NIGERIA EDUCATION SECTOR IS IN DUNGEON
By: ALABI ADEBAYO EMMANUEL
A hasty glance on the quality of education in Nigeria reveals that Nigeria is a long way from reaching the promise land of education for all by 2015. The Nigerian education system which produced world renounce scholars in the past has become a shadow of itself today. The rot in the nation education system has reached such a dependable proportion that if not summarily addressed now; subsequent generations of Nigerians will continue to suffer its consequences.
It is a very necessary to clean the education sector since education is the second or third most powerful and effective instrument of socialization. Indeed after the family and possibly religion, education follows as the most important agent of socializing children and the youth generally. As a results, if children and the youth are not properly socialized, they are very likely to end up adopting destructive social values.
As it is, Nigerian youths for the past twenty or more years, have increasingly adopted habits and tendencies that are destructive to social harmony because the value in society tends to push them to that direction.
The sector today, seems to produce graduate who are not sufficiently disciplined and equipped with the appropriate academic and professional skills, hence have no qualms abound breaking the law, perpetually looking for shortcut to amass wealth and morally bankrupt. Those developments are byproducts associated with corruption in the education sectors as the society at large continue to spread corruption around and they said countries that succeed in their journey to development place premium on high quality education.
The popular view is that education in Nigeria has lost quality, efficacy and functionality over the years.
On 28th March, 2013 on the reformation of the Nigeria education system at rivers state, Professor Wole Soyinka said in his speech that “if you don’t have a good university for learning, it doesn’t have of what brilliant professors in the world should be” the society that could behave in such a way in which affairs are managed, in such a way that universities are reduced to more jungles, and if the atmosphere of the environment is rotten you will just produce animal from universities.
Even more recently the secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon speaking at opening of the Nations Conference on trade and development in Ghana mentioned Nigeria Specifically as one of the countries in Africa that may not meet the millennium Development goals set for 2015. What is even more shameful is that out of the three countries Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda –singled out for making significant strides especially in increasing primary school enrollment none equals Nigeria by any measure despite the increasement in the allocation that is being giving to the Education sector in this year annual budget, education will gulp 8.7 percent of the national budget.
Looking at previous national budget one would discover that there has been a steady increasing in Education budget starting from 2010 during President Yar’ Adua administration.
That year, N249.086billion out of the proposed N4.079trillion budget was allocated to the sector. The ministry of works in that year received the highest allocation of N249.425billion followed by Education N249.086billion which make the minister of Education Professor Peter Okebukola said, “it is heart warming that education is profiled by the executives arm of government to received the highest budgetary allocation in 2013.
But if Nigeria allocation to education sector has received increasement, so there should be provision for the resource in the education sector.
The criticism of the kind of education bequeathed to us led to the 1969 National Conference on Curriculum Development, which was aimed at fashioning out the philosophy of Nigerians Education that will respond to the needs and aspirations of Nigerians.
Paying attention to education sector and peoples view in some states in Nigeria, On 13th June, 2013 a body called ACTION AID NIGERIA gave a three day training and roundtable discussion on education and Promoting the rights in schools at Kogi State. The body said: a field work at a school in one of the community revealed that all the public junior secondary schools in the state were within the (Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEB) scheme and students were charged hidden fees for books that were meant to be free for maintenance of facilities in the school. The classroom was also over crowned with an average of about 100 students per class in the junior secondary school as against the approved number of 40 students per class.
Moreover, the Vice chancellor, Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti, Professor Patrick Aina identified factors that lowering the standard of education as: Gross underfunding, Inadequate and ailing infrastructure facilities, industrial strife and political instability as few of the factors against improved education standard.
The 1969 conference gave birth to the National Policy on Education (NPE) of 1977. The Policy document stated the five National goals through which Nigeria philosophy of education draw it’s strength; a free and democratic society, a united strong and self reliant nation, a great and dynamic economy and a land full of bright opportunities for all. The policy also prescribed that the Nigeria philosophy of education will be based on 3 major principles:
The development of individual into a sound and effective citizen.
The full integration of the individual into the community and
The provision of equal access to educational opportunities for all citizen of the country into primary, secondary and tertiary levels both inside and outside formal school system.
Recently, the former Central Bank Governor Professor Soludo painted a heart rending picture of our Education system in a convocation lecture he delivered at University of Agriculture Abeokuta. In his paper entitled “the unfinished business with the banking revolution in Nigeria”. He said among other things that “if a company administers a test on 100 graduates from Nigeria’s higher institutions 71% of them will not be suitable for the job”. ‘Imagined the illustration’
Most public primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in this country are in pitiable condition- with leaking roofs, cracked walls, no writing desks, no writing materials, no adequate libraries, no well adequate laboratories, not even chairs and tables are in well befitting for receiving lectures.
According to the Nigeria policy on Education, for effective teaching and learning, the teacher pupil ratio shall be 1:35 (Nigeria policy on Education 4th edition, 2004). Another significant area that has posed or cause problem on education sector in Nigeria is the scantiness of technically qualified teachers. Because of the dwindling prestige of the teaching profession occasioned by the poor remuneration of teachers, the very few serious technically qualified teachers are leaving the profession in searching for a green pastures or job. The public schools nowadays are commonly known to be employing anybody to teach anything. Most of the secondary school teachers are turn the school that are supposed to be the foundation of learning for our future leaders to a place of market and to where they we be asking student to tore green vegetables for them which is not supposed to be and our government are looking at them performing all this without taking neccesarry action against them.
Earlier of this year visitation by the NBTE to all polytechnics in Nigeria their have not been any sign of development in the sector. Despite of lack of conducive environment for effective learning in our polytechnic and the rising up of admission of student into institution which contradict to the NBTE rules which says “80 student per class and they should be divided into two group” has not being able to reduce this act despite their visitation.
Commenting on the problems besetting the system of education, the Deputy Rector of Osun State Polytechnic, Ire Dr. Femi Ademiluyi: said Polytechnic education was supposed to focus on the producing middle level man power. Most every polytechnic in Nigeria are not sincere to the body that governing them for instance: a poly that supposed to admit 80 students now admitting 400 students into one department.
A writer Odih Daniel said in one of is article that the existence of National Examination Council (NECO) has been the spell behind the fallen standard of Education in Nigeria. I can categorically said that the government of this great nation are behind the shambles that has make our education sector to be paralyzed and dumbed just the way they handle the sector and how they appoint many people that has no Educational background and that they don’t know the value of education just because they are being appoint to that position with the influence of those politicians that posses the spirit of cheating, self interest, in human habit, agent of down fall, non prospect people those that supposed to be followers and that are being leaders through some privilege.
Also some of our leaders are educated but they did not showcased what they have being thought in school, some are professors, doctorates, degree holders, masters but they lack spirit of turning the sector around to better one among it’s members in the world.
Our leaders are not shameful in nature because most of them are going to other country and they see the standard of Education that other country are rendering to their children, and most of our leaders are sending their children outside the country to go and study when they have paralyzed the education of their own fathers lands. Not our political leaders alone can perform this work but left to individual in the public those that have the financial power to rise to the cry of the sole call future leaders of this country that have being trample upon by non futuristic people in the society and if the sector we be refashioning the work rely basically on our government by hasting to the cry of the masses so that the long awaiting vision 2020 we be achieved and this country we be among the millennium development goal of 2015 there most be drastic attention to this sector.
This is one of the reason many concerned Nigerian have taken a critical position on the way and manner the country’s education sector is been run over the years. Prior to our independence, nationalists and educators had complained of the kind of education be questioned to us by our colonial masters (Britain), part of the condemnation of the type of education the British give to us was the emphasis laid on academic certificates at the expense of skills acquisition, the language used is English which has no communication with our culture, and African tradition among others. And the federal Government should have a look into the segregation that has been a big contention among our institution in this country.