By EBELE ORAKPO
Preparation For Life (PFL), an international education consultancy services outfit held its first ever corporate networking event in Lagos recently. The event offered the opportunity “for organisations to discuss strategic collaborations and for representatives from the UK institutions to learn about Nigerian organisations and to understand industry expectations of graduates.”
Speaking with newsmen, PFL Director, Nigeria and President, Association of Private Educators in Nigeria (APEN), Dr. Femi Ogunsanya said one of the aims of the event was to create more awareness. “It is to create more awareness of what PFL is all about. The universities are already showing interest in Lagos State which gladdens my heart because we need the foreign investors to come and believe in us.”
Asked what Nigeria is not getting right in her educational system, the educationist said: “Organisational planning. We have to plan more in advance. We should not be short-sighted in our planning. We should not just wake up and come up with all kinds of policies. We need to move slowly, watch the international community to see how they are doing it.
If a new policy is going to be introduced into education, they would have started talking about it two to three years in advance so all the stakeholders will be aware and have the opportunity to plan, not just one that comes overnight and then is reversed overnight again, like a disarticulation. Our education sector came forward and then went backwards.
Now we are sort of hanging somewhere, we are not quite there and we therefore need to go to the drawing board, sit down and organise things properly. Do the policies favour the children? Do the combination of subjects favour them and what we need in this country? We’ve got to think about our country, and the best way forward, how we can train these children to actually move this country forward. I know there are lots of things we can learn from having a relationship with the foreign partners. They can do training programmes for us. Training programmes are enlightenment programmes and therefore we could learn a lot.”
Also speaking at the event, the Country Director, PFL Nigeria, Mrs. Moyinoluwa Ogedengbe said that PFL as the oldest and the longest international educational consultancy in Nigeria, has sent over 10,000 students to the UK “and many of them have been able to come back and work in Nigeria. ”
Asked what government can do to restore confidence in the education system, Mrs. Ogedengbe said: “I believe the government can do something if we have less strikes, stability, provide special structures/facilities, then parents will have faith in the system and that would stop them from trying to get their wards out of Nigeria.”
Speaking in the same vein, Dr. Ogunsanya said there is need to improve the quality of our education through “a lot of training for the teachers on classroom delivery methodologies. Train the teachers who will teach these children.
There are different ways in which children learn. That is one basic factor. Some can learn by just looking (sight), some by just listening, and some by actually practising. So a teacher has to be trained in the way to deliver to the classroom to capture all of these children. If even we are able to address that, the level of performance will improve tremendously in our schools.
“And we need commitment from the teachers. Commitment to actually have the interest of the students at heart and for them to want to deliver because the teacher is the one who makes or unmakes a child. The future of that child in your classroom is at your fingertips and therefore you have to ensure that if you want this improvement and progress and revival in Nigeria, there is need to be aware of the power they have on the students in their classroom.
“I say to teachers and I don’t hide my voice about it: If you are not interested in training, you don’t need to be in the classroom. It is a calling.