By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–FORMER Minister of Foreign Affairs,Prof. Joy Ogwu has said Nigeria’s education system was faulty.
Ogwu identified the non-teaching of Philosophy of all subjects being offered in schools, especially at the tertiary education level to a major problem bedeviling the country’s education system, tasking administrators in the sector to take a very quick action about it.
According to the former Nigeria’s Representative at the United Nations,UN, the development had resulted to inability of most Nigerians to understand the foundation and practice of democracy which she said,had been embraced by the country.
Speaking in Abuja,at the 8th National Annual Dinner of Government College Ugheli Old Boys Association,GCUOBA, also said she had realised that students in the country were losing what she called “foundation of Political Science and International Relations.”
She said:”Philosophy is the foundation of every subject, even Mathematics, but this is lacking in our educational system. Since I returned home from the United Nations, I have had the honour to supervise some 400 level students just to help the young ones and I have found that they are actually loosing the foundation of Political Science and International Relations.
And because they don’t understand the foundation of Political Science and International Relations,they want to harvest from the top.
“Today,we practice democracy,it is important to understand the philosophical foundation of whatever we practice,”she said.
According to her,”If we haven’t learnt to be good citizens,we will never be good leaders.”
She also decried what she referred to as “undue emphasis on certificate qualifications” in the country, saying the deveIopment was one major factor for examination malpractice in the country.
“Undue emphasis on certificate qualification has made everyone aspire for it hence examination malpractice,”she noted, adding that,”There must a collective efforts on the part of everyone” to stop the trend.
Also speaking at the event, President General Worldwide of Government College,Ugheli Old Boys Association, GCUOBA,Arc. Charles Majoroh, said there was the need for public schools to begin establishment of what he called “smart campus’ places of learning.
This was as he tasked governments not only to appropriate funding for public schools but also what he referred to as “targeted funding” aimed at providing contemporary facilities in public schools.
Majoroh insisted that it was time for public schools to plan for smart campus places of learning.
This, according to him,was because the products from public schools were increasingly competing with students raised in ICT environment and on template of modern technologies.
Speaking at the event that was attended by the Publisher of Vanguard Newspapers,Sam Amuka, former Senate President,Ken Nnamani among others, Arc. Majoroh,while commending the Delta State Government for its support in recent years to Government College Ugheli, said, “But if our public schools must produce the proverbial leaders of the future,there is a need for not just appropriate funding but targeted funding aimed at providing contemporary facilities in our schools.”
“This brings me to the imperative to change the paradigm of public education in our public schools. We believe it is time that our schools begin to plan for smart campus places of learning. Our products are increasingly competing with students raised in an ICT environment and on a template of modern technologies.
“We should be phasing out the old methods of teaching and pushing forward with the ideas for schools that are contemporaneous with global standards of learning,”he added.
Speaking further,Arc. majoroh hinted that the smart school campus idea ” will see GCUOBA deploy ICT facilities over the next few years and integrate the western world.”
“This will enable the students to acquire knowledge and benchmark with their peers from the best schools across the world,”he said, adding that,”For this and other objectives,we have launched a GCUOBA Endowment Fund to which classes are contributing and for which we are raising funds today.”
He noted that ,While there are naysayers, we believe that the reality of toda makes this an imperative for any society that seeks relevance in he near future.”
“Ours should not be different. it is a bold initiative like we did several years back when we built and donated to the school an ICT Centre when many public schools were still trying to understand what ICT meant. Going Smart in the public school system demands a public sector management that is ready to raise and stand by standards so that we get students who are willing to Ieam, admitted in schools, not those who only make up the numbers,”he added.
According to him,it was time that ” old boys and old girls associations begin to collaborate on a more sustainable basis, building a collegiate association to share experiences and as a pressure group to push for increased public sector interest in public schools.”