By AGADA IKECHUKWU
Brutally frank, the glory of yesteryears education system in Nigeria has varnished like the vapours of a dewy morning. No vehicle can run indefinitely without a refuel , just as no tree can hope to remain sturdy without water and sunshine.
The events of recent years have no doubt inscribed this truth deeply into the breasts of our near comatose education system.
It is apparent that we are still practicing a backward oriented education system in Nigeria in this digital age. The current system has continued to fail the internationally recommended tests. A clinical assessment of the Nigerian education system calls for emergency and a three hundred and sixty degrees mental disruption. The challenges that plague the education sector in our country are legion but a few highlights will be slaughtered.
The over- westernisation culture in the modern education curriculum is a welcome development but has retarding effect on our indigenous ones. The mad quest for British curriculum has deleted the necessary ingredients in the Nigeria scheme thereby rendering some core Nigerian subjects impotent in the classroom. Nigeria history has been totally obliterated from the educational curriculum. The real truth about Nigeria political pilgrimage has been stolen, the spiral effect is a generation of students who are ignorant of the political ecosystem called Nigeria. These class of students go into leadership offices totally oblivious of the Nigeria political system since they are not well informed via tutelage.
There is also the issue of infrastructural decay in our schools chiefly public schools. A patriotic visit to most public schools in the country will leave you tonqueless and breathless . From cities to rural areas, the story is the same. It is very unfortunate that some students are learning seated on the floor without chairs. Some school structures are life threatening as they expose students to danger. Poor road network to schools, maladministration, bad governance and negligence have taken the Nigerian children into depression. Many of our public officials are interested in stealing money, take their children abroad and imprison the children of the poor in poorly managed schools manned by hungry teachers.
Furthermore, the near absence of an education economy in Nigeria is sickening. The education economy will handle issues of non-payment of teachers, payment of peanuts to teachers and act as a catalyst that will encourage brilliant students who distinquished themselves in their different areas of academic endeavours. It is unfair that students who are academically outstanding are not recognised in Nigeria but a reality TV show participant is celebrated, enriched and almost worshipped. The Nigeria system discourages academic investment in the education sector and encourages mass movement into the showbiz world.
Finally, wrong policies by the government and companies, leading to discrimination against individuals with Nigerian certificates as opposed to foreign certificates. Individuals with foreign certificates are better positioned to pick most employment openings in Nigeria than those with indigenous certificates .This anomaly has triggered a high number of visa applications for tertiary institutions abroad in order to bridge the certificate gap leaving our home universities deserted.
The Nigeria government should as a matter of urgency declare state of emergency in the education sector so as to right the wrongs of the past years and emblazon our educational flag in the sands of time. The National Assembly should legislate the total restructuring of the education system to make our schools attractive to discourage excessive travelling abroad for schooling. All public officials should be mandated to take their kids to public schools in Nigeria as that will fast-track government’s intervention to any of her plights.
There should be a head count, enrolment and scholarships to all out of school children to encourage them to be better persons in the society. Government should equip states with standard library to instil reading culture and encourage students who are doing research. Educational grants should be constitutionalised to encourage indigent students. In Nigeria education sector, the government is the trigger while the schools are the catch.