flog because if he tries it, he would get him sacked. In this same school, students are not allowed to wash their clothes and they are served ice-cream and other junks while in class. In this school, students were caught in the toilet having sex. Another student stabbed his class mate over a little disagreement. I had to run for the life of my daughter.

I don't even know what to write because my ears are full from my interaction with my teenage friends. I recently asked a friend her reason for sending her daughter to some school in GRA Ikeja. To my surprise, it is because of class. This woman who is an illiterate doesn't even know what she wants in a school. She told me the school has class and you know…I smiled at the ignorance of this lady because that is a school where there are no morals. Students are allowed to touch themselves the way they shouldn't and all the teachers hear from the school authority is, “don't beat them, just guide them”.

Parents, we are the ones destroying our children! I feel like crying when I see some school uniforms. I see girls wear very skimpy skirts in form of school uniforms; how can they grow up to be decent?

A friend told me why he took his son away from a private school into a public/mission school. This guy had his son making good grades in school and this got him relaxed believing the son was doing well. He was always among the best three. A day came, during mid-term holiday that he decided to go through his books. It was when he started asking questions that he realised the boy's head was empty. The school knew, but they had to leave the boy in that position just to keep getting money from the father who was always donating to the school. Today, in the public school, the boy is not making the 15th position, but the father is happy because he said to me, “now I know his true ability”.

When you enter their halls and public places, they have WAEC results displayed to prove that they are the best for your child. All these are lies because they go out of their way to buy those results. Have you tried to compare WAEC and JAMB results to see the great difference in results? Why then is it that in our universities, children from public schools make the best results?

Parents, if we look carefully and decide to have a rethink, we will realise that those old schools—Kings, CMS, Igbobi College, St. Gregory, St. Finbarrs, Queens College, Anglican Girls, Federal Government colleges, are still the best for our children. I am happy seeing children of influential Nigerians now back to those schools because we have tried to be stylish with the private schools(that is all we get) and have failed. It is time to return and face reality.

I also see parents rush to pay for IGCSE for their children. The vice principal of my children's school called me when he thought I was among those paying for IGCSE. He told me never to make that mistake of sending my daughter abroad for her first degree. I told her not to worry as I settled that long ago.

I have always maintained that none for my children will obtain his/her first degree from a school outside West Africa. By God's grace, I don't keep friends who are below 45 because I always feel I don't have much to learn from them. This has really helped me as they have opened my eyes to a lot of issues and made me see the realities of life.

I was discussing with one who is a senator and he told me never to make that mistake. He said none of his kids will school abroad. He reminded me of an elder statesman who in an interview, was asked about his worst regret in life; he said that it is sending his children abroad for their education. Another friend of mine lamented when I asked why he is not letting his last child travel abroad for her education just like her siblings. He told me he doesn't want to lose this remaining one just like others.

The truth is that there is nothing stylish about kids schooling abroad. What are you going to enjoy in the future if you let them go abroad before getting mature? They will forget you exist by the time they finish from a society where there is no regard for parents. They will even find it difficult integrating into the Nigerian system. They also forget our culture and tradition and this is really affecting us negatively as the children now have no regard for our values and culture.

There are things you must look out for in your choice of schools for your children. Forget about the big names, beautiful uniforms (shows how vague some parents are), state-of-the-art facilities and excursions to non-African countries.

The most important thing is the level of morals and discipline in a school. Many children are now involved in homosexuality and this is eating deep into the society. Please try to send your children to a school where there is some level of spirituality.

Check out the antecedents of the proprietor. It is really sad that now in Nigeria, anybody can wake up and carry dirty money to set up a school. It is now a matter of cash and not qualification. Why send your child to a school where the owner is just a business man or woman. I have read interviews of some school owners and I found out that they are yet to understand the meaning of the word, “education”.

This is another problem with our private schools. Teachers in private schools are not professionals. They did not go through any form of teacher training. The owners just look for graduates who are good in phonetics and get them employed. But in the government schools, we see people who have been teachers all their lives. Some of these school owners are women who took people's husbands away and got them to set up those things for them through one crooked means. Now tell me; if the foundation is bad, what can your child do?

What do they bring up your kids to become? Do they train them to be street and party girls (our private schools are guilty) or home keepers? Do they teach the boys to dress like real men or as thugs? During special programmes in their school, what kind of clothes do you see on the girls?

Are they bringing them up to see and experience the two sides of life? Our private schools show them just one—daddy can afford whatever I want and I have to mix up with people of same class.

I am going to stop here as I look at this issue from another perspective next week. Please have a rethink on your choice of school for your child; avoid paying money for the destruction of your precious seed. No calls please; Email and SMS only.

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