It is without doubt that the standard of education has fallen in Nigeria. It is often said that education is the strongest base for individual and societal growth.
As a teacher over the years, I believe there are many ways of improving, nurturing and reviving the quality of education in Nigeria.
The various governments should take salient actions that would reverse the pathetic situations of government-owned schools. The neglect suffered by these schools has left a bad fracture on our educational system. The ministries of education have the lion share of blame in the deterioration of the sector. Laboratories, workshops and vocational centres should be adequately equipped. Essential textbooks, teaching aids, internet facilities and modern day libraries should be provided to make teaching easier and comfortable.
The qualities of our teachers and their remunerations have to be checked properly. Unbiased periodic tests and screening of teachers should be conducted in order to ascertain the quality of knowledge they impart in our students. Proper use of the newly introduced Teachers Registration Council would serve this purpose.
Teachers deserve good remunerations as their importance in our educational system cannot be overemphasised. They should be equally remunerated as their colleagues in the ministries and other government parastatals. Teachers’ salaries should be paid at the right time, and they should be provided with good working conditions. If we really want to revive our fast-declining educational system, teachers’ welfare deserves adequate attention.
Similarly, the curriculums need to be reviewed; extra-curricular activities should be revived too. Debates, quiz, Spelling Bees, drama, excursions among others, play important roles in the social and academic development of the students. They encourage students to develop and exhibit many skills and, if properly channelled, can turn students to icons in the nearest future.
Subjects and topics that can make students creative, inquisitive and innovative should replace some old and irrelevant subjects and topics. We now live in the computer age, where each student should learn to move with their fellow students around the world when it comes to technological “know-how”.
Finally, the government, educationists, parents, students, stakeholders in education and every right thinking citizen must work for the improvement in our educational sector. Without doubt, education is an essential pillar of development in any nation, and it determines the growth of a nation. Giving students the best of education is far better and safer than building modern houses, constructing weird bridges, making nuclear weapons and what have you.
It’s high time our dilapidated educational system was revived, so we can meet up with the educational standards of other countries of the world.
Sanusi Yusuff Ayinde is a private school teacher in Ibadan