By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
The decay and gross deficiencies in the nationâ€™s educational system topped the issues deliberated upon at the recently concluded 69th National Executive Council meeting of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN).
The association is particularly bothered by poor funding and bad management of the education sector which are compounded by classroom over-crowding, insufficient remuneration, low morale of teachers, obsolete teaching method as well as poor comprehension of school subjects by students, majority of whom merely memorise to pass examinations.
This critical assessment of the nationâ€™s educational system is contained in a communique jointly signed by the principal officers of the association. It further says that reading culture and promotion of effective study techniques are lacking in students as good books and literature are not readily available or affordable while access to good library facilities is non-existent in most schools, urging both tiers of governments to recognise the decay and proffer realistic solution to ensure a better future for Nigerian youths.
These inadequacies, according to the association, has resulted in the continuous poor performance of students annually in WAEC and NECO examinations, adding that a prompt redress of these inadequacies is necessary to ensure the success of the nationâ€™s children.
As a way of delivering functional education to the youths, NAPTAN calls for the establishment of more technical colleges, vocational and training schools as well as other such intermediary talent â€“ developing institutions to bridge the gap between secondary and tertiary education, adding that these institutions will engage admission-seeking youths productively instead of resulting to criminal and negative activities.
It urges government to address the problem of youths unemployment, advising that the youths should also focus on job creation courses at higher institutions of learning in order to be self-reliant.
The NEC of the association also expresses dismay at the protracted crisis which has engulfed the Lagos State University (LASU) for sometime now, demanding that the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Lateef Hussein should be excused from office and an Acting Vice Chancellor appointed for the institution.
While appealing to Studentsâ€™ Union and the Academic Staff Union of Universities of LASU as well as the Non-Academic Staff Union and the Senior Staff Union of the institution to shelve strike action and violent protests, NAPTAN calls on Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to reopen the university and provide adequate security for effective teaching and learning to resume.
It charges parents to be physically involved in the task of combating indiscipline among youths, reiterating that they have a role to play in the positive upbringing of their children by paying regular visits to the schools unannounced to effectively monitor their activities, mannerism and the type of friends their children relate with.