By Ochiaka Ugwu
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has exonerated teachers as being responsible for the falling standard of education in Nigeria.
This was contained in a report released to newsmen yesterday by the international body in Abuja tagged, “2017/18 Global Education Monitoring Report (Accountability in Education: Meeting our Commitments)” which is slated to be launched today.
The Report noted that blaming teachers for poor test scores and absenteeism is often both unjust and unconstructive saying that people cannot be held accountable for outcomes that depend on the actions of others.
It stated that government regulations are often too slow to keep up with the fast growth of private schools and universities.
Using Lagos State as a benchmark, it informed that 57% of all students were enrolled in private schools in 2010/1, but only 26% of private schools were approved by the Ministry of Education. It said Nigeria administered its fifth and most recent National Assessment of Learning Achievement in Basic Education in 2016.
It said an analysis of the survey report from the fourth round raises questions as to whether the survey meets minimum quality standards, as well as whether results can be used to feed into improvements to the system and to teaching and learning (UBEC 2013).
The report which underscores the importance of accountability in addressing gaps and inequalities quoted UNESCO Director General, Ms. Audrey Azoulay, saying, “All of us – from governments to teachers, communities and families – have a role to play in pushing for change when discrimination arises”.
It was stated that In Nigeria, 30% of girls, aged 15-19 are currently married and only 14% of poorest females complete primary, while 27% of poorest males do so.
It puts the attendance rate among 3-4 years olds at 80% in Nigeria for richest children and not more than 10% for the poorest.
It said there are no regulations of formal and informal private tutoring in Nigeria, which the Report finds can exacerbate inequality in education, and damage learning if teachers are tutoring their same students after class.
The report emphasizes that accountability starts with governments and that Government urgently needs to strengthen regulations for all education providers – public and private – accompanied with sanctions for those not respecting standards.