Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions

Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions

When did Rag day start in the Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics, and the College of Education? The rag-day Practice dates back in Nigeria as far back as the early 1940s. The first rag day in Nigeria was done in the 40s. Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions



The origin of the word “Rag” according to the Oxford dictionary is “an act of ragging, especially, an extensive display of noisy disorderly conduct carried on in defiance of authority or discipline.

In Nigerian Higher Institutions, monetary donations are part of rag day activity. In fact, this seems to be the major driving force. A typical Nigerian student on a rag day will follow passers-by and display all manner of ragging skills until they “drop something” as they usually say it.

Rag day activities did not start in Nigerian Higher Institutions. This activity is also carried out in the United Kingdom but with little difference. The motive of the ragging here and over there differs.

In the United Kingdom, Rag Day activity is carried out by student-run charity organizations and is widespread in Britain. According to record, most Universities in the UK and Ireland, observe Rag Day.


There, they observe it for charity purposes. That is to say that they do it to raise funds in order to donate to the needy. But in Nigerian Higher Institutions, students observe Rag Day for personal needs. They are out to enrich their pockets.

Rag Day activity was introduced first in South Africa in 1925 by the University of Pretoria. When it was introduced it was called “The Procession”. It is still being practiced to date and bears the same name.



Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions

Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions
A Typical rag day Activities in the Nigerian Higher Institutions

There no exact date or traceback on rag day activities in the Nigerian Higher Institutions. I mean there is no document that gives out accurate information regarding the first time rag day was observed in Nigeria Schools of Higher learnings.

However, one thing is sure, the history of rag day activities in the Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics, and College of education did not state this year or last year. I graduated from one of the Nigerian Higher Institutions 10 years ago.

While in school, we observed rag day during the Student week. It was observed throughout the 4 years I spent at school. It was also in the record that my set didn’t start it in the school. It was existing before my set gained admission.



Meanwhile, rag day activity began in African in 1925. It began at the University of Pretorian in South Africa.

According to history, it did not start as Rag day as it is known today. It started at “Procession”. This Procession still retains its name to date in South Africa.

When did rag day start in Nigeria? The rag-day Practice dates back in Nigeria as far back as the early 1940s. The first rag day in Nigeria was done in the 40s.

Higher Institutions in Nigeria copied from the University of Pretoria and named it Rag Day since the clothes are worn are rag.

However, 9jainformed.com has not verified this claim made by a Nigerian. We contacted some people who attended higher Institutions in Nigeria far back. We asked them if they observed rag day. They all accepted they did.



The Motive of Rag Day in Nigerian Higher Institutions

The original motives of Rag Day activities in different countries as mentioned earlier are for Charity Campaigns, Charity Appeals, or Committees but in Nigeria, it is not so.

It still remains fundraising or donation activity but the money raised is not submitted to the school authorities. It goes into the student’s wallet for personal use.

Students in Nigerian Tertiary Institutions participate in Rag Day activity with no charity in mind. The driving force for the rag day has always been for personal interest. The purpose is purely to enrich their pockets. The school managements are aware of this and it is sort of a permitted action.


Do you want to Read 2021 Best Rag Day Students? Read this article.

 

  • Benefits of Rag Day

Many students don’t actually participate during the rag day. To some, it is a waste of time and sheer foolishness. To others too, especially the religious groups, they see it as spiritual pollution.

But the question now is, why do schools choose a day in student Union week and name it rag day? Why do schools allow students to dress in odd ways, bearing the Institutions ID cards, and go out into the streets for funny displays? Are there any benefits of rag day activity in Nigeria?

Rag Day activity in Nigerian Higher Institutions may have its own disadvantages. It may pose dangers to the lives of the students especially the risk of being knocked down on the roads by reckless drivers. They are being exposed to fall prey to the hands of unscrupulous fellows in the streets.

But in all these, Rag Day activity has inits own Benefits. They are:



  • It is a period to check off the dullness from Jack:

All works and no play they say make Jack a dull boy. The Rag Day activity is a kind of playing for the students. The students have time to move around and jiggle with their friends. It is a moment of liveliness on the campus.

 

  • Fund Raising

I remember back in school, then when we had our first Rag Day activity. During the Chapel service on Sunday, our Chaplain was announcing tithes and seeds of faith that people gave as he used to do. He said; “three thousand two hundred and seventy-five Naira, my tithe from Rag Day”.

We screamed, forgetting we were in the chapel. Someone just gave tithe which equaled the total amount two people made from Rag Day. If he could give such amount as 10% tithe, what it means is that he made Thrity two thousand seven-hundred and fifty Naira.



Mehn, that amount was our school fees in the Federal polytechnic for 2 semesters and there will still be a balance remaining.

This is actually one of the benefits of Rag Day activity. The students who come from poor homes are able to raise money that will pay one of their bills. Some have realized money big enough to pay for handouts for a semester.

 

  • Fun

Another benefit of Rag Day activity is for the fun of it. Many students who participate in Rag Day activities do not go out to beg for money. They retire to their hostel once they are done on the school’s campus.

They derive joy from the fun they have with their fellow students and friends.



Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions (Summary)

At the beginning of this post, we pose a question; “When did Rag day start in the Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics, and the College of Education? And this is what we answered:

The rag-day Practice dates back in Nigeria as far back as the early 1940s. The first rag day in Nigeria was done in the 40s. Origin and History of Rag Day Activity in Nigeria Tertiary Institutions.

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