Ways to tackle the rot in Nigeria education sector
It is no longer news that Nigeria education system has, overtime, continued to decline in all standards. This development has generated heavy criticisms from different sections. Gabriel Chy Alonta & Arinze Anaegbunam, engage people on the ways to solve these crises.
Dr. Edward Ezenwafor, United State of America
Something that I think we need to do to fix our education system is reorientation. This is very important, because, our mindset determines our approach to everything we do, and that determines the results.
First, we need to reorientate the mindset of our students from seeing education as a ‘necessary evil’ or ‘unavoidable stress’ for survival in life, to seeing education as a process of developing the skills they need for survival in life. This new perspective will not take away the stress in education, but it will make the deliverable (expected result) clearer. Consequently, every student will be asking himself what skill he is developing while in school, and upon graduation, students will be proud to show what they have learnt to do by themselves, rather than displaying the certificates that bear only their names but not their proven competences.
Second, we need to reorientate the mindset of our educators from seeing education only as a wage-paying career, but to also start seeing it as a process of engineering or moulding the human mind that requires passion, commitment and sacrifice. This new mindset will help our educators not to generalise their approach to students or discredit any student, who is not performing excellently in a particular area, but rather, to pay extra attention to identify each student’s specific needs and competencies and tailor learning to each student’s natural abilities.
Third, we need to reorientate the mindset of policy makers in education to appreciate the need to focus on exploring educational systems and methods that emphasise skills that promote our local content materials and resources. Education is not solely literacy (reading and writing) or numeracy (counting) based on resources that may be alien to our immediate environment. It should also include methods for completely harnessing our natural habitat. This may include local engineering skills, research, agriculture, mining, manufacturing etc, before we start adopting foreign skills to augment our already developed local competencies. This is the secret of the success of China, India, Germany, Japan etc in providing employment for their teeming masses and also making advancements in research because, their students learn skills that make them immediately useful in their local environment, while our students learn all the skills that are required elsewhere, while being unfit for our immediate environment. And who said we have nothing new to offer the world?
Fourth, we need to reorientate the mindset of administrators in education to understand that their field is the highly sacred moulding ground for the future development and success of our society, and as such, any maladministration, malpractice, misappropriation, reckless or corrupt practice from their area will have immeasurable adverse effects on the the future of our society and our coming generations. The effects of such practices in their field have geometrically multiplied consequences on the society in comparison to other administrative fields or areas.
Fifth, we need to reorientate the mindset of the government to realise that adequate and appropriate funding, allocations, recruitment and appointments into the education sector is not an option, but an urgent priority in the development of our society. Education is one sector that has the potential of solving immeasurable needs in other sectors if it is handled appropriately.
Chinweoke Nwokolo, Onitsha
For me, let the government take the educational system back to what it used to be in the late 70s; that is when public schools were rated higher than private schools with the requisite standard. During that period, the less educationally endowed had the technical/commercial school option and they excelled. The school had a relationship with the child’s home and there was synergy that engendered good conduct. Such era when religion was a tool for holy/ modest life as against instrument of concealed crime; teaching was a noble profession, because, teachers carried themselves with dignity. Mentoring of the young ones was best done by teachers with glaring positive results. Our education system will be good again, if we began to run our institutions like in the 70s.
Vincent Chinedu Agbo, Oko,
For me, good things that should be done to fix the Nigeria education system will include re-branding the education system in Nigeria, employment of qualified educationists, regular payment of salary of teachers, provision of educational facilities and good governance.
David Okpokwasili, Awka
The education sector is one of the most important sectors in Nigeria, because, education is the bedrock for any meaningful development in an economy. It is what determines the growth of a nation. Therefore, to address the challenges facing us in the education sector, we should do the following:
- There must be concerted effort to fund education at various levels by the government. Funding of education should not be realistic and education should be given its rightful place.
- Local government should be made autonomous and primary schools returned to that level of government for easier supervision.
- The first 9 years in the 9-3-4 system of education in Nigeria should be looked at again so that a graduate from the basic education can have one or two vocational skills.
- Instead of free basic education, I would rather advocate we subsidise education to make it more accessible.
- Standardised education should be a priority; qualitative education should be made available to a child no matter where he resides.
Comrade Chigozie Ntomchukwu, Igbariam, Anambra state
- Education should be our first concern in every plan we make in life. It should receive the largest budget yearly. 2. It should be our pride, and those involved should be adequately paid and encouraged, as emphasis should be laid on intellectual capacity. 3. Education should be an investment upon which our yearning for technological development depends. We can’t attain what is today called ‘best practices’, without education. 4. Nigerian constitution, as a matter of fact, has military face and content; skewed and fashioned to suit some ethnic nationalities. A total overhaul of the entire education system should be done from primary to tertiary levels. 5. The discriminatory education content should be closed up such as entry requirements at all levels of education, since Nigeria is said to be a federation.
Dr. Somto Igboanugo, Lagos
- There is need for more institutions of learning. 2. Tuition fees should be reduced so that no one will have any excuse not to go to school. 3. There is also the need to set up technical colleges for students, who cannot learn through conventional ways. 4. Projects and research work should be included not just in final year but also at other levels in the tertiary education. This will ensure quality research output in the tertiary institutions. 5. School regulatory bodies should be made to perform their duties effectively by ensuring adequate monitoring and evaluation.