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An Introduction To The Major Problems With Education In Nigeria
The issue with Nigeria’s educational system? It is funny thinking of what to mention first.
The numerous problems affecting education in Nigeria struggle to take first place like they are in a competition for greatest academic problem of the century.
Should we start the ministry of education or just move on to those performing the ministration? Or maybe the pioneers of the curriculum or those implementing it?
Perhaps we should consider the head of schools as an issue here or should we just move on to the learners in themselves?
Not to mince words, Nigeria’s educational problems cannot lie on the shoulders of one system alone. Putting aside the Government and board of education for the meantime, let’s take a closer look at the teachers themselves and primary head of schools. They stick to these stereotypical beliefs like iron to magnet that ‘education’ and ‘learning’ can only and should only be obtained around the four corners of the classroom.
Due to Nigeria’s economic system, they believe anything not pertaining to books should be learned—not because of passion, but should be as an option B in case the system disappoints them. Imagine the reception a child gets from his math teacher for always scoring low in math and excelling in dance when it comes to talent hunt or other extracurricular activity!
Most of these teachers in all are really not trained or cut out for the teaching job. You have a BA in English does not mean you have a BA in “How to teach English”. Lack of good jobs as a result of unemployment en masse pushed many into the chalk and marker department.
A graduate who studied, say English for example but didn’t study how to teach English would really have a hard time differentiating between the audio students, visual students, and the audio visual ones, and therefore can hardly reach out to 99% of students in class.
How then does effective learning take place?
Principals, headmasters and other primary head of schools actually believe in running both teachers and students to prove their stand in the chain of authority. If they were good children when they were young, they can’t understand why children should be naughty and if they were naughty back then, they definitely would do all they can do to sure the kinds don’t “supposedly” follow in their footsteps even if it means they are very mean and insensitive.
They justify themselves by saying, “we are trying our best to do what’s best for you”. Though, while this can be said of most, it isn’t true for all.
We all have a good egg in a crate of bad ones. Hardly can a student have a reasonable steady and good rapport with head of schools in the school vicinity.
The students’ part in the problem here cannot be overstated. From teenage indulgence to their stubbornness and the urge to have fun always, they can rightly grate on the nerves of their teachers to no end, and that is about those who are willing to learn. Many students just see school as something that must be done to get the society off your back. However, all these misbehavior of students bore down to the saying;
“there are no bad students, only bad teachers.”
Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture, the Government are doing mightily little to help with infrastructure. The state of most public schools is a pitiable one. The only thing they have joy for them are qualified teachers with experiences [in most cases]. There are hardly any facilities handy for practical subjects. The learning environment is in a pitiable state. The only time there is new development in these schools would be anytime close to elections during which, they feel they have earned the right to flaunt themselves all over T.V.
Let’s move on to the standard of our education. Someone once said “a Yale dropout is far better than Nigeria’s top graduate”.
I say that cannot certainly be true. I classify it a fallacy because the University of Lagos ranks number eight in best universities in Africa, that is a real challenge and it has said a lot about our ‘Standard’ but the same school; UNILAG is almost half a decade old and it has had lots of opportunities to attain such standard of academic excellence and presentable results but the other various higher institutions and schools also have to tarry that long to set such a standard?
If this much time is taken up to rank at the eight position in a continent (that’s a lot though), how much time do we need to set up a standard for the whole academic system?
Solutions to the Challenges facing Education in Nigeria
It should not go unmentioned that measures have been taken to up the academic standard of the nation. In tertiary institutions, harsh punishments are being meted out on cultists and bad behaved students, activities such as these have actually taken the students vices down a notch. It should however be underlined that the standard of education in Nigeria still needs a lot of upgrading to do.
Delving into some other problems of the educational system such as political interference, instability and the likes, would just do a great job of sinking and dwelling in problems without remediating anything.
One cannot be a ‘know it all’ in matters of this magnitude, yet teachers should really take their time in studying the students in order to know the type of students they are so that knowledge delivery wouldn’t be so much of a time wasting chore.
The educational system also fully lies on the shoulders of the Government, both at the federal level and at the state level. It is about time they started taking it as something extremely serious and not just a playground for overambitious children. If as much funds are doled out to the school system as is doled out to other things, schools wouldn’t be such a pitiable place.
Students, on the other hand should be bucked-up school as a place to go when they want to avoid the heat of home and get lost in friendship. The blame of that rolls back to the home and the society though. If parents were a better version of themselves, the school would be in its rightful place.
What about the standard? It really isn’t something that can be manually or automatically lifted. If we actually play our parts right, give attention to the little details that doesn’t seem important, like the bully who cries secretly, the overachiever who suffers from low esteem, maybe then and only then would our educational problems slowly fade and the standard abstractly rises till it becomes too visible to ignore.
It’s a journey, really quite the journey from where the educational system of the country is right now to where it plans to be.
If there are other ways you can think off which can help solve the educational problems in Nigeria, kindly comment or mail us.
About the author:
Maverick Oluwakoya is an educator who is passionate about helping fellow educators and researchers with answers pertaining to educator.
She writes from Ogun State, Nigeria and can be contacted via Facebook