Observers and critics have been bemoaning the falling standard of education in Nigeria for a long time now. Unfortunately, the worrisome trend worsens by the day.
In a bid to improve the ugly situation, we have identified five changes needed to better education in Nigeria. A problem-solution approach will be used to present our points. Let’s examine the five changes together.
School-education is just one education channel. There are other equally effective education channels.
The premium placed on school-education in Nigeria has made school become the be-all and end-all of education.
An unschooled person is simply equated to an uneducated person by most Nigerians. Cases of schooled but uneducated persons abound; as do cases of educated but unschooled persons.
Education can be acquired in and out of school. When Nigerian education system is truly education-centred, education in Nigeria will be better.
Nigerians can go to any length to get certificates. Fair or foul: it doesn’t matter. People care less how you get your certificates: just get them.
Certificates ought to reflect the competence of their holders. However, this is not usually so in Nigeria. A recent newspaper editorial was captioned First-class Failures. Very pathetic.
Certificate-craziness has to stop. When contents of certificates approximately reflect contents of brains, education in Nigeria will become promising once again.
There are theoretical courses. And there are practical courses. The two with their unique methodologies. Problems will surely arise when practical courses are taught using theoretical methodologies, and vice versa. This is the case with Nigeria.
Due to inadequate apparatuses, manpower and know-how, practical courses, such as engineering, have largely become theoretical in Nigeria. There are many theory wonders but practical disasters in Nigeria. Some professors of engineering couldn’t fix glitches unschooled roadside mechanics would fix without breaking a sweat.
Practical courses have to be taught using practical methodologies. Combining theory and practical will make education in Nigeria better.
In Nigeria, school-education is a means to an end: making money is the end. The bridge between the two is employment.
We’re not condemning getting employment: in fact, that’s a benefit of education. However, going to school with the preconfigured mentality of getting employed is not ideal.
Education should be an end in itself. The joy and illumination of education are worthless. Education is, indeed, the best legacy.
When we realise that education is the master key that can unlock any padlock, we’ll seek education without narrowing it to getting employed. Then, education in Nigeria will be better.
5. EURO/AMERICAN CENTREDNESS
Before colonialism by Europeans and neo-colonialism by Americans, Nigeria has indegineous education systems.
We’re not saying western education is bad, we’re only saying Nigeria needn’t take it hook, line and sinker. Not all the systems and courses of their education system are applicable here.
Fine, we’ve borrowed their education system. We should adapt it wisely, not adopt it blindly. An inward-looking exercise is needed to perfectly blend western education system with our own indigenous education systems. Only then will the educational equilibrium needed to better education in Nigeria be achieved.
Individually and collectively, we have to make the changes if we want to witness better education in Nigeria. It has to start with you and me.
Over to you: Do you have any additional change you can suggest to better education in Nigeria? Yes? Okay. Please drop your suggestions. And don’t forget to share the post.
I’m Habeebullahi Basorun, linguist, educator, writer, editor and CEO of Bash Clinic.
With certificates in English and education, I have the expertise and experience to help you meet your language and educational needs.