By DAYO ADESULU
BOTHERED by the rate of academic decadence in the education sector, Professor Ngozi Osarenren, from the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has posited that the present academic state of students is the direct impute of teachers.
She said, “a qualified teacher is not necessarily a competent teacher, a competent teacher is not necessarily an efficient teacher, an efficient teacher is not necessarily an effective teacher. Quality of our graduates is the direct input of teachers”
Professor Osarenren who spoke during a public lecture on: ‘No Divorce of Education’ held at the Faculty of Education, University of Calabar (UNICAL) explained that a qualified teacher is the person who has the required approved qualification having undergone all the prescribed courses for the qualification.
She added, “A competent teacher is knowledgeable in methods and principles of improving students learning, stressing that the efficient teacher, on the other hand applies the principles and methods as directed.” She told the lectures and students that whatever they sow they will reap, adding that if a teacher sows quality into their students they will reap quality of education.
Osarenren who tasked the lecturers to prepare their students for success asked if the graduates paraded at the labour market were adequately equipped by teachers during their school years with the necessarily knowledge and skills. According to her, the stipulated time frame for the course of study must not be interrupted.
When it is interrupted, lecturers should look for avenues of making it up for the students when they resumed. Between 1993 to 2011, she noted that ASUU went on strike for a total of 177 weeks, querying that when the students eventually resumed, examinations are conducted within two weeks, instead of spending reasonable time to cover their syllabus.
Demand for quality teachers
The former Commissioner for Education however maintained that teachers who know their onions should be proud of their profession anywhere, as they are the brain behind any successful person in the world.
Apart from demanding for quality teachers in our institutions of higher learning, she particularly lamented the ratio of teachers to the students in Nigerian universities. Referring to the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) NEEDS Assessment Report on public universities, she pointed out that we have 37,505 academics in public universities in Nigeria. Out of the number, only 43 per cent have PhDs, while 44 per cent are senior academics.
To the former HOD of Department of Education, UNILAG, this figure does not sit well with the sector, arguing that it is either people are not willing to study education as a course or those who are already in the profession are not seeing it as a noble profession.
Osarenren who charged teachers to be proud of their profession said, “We should have quality of teaching and quality of teachers.”
The professor of Counseling Psychology, bemoan lectures in tertiary institutions who have compromised quality for money saying that such act is unprofessional conduct which will not help to get quality graduates.
She enjoined Project Supervisors and Head of Departments not to compromise project writing for project exchange, adding, “Do not tear the back of another person’s project and give a student to rebind for money.”
Also, Professor Osarenren who used the occasion to warn students seeking certificate on campus by buying grades from willing and ready compromised lecturers said, the use of mercenaries for assignments should be discouraged among students.
Her words: “Exactly 30 years and two months ago, I came to UNICAL and got married to education. I have not thought of divorce because this marriage has remained wonderful and evergreen.”