If you want to destroy a nation, kill their education. An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. The importance of education to a nation cannot be overemphasized. In most parts of the world, education is regarded as a fundamental human right. Education is one of the basic criteria to measure the growth and development of any nation. Sadly the standard of education in Nigeria has witnessed a geometric drop in the past two decades and this unfortunate trend has made Nigeria the leading country of origin of students from Africa migrating to other parts of the world in search of quality education.
Sometimes one wonders why Nigerian students do very well in foreign schools. They make exploits and are often among the best students in Europe and other parts of the world. However, while they study in Nigeria, they don’t perform so well. Their human capital is not well utilized and the best in them is not realized. A few problems exist as to why this issue exists. Apart from the technical difficulties, a lot of Nigerian universities are also in crisis and rely on foreign donors for funding and the infrastructure of many schools is in collapse. Also, lecturers moving abroad for better salaries and work environment has affected online education in sub-Saharan Africa. Most professors who could have trained to teach online programs are living abroad and the population of students is growing daily. In Nigeria, for instance, online universities exist but there are few teachers to efficiently teach the courses.
There are so many other problems facing our educational system in Nigeria as a result of bad governance and poor leadership but below are very important ones to address:
Unavailability of qualified teachers
Failure to accommodate the rising population demands
Academic fraud, corruption, and indiscipline
Poor teacher’s welfare
Poor infrastructure and training facilities
However, the first step forward towards reviving the educational system lies in the hands of the government.
Below are some necessary steps needed to be taken in order to restructure and save the sector. The government at all levels needs to commit to the delivery of a competitive standard of education across the country and in alignment with global standards. Also, the right investments need to be made in order to get the desired results.
Adequate funding with good management will provide high-quality education in Nigeria. Funds for the renovation of schools and institutions, acquiring quality training facilities, research grants, decent teachers’ salaries, and welfare, etc. are the resources that need to be increased, released, and spent appropriately.
The level of corruption in education ministries and regulatory bodies needs to be taken seriously and tackled. The level of exam malpractices needs to be curbed by a joint effort of the government and examination regulatory bodies. The teaching curriculum needs to be reviewed and updated. It needs to be more practical and research-based. Teachers’ salaries must be reviewed and improved. Fair and timely payment of wages will also motivate teachers to deliver at a high-quality level.
Also, there should be regular payments of teachers’ salaries. This will attract qualified and dedicated teachers to public schools and will change the attitude of young people towards the teaching profession and younger ones will study to become teachers.
Proper training of teachers with current materials and technology will also improve the condition of education in Nigeria. Necessary vetting measures should be taken to make sure that only qualified teachers are employed.
Admissions into tertiary institutions should be based solely on merit.
In conclusion, real positive changes will be evident in the quality of education in Nigeria, when governance will belong to visionary and selfless leaders who understand the importance of quality education. Our future is in our hands.
NiGAC Policy Ambassador