Mr Nte John N, a Medical Laboratory student of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki emerged victorious as the winner of an Essay competition organized by the National Association of University Students (NAUS), Ebonyi State chapter on Saturday 19th June 2021 in Abakaliki. His Essay entitled entitled ” REVOKING THE OLD HABIT OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA” was adjudged the best amongst other entries submitted by students from Ebonyi State University Abakaliki and Alex Ekwueme University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, both in Ebonyi State.
Declaring him as the winner, Mr Ije Felix, the National President of National Association of University Students commended the winner for a display of scholarship and camaraderie as portrayed in his submission and disposition. He further advised the winner to keep the fire burning through hard-work and dedication to his studies.
REVOKING THE OLD HABIT OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
Education means different things to different people. To some, it is wealth, light or even a blessing while to others it could mean to the opposite. Devoid of religious values and impacts, education has a served over the years, as a medium of integration. Bringing conglomerate of individuals from different works and entirety. It is safe therefore, to opine that Education has become an everlasting life factor that should never be scrapped and can always be strategically negotiated.
Only mouth shaped in ingratitude will fail to utter the benefits of education. Nelson Mandela once made an aphorism and I quote “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” But this weapon shouldn’t be a rusted and decrepit one. To fight and conquer the vapid insipidity of education, our weapon should be like a serrated arrow with frightening blade sailing violently to its target.
Life as it is noticeable, is evolving which is evident when happenings within two the period of two years are been compared. With each breaking of the day comes new perceptions of doing things. Man comes to the realization of this and naturally makes adjustments to meet up with these changes in order to make advancements.
Unlike the ancient days when man fraternized and adored crude lifestyle, today the world has risen to break the wall of resistance that has shackled their unlimited ability with modernization and technology. This modernization and technology proffers solution to many unfathomable questions threatening the progress of man in various fields of endeavor.
The country’s education system entangled with loopholes is in the complete state of dilapidation, hence the need to raise a vast vaccine against this infection that has eaten up the fabrics of the educational system. The old style of Nigerian education is becoming too primitive and dead, hence the need for revitalization, reconstruction, rehabilitation, revolution and reconciliation of the old habit of Nigerian education bisected with myriad’s of problems.
Hence, there are many ways of breaking the old habit of education in Nigeria and adopting new ones, and these includes:
•Stopping ceaseless strike:
History tells that in 1978, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) was instituted to represent the academic staff in Nigerian universities. Since then, there have been incessant strikes almost every year, disrupting the academic calendar to the detriment of students who are the grasses that suffer when two elephants fight.
To curb this menace, the government should exert more efforts in giving huge budgetary allocations to educational sector, the bedrock of every nation and honor agreements signed with the union. As it was seen in 2018, the percentage of budget allocated to educational sector was abysmally low; when only 7.04% of the national budget was given to education. This is far below the UNESCO’s recommended 15%-26%.
Thus, it’s crucial to note that the affairs of the ASUU is paramount to the students and staff of every institutional body that has a link with them. It is expected that they take their assignment as delicate as it demands.
•Teachers’ regular vocational training:
Evidently, there’s no more a static set standard for education as the world is rapidly rising from mediocrity to stadium. These has poised as a challenge to the sectors that has a long distance between where they are at the moment and where they shoul actually be.
Hence, an instructor must possess the dogged ingenuity and intuitive drive to inspire and drive a new wave of thinking in the mind of students. Also to inculcate into them the intrinsic skills that would help them harness their inherent potentials as every individual has potentials in them.
Some of the education sector in Nigeria is preponderant of laggard instructors who lack the pedagogical skills to put students through with newest methods of learning to facilitate high quality education. Teachers who are square peg in round hole cannot teach students new ideas, they cannot align them with the latest reformation.
It is therefore recommended as quite pertinent to introduce and engage teachers with regular vocational training in order to revert and avert the old ways of coaching students. By so doing, the education system would move to the peak of functionality and can as supposed measure up to the standard.
•Rehabilitation of the courses/subjects Curriculum:
The universe keeps advancing as the day goes by, each day brings fresh ideas that have a way of affecting every spheres of life. It is therefore not expected that things should be appropriately done in accordance with the recency effects.
Some school curriculum across the nation have experienced minimal or no change from the subjects taught in the days of antiquity. Subjects taught in most schools are otiose and out-of-date, hence will not provide the basic critical thinking skill necessary for students to succeed in the future in meeting up with some standards.
The subjects taught in school should be in conformity with the modernistic approaches of solving perennial problem of life. Any subject(s) not in line with modernism should be junked.
For educator to make this possible, they must adopt new habit of classroom routine, programs that aims at changing students to be receptive to these new subjects.
•Poor and non-payment of teacher’s salary:
Remuneration is an inevitable energy to every laborer. Its encourage them to stay dedicated and put to their responsibilities. Also to do more work as there is always a reward allocated to everyone and in accordance to their works and exhibitions.
It is highly lachrymatory to see tutors working like elephants and eating like ants; their monthly salary only make both ends meet. In Nigeria today, teachers work from dusk to dawn without receiving a commensurate compensation.
It’s disheartening to see teachers who bring up leaders/affluent men in the society living in absolute penury due to poor remuneration. Today, teachers are seen as low social class people because of the meagre salary they receive. Poor remuneration/emolument has hampered the progress of education as tutors lose interest and begin to leave the educational sectors for green pastures.
To change the narrative, the government must ensure proper remuneration/emolument. Teachers who are well paid would gladly discharge their duties. The old method of owing teachers and giving poor economic status as alibi must be eschewed.
•Setting of committee to look into examination malpractice:
Examination malpractice is an academic dishonesty or fraud. Nowadays, students don’t stress themselves in reading/or making research to clarify their obscurantism in any topic(s) they’re taught in the school when they get home, instead, they relax and wait for expo on the day of examination.
A vast majority of Nigerian students have been following this path to excel in their academic pursuits. But this has a very deleterious effect to the future of students and if allowed to continue would breed a generation where social recklessness would found its bosom.
It is therefore pertinent to nip in the bud this menace lashing up the educational system as failure to do so would bring about deterioration of the educational sectors. To make student stand aloof from this mischievous acts, examination malpractice committee must be established to guide student against such detestable activities. They should nurture and inculcate students with the spirit of “I can do it on my own.” They should reshape the lives of students to ensure they pay a price to win a prize. In order words, reaching the acme of academic excellence by students must be on the basis of one’s industrious calibration (conscientiousness). More so, the committee must penalize any student(s) caught in such academic atrocity. The penalty must be severe. If possible, the penalty should be expulsion of such student(s).
•Erecting well equipped educational structures:
The government has its own huge role to play not to ignore the essence of libraries and laboratories in schools to pace up with modern system of education. Schools in both rural and urban areas of the country have poor and old structure. Some school curriculum across the nation have experienced minimal or no change from the subjects taught in the days of antiquity. Subjects taught in most schools are otiose and out-of-date, hence will not proSome schools don’t even have a single structure. Students make underneath trees their classroom. This is very outdated. Therefore, the government should spare no effort erecting good structures and renovating old ones for conducive atmosphere of learning.
Classroom should be well equipped with the necessary materials that would aid their daily teaching and learning. The classroom should be infused with technology that can support both teaching and learning. Library should be computerized. Computer and handheld devices that can expand courses and experience should be made available.
•Scrapping 6-5-2 system of education:
Before and after 1960 Nigeria independence, the educational system at primary and secondary levels was a picture and adoption of old British system of education. This system of education does not align with modernistic system where there is incorporation of innovations of science and technology teachings.
If there will be a total scrap of this system in Nigeria with adoption and practice of 6-3-3-4 similar to American educational system policy the country’s educational sector will witness a tremendous improvements to meet up it with international standard.
•Appointment of an educational expert as a minister.
Lastly, in today’s form of politics, appointment of ministers into some sectors are not measured on competency nor qualifications but as a means of political compensation.
The new government should make it as a point of duty to appoint an expert as minister of education, not as a political party lackey. If appointment is given to an expert who has the lens to view that education is the only bedrock for growth and development of the country, the old habit of education in Nigeria will be revoked.
I think if these recommendations are allowed to take preeminence in our education sectors, it would go a long way in thrashing the old style of education in Nigeria.
Peter Ndubuisi Akpu is a Business Strategist, a philomath, a critical thinker, Public Affairs Analyst, and a blogger; studied Law differently at the Ebonyi State University and the Nigerian Law School.