Education in Nigeria- Somewhere in the mid 1970s, somebody in government woke up inebriated and suggested the abolition of civics as a subject in Nigerian prime schools. With that singular act, the slide southward in informative benchmark, ethics and civic responsibility in Nigeria begun. A aligned to this can be drawn with the American principle of truncating geography in K12 curriculum in America. As a outcome, Americans are mostly ignorant about other countries of the world. Most Americans believe of Africa as a homeland and people like Sarah Palin out of entire ignorance sees the Kremlin from her bathing room.
Why is Nigeria getting everything incorrect? Our missteps are a legion. From the abolition of educators grade II, A-Level etc. Now the homeland seeks to cancel NECO, castrate JAMB and reinforce the ingrained inefficiencies and monopoly of WAEC. We should understand that the so called human capital is all about learning. We will not harness our human capital if those humans are uneducated or miseducated. The penalties of a badly educated populace are dire, particularly for a homeland despairingly in need of foreign buying into with a literacy rate of less than 60%. No matter how you dissect it, there is no short slash to nationwide greatness. No territory can accomplish meaningful socio-economic, political, technological and cultural advancement without solid educational buying into in its citizens. With incessant principle rollbacks, poor funding and need of main heading; how can we anticipate to equip our youth with the essential attitudes, knowledge and abilities that will enable them contribute meaningfully to nationwide and human development and contend on the global stage?
In every facet of our nationwide life, we are content violating the rule of aperture; which states that when you are in one, halt cutting into. The differentiating characteristics of education in Nigeria are ballooning development without discernable development, increasing quantity with falling value year over year and lack of consistency in principle. Our policy manufacturers are an integral part of the corrupt elite and they have taken Nigerians hostage. Their wards join elite private schools for their early childhood education, join the best private secondary schools and advance to Europe or America for tertiary learning. They have no incentive to revamp the scheme. When they do, they conceive overlapping agencies with replicate purposes to accommodate cronies and to have more access to the federal gravy train.
The first missteps on education in Nigeria came through faults in principle implementation and frequent alterations in government throughout the military era. It has continued with doing well popular governments. Every doing well government decorated the previous one as unfocused and unpatriotic. learning was not freed. They abolished vintage principles and guidelines, enacted new ones and established new bureaus with new demands. Due to these common changes, successive authorities have not been able to conceive the enabling natural natural environment for the accomplishment of set goals and objectives defined in the nationwide policy on education. All kinds of digits have been assigned to “dreams” like dream 2010, 2020 and so on. We got dangled up on bombast rather than of residing on issue. These policy somersaults particularly as it affects learning has directed to poor funding, decaying infrastructure, declining teacher value, poor renumeration and the consequent poor scholar performance in WASC, NECO, JAMB and finally miseducated and unemployable graduates.
Up to 1975, Nigeria identified teachers as indispensable human asset and the most important component in the educational scheme. The teacher was treated as the pivot on which we hinged our educational development. Right from the educator Training Colleges, educators are taught to interpret the aspires and objectives of education and ensure that the young kids are educated in fulfillment of those aims and objectives. At the educator teaching schools, educators chose to be educators and took on educating as a vocation. These set of educators bred the very good minds of today. Unfortunately the last set of good teachers to come out of Teacher Training schools graduated in 1976 and they are due to leave shortly. Somewhere along the line, somebody determined to abrogate a checked system that has assisted us well in early childhood education; the very foundation of learning. educators Grade II credentials was cancelled. National credentials of learning (N.C.E) was decreed as the minimum benchmark. The National Teachers organisation (NTI) got the job to train Grade II educators or teacher and bring them up to hasten in line with the N.C.E curriculum. In no time, the NTI became an avenue for monumental corruption like every other parastatal of Nigerian government. No teacher failed, no one was retired for failing to make the cut. degrees were routinely acquired and every person passed.
Since 1970, Nigeria has had three distinct iterations on informative principle; 1977, 1981 and most lately 2004. In 2004, a new nationwide principle on Education was formulated with new guidelines on educator learning. In abstract, it states that educator learning will:
a. Produce highly motivated classroom teachers at all grades
b. boost creativity in educators.
c. Help educators to fit into the community and enhance their commitment to national goals.
d. supply educators with the expert background to make them adaptable to altering situations.
e. Enhance educators firm pledge to their occupation.
Teachers in Nigeria’s educational organisations are anticipated to be professionally trained. The policy, like every article Nigeria makes (Usually a wholesale reproduction of other nations policies.) begun on moony futuristic note, was chock-full of impressive abstractions and objectively disordered. However, it identifies that:
1. educators should be trained and be competent
2. educator learning should be reformed to advance value at elementary, lesser and tertiary education levels.
2. teachers should be declared.
Like all else in our nationwide life, the National principle on learning exists on paper without any grave or measurable try at implementation. Today Nigeria’s informative scheme extends its death spiral. Teacher’s learning and training is completely absurd. The current status on teachers’s learning now is; lesser school leavers from poor socioeconomic background and or those with poor grades are herded into schools of learning and polytechnics because of their reduced application requirements. In Nigeria of today, no one wants to join trade school anymore. every person wants a college degree, they will only amuse other options except they fail to get into a university. Professor Peter Okebukola in a address consigned at the launch of Alfred Debbie Opal Foundation, Lagos, 15th July 2010 summed it up very nicely:
“What I find pathetic is that the dregs of the class, those who are amidst the base 10 are the ones who request to colleges of learning. They may have three credits, get in through pre-NCE, and after a lot of patch-patch, bribing and cheating, organise to make up to two deserves with which they can blend with their ‘O’ level to request for a B.Ed in the university. At the university, they are laden with learning courses and graduate with a 2.1 without any knowledge really.”
Prof. Okebukola should understand. He was a previous boss Secretary of the nationwide Universities Commission (NUC). Like every person additional, throughout his tenure he was powerless about The nation’s dropping informative measures. This nation’s ills defies the cures of lone men and women. The scheme either co-opts or emasculates lone voices.
During my time as an undergraduate and up till this instant, the university admission principle in Nigeria does no good to the teaching occupation. Students who end up reading education are mainly those whose cut-off marks do not protected them a location in the course of their first or second alternative. It is an established fact that faculties of learning are populated by declines who have no interest in the occupation they are being taught in. The need of motivation and farthest mock begins from school. We mention to them as “Oja Dugbe” that is, Dugbe market. A quotation in derision of their “all comers” status. These scholars graduate in frustration and take up educating for need of options. What outcome can one get out of a educator who took up educating out of annoyance not by alternative? What do we wish to get in performance terms without authentic interest from accidental educators? In supplement, graduates of political science, sociology and the sciences routinely smash into the educating occupation for need of possibilities after years on wandering on the roads.
Nigerians love to pay edge service to educator learning, classroom infrastructure, educating aids and renumeration but no one does any thing. Cliches such as “teachers are the bedrock of any up to date humanity” gets traction only in debates and seem good dialogues. educators are no longer assured of employment in Nigeria. The prerequisite for employment into any place now is a note from your member of the senate or Representative. Every politician and their mothers’ and wives now has slots that they fill up with young kids of their cronies. Merit stands no chance in our nationwide formula. To be a educator these days is to pertains to the smallest rung of the food chain. At a time in Ondo State in the late 1990s landlords were starting to decline educators as tenants; a state whose mainstay utilised to be learning. Market women no longer offer them credit because they were was obliged back salaries and could not pay their creditors. The educator is no longer revered or respected as it was till the mid 1970s. He is not even identified, the neighborhood tailor had more worth. In no time, this cascading catastrophe discovered its way into tertiary learning. Since its only a foolish goose that goes into a fox’s place of worship, the huge defection of our academia to saner climes started. We lost our best and brightest to mind drain. With blowing up community, schools are notoriously understaffed due to defective projections. The living school rooms cannot accommodate rushing juvenile community, new classrooms are not being built at the pace of growth and new school are not unfastening. The educator scholar ratio is often in surplus if 1:25. In the Universities, lectures for courses like General Paper and certain electives like Introduction to Computers and Math 101 can only be held in amphitheaters. Students often exceed 250 per class session with a hapless lecturer and his assistant in a steamy overcrowded hall. What can be learnt in such an natural environment?
It is a sad commentary on how indifferent we have become; especially the middle class. Today in Nigeria, wealthy parents can pay for world class learning for their wards at all grades while the poor argue with torment class learning. Nigeria is a nation of miracle and short cut seekers. This territory covets vastness without buying into in its youth, rather than it cannibalizes them though its principles and through determined deprivation. I grew up in the early 1970s in rural Nigeria but I had the best teachers a village could boast of. Public education was it! The private schools had no possibility because they cannot appeal the best educators. In rural Nigeria, the educator had no other life than being teachers and beacons. They were the envied middle class. They loved their occupations and were fiercely dedicated to educating. Today, the function reversal is entire. environment abhors vacuum, with surging demand, the personal schools mushroomed and picked up the slack. Every charlatan with some cash now owns a school. The easiest way to wealth if you are not a politician or peak civil domestic is to establish a place of worship or a school. Churches and schools are the new holy grail of wealth acquisition.
The outlooks opinions conveyed in this item are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial principle of naijainformer.com