September 10, 2017

Curricula review, panacea for education sector revival – Awosika


Some of the graduating students.

Sector crisis is in leadership, management, says NIPR

By Dayo Adesulu

CHAIRMAN/Founder, Chrisland Schools Limited and Chancellor, Chrisland University, Dr. Winifred Adefolahan Awosika, has urged stakeholders in the sector to consider the review of the nation’s school curricula as the revival of the sector hangs on the review.

Awosika who made the appeal at the fourth Nigerian Institutue of Public Relations, NIPR, stakeholders’ conference, said “to revive the education sector, we need to review our school curricula to ensure they are relevant to what obtains in the world and can proffer solutions that will meet personal, local, national and global needs.”

She urged that collective efforts be focused on national policy, education, curricular, management of schools at the local, state and national levels, staff development and remuneration, funding, adequate facilities, technology application, globalisation and economic impact, among others.

She said: “When I compare the standard and quality of education we received in our days with what obtains today, in spite of the advancement in technology, it is disheartening to note the wide gap. Our education sector needs very urgent and serious attention. We must review this sector holistically and come up with workable solutions,” she said.

On quality assurance, Awosika who noted that efforts must be made to ensure quality in every aspect – the environment, facilities, curriculum and manpower, stressed that stakeholders must ensure that they do not lower the standard.

According to her, aside the issue of inadequate funding, inadequate professional and qualified educators, inadequate/substandard teaching and learning facilities, there is also the dire need to boost the morale and psyche of the educators by paying them good salaries and providing an enabling working environment.

She said: “It is erroneous to say that a teacher’s reward is in heaven. Let the teachers be well remunerated so that we will put an end to incessant strikes in our institutions. We must take the issue of training with all seriousness. We must train and retrain the educators to stand up to their counterparts across the globe.

“Any nation that will survive in this century must not pay lip service to the issue of quality in education and other fields of endeavour. In nations where education is given its pride of place, development in all spheres has been achieved. No half measure ever takes anyone to the pinnacle of success. Therefore nothing but the best in education must be our goal if our children must compete favourably with their peers all over the world. We must encourage synergy between the public and private schools so that the students can learn from one another.”

She urged government to encourage owners of private schools and come up with policies that could assist and not stifle them, adding, “all hands must be on deck to ensure we revive our education sector and produce graduates who are well equipped for the workplace.”

Awosika challenged stakeholders present to speak with one voice, urging them to do whatever it likes  to revive this sector.

Also speaking, the chairman, Lagos chapter, NIPR, Dr. Olusegun McMedal posited that there was crisis in the education system. He explained that the crisis was not one of money, men, morale or resources but of leadership, management and perennial selfishness.

McMedal averred that there was obvious depreciation in the quality of education obtainable in Nigeria today when compared to the past, adding that the education system is renowned for its outdated syllabus, inadequate funding, epileptic power supply, poorly motivated staff and substandard facilities.

He lamented that “No Nigerian university is ranked in the top 500 and only one in the top 1,000 in the 2017 Times Higher Education World Ranking of University facilities. The best Nigerian university was ranked just 601st. We should never be satisfied until all Nigerians have access to quality education for Nigeria to prosper, achieve and excel.’’