By Ahmed Yunusa Kailani
Education is essential to the development of every nation. It is widely believed that any nation that has poor educational system stands the risk of repression in all sectors of human endeavor.
Nigeria is endowed with both human and natural resources. The population of children and youths in the country who needs standard education is increasing by the day and yet the educational sector is deteriorating due to so many challenges.
As the saying goes, charity begins at home, one of the key and most important ingredient of building and maintaining a standard educational system in a nation is having a very good and solid foundation with the primary and secondary schools.
The most common opinion amongst Nigerians today is that the standard of education has fallen to a grounded level. The teachers, who are the primary providers of basic education especially at the primary and secondary schools level, cannot shy away from shouldering this blame of falling standard of educational system in the country.
Recently, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufia conducted a competency test for the primary and secondary school teachers in the state which surprisingly, a huge number of them failed the test. When the providers of basic education don’t have basic education themselves, this raises the question of what kind of students are we producing in the country.
Apparently, not everyone who teaches in school possesses the basic knowledge and methodology of imparting knowledge to students. Back in the days, we had Grade I, II, III, teachers who were trained to passionately teach students effortlessly. Today the revise is the case. We now have teachers who don’t only lack the basic knowledge and methodology to teach, but teaches because its second choice option.
But you can’t completely blame these teachers, some of the conditions in which these teachers teach are totally disheartening. I spoke with a friend who is a secondary school teacher and according to him, “ Teachers are not so treated well. Whereas some Nigerian schools are still using blackboards and chalks in the 21st Century”, Adding that many countries have even gone beyond the use of whiteboard to interactive classroom system, coupled with teaching aid. While teachers in many countries are well remunerated, they maintained that teachers in Nigeria are not only underpaid, many are being owed salaries for several months”.
Many have also blamed this menace on agencies such as the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), National Universities Commission (NUC), and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) who are saddled with the responsibilities of registration of teachers and regulating their training.
Many of our teachers are sub-standard and unqualified and there is need to tighten quality assurance. We need to retool teachers better in a fast-evolving ICT world to enable them take full advantage of ICT to deliver the curriculum. We need better resource for our schools so that Nigerian teachers will have better working environment.
What happens to the days when parents review their children books, asked questions and monitor their assignments at home? The reverse is the case today, only few parents monitor their children academic activities. Some of the parents don’t even care, all they want to see is end of session report card whether it’s genuine or not. Parents as major stakeholders in bettering the standard of education in the country must ensure adequate monitoring of their children academic activities meticulously.
All hands must be on deck, government, regulating agencies, parents, guardians, and more importantly, teachers must ensure that quality and standard knowledge as well as morals is instilled in the students, quality academic equipment’s such as white marker board, computers, public address systems among others are provided to schools in other to create conducive teaching and learning environment.
Teachers should be well screened and trained by appropriate agencies before giving teaching job in any school level. Also Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) meeting should be held at least twice a month as it will not only cement the bond between the parents and the teachers, but will also provide both parties to devise ways of bettering the quality and standard of the education sector in the country.
Ahmed Yunusa Kailani is a Public Affairs Analyst.