By Emmanuel Edukugho
Value education should be a curriculum content in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. This is the submission of Professor Fasan Clement, Faculty of Education, Lagos State University, (LASU), Ojo, at the 30th Distinguished Lecture Series of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos.
In the presentation titled – â€œEducation at a cross road: The Challenge of Value CD) Educationâ€, he said that with the array of problems affecting our educational system, the youths are at a cross road as to whether to take the pathway of education to get to the desired end or alternative routes which are less cumbersome, less tasking, less painful, less stressful and shorter to stardom. These routes do not affect their conscience because they donâ€™t have any value for education.
Value(d) education was considered from two perspectives – value education and valued education.
He defined value education as â€œeducation that prepares children, youth and adult to live a better life in the society after imbibing such dominant values as integrity, hardwork, respect for one anotherâ€™s feelings, hospitality, moral judgement, respect for authority, honesty, pride in family name, dignity of labour and others.
Also, value education is the education that prepare one for now and the future, with transfer value that is acceptable within a society.
Value education is education that is not forced on the learner but accepted by individuals through many media, as a norm from oneâ€™s culture.â€
On the other hand, Valued Education is education that is valued. It is education that has a premium and is respected and preserved. It is education that is transferable to other segment of the society, can be defended, secured and protected. It is education that we can invest in.
â€œTherefore from whatever perspective we look at valued education, it can be a panacea for the myriads of problems plaguing our educational system.â€
He contended that value or valued education will be an exercise in futility if there is not corresponding leadership by example in all aspects and spheres of life.
â€œIf the children, youths and the governed can see honesty, sincerety, accountability and service in leadership, it would go a long way towards bringing the desired change in education and the society in general.â€
While Fasan agreed that there is no perfect system, however, â€œthe type of crises faced in Nigeriaâ€™s education system are man-made and endemic, which is a reflection of the value.â€
The crises were enumerated to include crisis of confidence, crisis of proliferation, minimum standard, curriculum content as per what is ideal, enough, and suitable at each level, as it also relates to comprehensiveness, crisis of quality and quantity, bench marking and best practices, instability of policy, such as New National Policy on education, Post-JAMB test, crisis of control, admission policy of 60:40 ratio and that of career outlet.
Others are crises of uniformity in University Calendar, quality of certificate, learner-friendly environment, increase in population, quality of teachers and lecturers, provision of facilities ofÂ studentsâ€™ priority and value for education.
He noted the confusion of government as to what step to take in solving the problems of the education sector, because in an attempt to solve one many more are coming up. The reading culture is still poor as many students are graduating without buying textbooks, poor science background, cheating still on the increase, the discrimination between degree and HND holders, coupled with saturated labour market.
Moral integrity is going down through bribery and corruption nepotism, robbery, forgeries in financial institution and examination malpractices in schools.
Whether value education can be taught as a course or should be made part of a course is a serious curriculum issue which can be looked into from the criteria for selecting content like – needs, interests, community values, comprehension ability and comprehensiveness.
â€œIf we accept that value education can be taught, education planners and curriculum experts should examine the criteria stated above as to the appropriateness of the levels, group of students, community interests, understanding scope, and how detail the content should be.
According to the LASU Professor, value education at the primary and secondary schools have close affinity with already existing subjects such as moral instruction, citizenship education and social studies. In tertiary institutions, there may not be subjects with direct affinity.
â€œWe have identified subjects with close affinity with value education:
The issue of integrating value education to other subjects can be considered in teaching physics, Biology, Geography, Law, Medicine, Physical and Health Education, Economics, Political Science, Technology and other subjects.â€
He pointed out that the beauty of value education can be seen if and when the students put it into practice. Value education is better experienced than imagined.
â€œStudents who take value education as a direct teaching or through correlation or integration should also go back to their communities and homes and effect the necessary changes.
They should be change agents.
Fasanâ€™s clarion call is for the nation to embrace and internalise value education so that our world will be better, our society will be safer, our family united and negative feeling about our country willÂ beÂ reduced.
â€œIf we embrace value education, it will bring value and orderliness to our society, reduce the burden of rule enforcement, give room for accountability, make the individual act with the view that he has something at stake when it comes to developmental efforts, â€œthe professor of educational said.
Present were the new chairman of AOCOED council, Mrs Victoria Akran, Provost Mr. Hakeem Ajose-Adeogun, Registrar Barrister Bola Disu, Profs Yemi Akikiotu and Bolarin of LASU, Dr. Wale Akeredolu, academic staff and students.
The Special Guest of Honour was Hon. Paul Kalejaiye, Special Assistant on Rural Development to Governor Fashola.