Education is arguably the most important variable in the development equation of any society. Upon what every nation evolves now is better education.
Education is described as acquired knowledge and experiences which make people discover, develop and display their skills and potential for the success and development of society.
Also, education is the best legacy, but it is quite sadistic that education that people say is ‘the best legacy’ has now been debased.
This article would depict my utter despondency and disappointment over the worsening situation of education in the country by highlighting the factors.
The lackadaisical attitude of the government to education trivializes it. This is because the government spends a lot of money on other projects like sports and health rather than education.
It is a pity that what an individual pays an exorbitant price upon is taken with levity by the government. At times, funds meant for the benefits of education are diverted to other things.
In some secondary schools were damaged buildings and bad laboratory equipment which need to be reconstructed. Baffled was my heart when I heard about the school fees being paid by some federal institutions of learning.
However, the inability of the government to increase budgetary provision to the education sector makes them negate their responsibilities. Running from sacrosanct responsibilities by the government fragments our educational system.
Frequent closure of schools
The factor is attributable to the poor quality of education in our country. Failure to maintain peace by the students may cause it. The government may decide to shut down the school as a result of the students’ riots.
Nonetheless, it causes unrest of mind for the students. More so, it is a source of forgetfulness for the students. For instance, students who had been at home for some time might have forgotten what he was taught.
A student who has no sponsor would engage himself in assiduous work throughout the day. When he comes back at night he would have been tired enough even to read. Surely, he would become a dullard before the reopening of school.
The poor condition of learning
The poor condition of learning is another factor. Lack of learning facilities such as adequate classrooms, good laboratories, and libraries are reducing the potency of education in our country. Surprisingly, students are taught under the trees.
It is quite averred that teaching of the students under the trees is traced to the classrooms’ inadequacy. Even, some of their classrooms are not well ventilated. Similarly, many students do not have writing materials and textbooks.
These materials facilitate good learning. Also, many schools lack laboratories and libraries. The experiments and practical work which have to be done in the laboratory for better understanding are taught verbally in normal classrooms.
I wonder how students, who can’t afford to buy textbooks and still find themselves in no-library-school, could make it?
Inadequate competent teachers
Even though teachers are central models for the students, they still teach the wrong things. Experience over the years had shown that many of the so-called teachers, their levels of academics do not position them to be teachers.
An adage says that blind men cannot lead each other the right way. Similarly, you can’t give what you do not have. This means a teacher who lacks experience cannot give students good academics.
At times, misused are the facilities provided for them by the government. Since the so-called teachers do not know the use of the facilities, most of them are left unused.
Educational planning requires valid statistical data for necessary projection in terms of funding, numbers of teachers, classrooms, and instructional materials for the successful implementation of any form of program.
Inadequate census in Nigeria has placed serious problems on educational planning, some of the available figures are usually inflated because of political reasons.
Educational planners cannot determine the correct school-age children in the country because of invalid statistical data, records are not well kept to determine the birth rate, death rate, and rate of retirements of teachers, all these are essentially necessary for effective planning of education.
Problem of implementation
The National Policy on Education appreciates the importance of language in fostering national unity and therefore stipulated that each child should learn one of the three major languages in Nigeria other than his mother tongue.
However, the implementation of these aspects of the policy is facing various problems. First, there were no adequate written textbooks on some of these languages.
In addition, there were no qualified teachers to teach some of the languages and more importantly, there was the problem of which language to teach in a multi-lingual state like Bendel where you have Ijaw, Edo, Urhobo, Isoko and so many other languages or in a state like Cross-River where they speak Ibibio, Efik, Ejagham, and the state like Benue where you have Idoma, Tiv, Nupe and Igala.
Problem of enlightenment
The problem resides in the teachers, parents and general public, and some other interest groups in education.
Some people especially parents who had been beneficiaries of the British system of education still take greater delight in the former system of education rather than the present 5-3-3-4 system of education.
Some parents would not prefer that children choose a vocational course as a career. Subjects like mental work, bricklaying, woodwork, electronics, etc. are regarded as subjects that are offered by second-rated students therefore they would prefer subjects whose names sound more attractive.
The problem of continuous assessment
The 6-3-3-4 system of education requires a continuous assessment process but unfortunately, many teachers have not been sufficiently educated about the operation and administration of continuous assessment tests.
There is also the problem of variation in the administration of tests from school to school, and from teacher to teacher. These procedures also require additional effort on the part of the teachers.
All these barriers constitute problems for the effective administration of continuous assessment tests in the new national policy on education.
Suggested solutions to the problems
To improve the standard of education in this country, the government at all levels should ensure budgetary provision to the education sector.
Frequent closure of schools should be disillusioned. Encouragement should be given to the teachers to improve their teaching.
Adequate classrooms should be built. A laboratory with good equipment should be built and a library should be filled with good and necessary books and learning materials.
Competence among the teachers should be made priorities. Lastly, governments at all levels should try to provide exercise books and textbooks for personal use.