26 Feb 2018

THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA EDUCATION SYSTEM AND THE WAY FORWARD

When the issue of educational system in Nigeria is raised, things that come to mind are: a decline in the standard of education, deterioration of facilities, examination malpractices, inadequate teachers and unqualified teachers among others. 22,000 teachers in Kaduna as a result of their incompetence “they do not have the requisite skills and qualifications to teach” says the El-Rufai. So here are the big questions what is going wrong with the educational system in Nigeria?

A general meaning as to what education is is that it creates a medium to transfer knowledge and beneficial values from one person to another. Likewise, Fafunwa (1979:26) defines education as “the aggregate of all the processes by which a child or adult develops the abilities, attitudes and other forms of behaviour which are of positive value to the society in which he lives, that is, a process of disseminating knowledge either to ensure social control or to guarantee rational direction of the society or both.”

What are the Problems with Nigeria Educational System?

The problem of educational development in the world not only in Nigeria is that of responsibility and control, there seems to be a conflict of interest in managing education at various levels between the Federal, State and Local Government, let’s take for example, the gap between the State and Federal Universities school fees, the federal government cannot regulate or interfere in the affair of state universities, and this is why the amount State schools deem it fit as school fees is what the students pay.  It is obvious also, that the control of primary education is neither fully in the hand of federal government, nor state or local government and this a great barrier for effective educational development at a basic level because.

Another problem of Education in Nigerian schools today is that of political interference, politics is the major force in the educational system in Nigeria. Today, many educational institutions are opened and run in many states on political ground, admission into universities, colleges, polytechnics, most especially universities are sometimes guided by politicians, not academic performance. A parent today use their political offices or influences for the education of their children.

Poor Preparation and Malpractices Experts in the education sector has been able to identify examination malpractices with the poor preparation of students for an examination as another set back in the educational system. In view of the rising costs of education (school fees, enrolment fees, cost of books and other materials) students and even their parents will not ordinarily want to be held back by any form of deficit or failure in any of the required subjects, hence will go to any length to ensure success. In some cases, some teachers at the secondary school level are involved by way of encouraging students to contribute money (cooperation fees) in order to secure the needed assistance during such examinations because they, the teachers are left with no other alternative considering the fact that they are aware of the inadequate preparation of their students as well as the lack of facilities to get them properly prepared for examination.

Despite the fact that most of the schools lack basic learning facilities and a complete set of teachers, in some cases, a school with the services of an English Language teacher will lack that of a Mathematics teacher or have the English teacher teach Literature, C.R.S and government. This is the more reason why one may not have the gut to quarry the mass promotion syndrome been practice in schools because the system itself is not balanced.

Poor Funding The gross underfunding of the educational sector in the country in general and the neglect of the maintenance of the physical facilities; Instructional and living conditions have deteriorated in many of these schools; classrooms blocks, libraries and laboratories are nothing to write home about, all leading to declining in academic standards. Attention must be focused on these areas too if these educational institutions are to get out of the woods and this is only possible through adequate funding.

In Nigeria today, one should not be talking about unavailable teachers but instability. The unstable condition of teaching staff in Nigerian primary and secondary schools has drastically crippled the system. Some teachers are seen selling all sorts in the classroom because the condition of service does not favour them and they are always looking for an alternative. In most public schools corpers are basically their teachers and as they end their service to their nation, they leave for their state leaving students in the hand of another corper who in the next 10 months would also leave. But why instability? This is because the condition of service does not favour them to stay in the profession as such looking always for an alternative.

How to Tackle These Challenges.

Some states like Jigawa State, the Government under the leadership of His Excellency Governor Sule Lamido is seen to have started tackling these problems because there was massive teachers recruitment, provision infrastructures, teaching aids and good condition of service to teachers (100% Teaching Inducement Allowance-TIA) etc. in addition to adequate funding of the system. This courageous effort should be emulated by other states.

Everyone who cherish genuine growth and sustainable development – Government, private and corporate organization, non-governmental organization and individuals should as a matter of due responsibility encourage and finance research programmes, inventions and mass production of invented products as a way of discouraging prospective students from indulging in any form of academic irregularities, who may not have seen anything good. And help to ensure adequate infrastructural facilities and tools are made available in schools.

Admission of students to schools should be based on merit, and not political ground.

Special remuneration should be provided for teachers.

Training Programme should be made available and compulsory for all teachers to keep them up to date with the teaching methods.

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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