Finding Lasting Solutions To Nigeria’s Educational Challenges

Adamu, Education Minister

By Adedokun Boluwatife Ruth

The problems facing Nigeria education is worth given drastic attention to. The rate at which the standard of education deteriorating is shockingly alarming. Considering the importance of education in the world today, the education sector of the country should not be treated with levity. Education must be standardized to ensure educational competence among the students, because, “what is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.”

The educational system of the country cannot be overemphasized in visualizing the brighter future of such a country. Education opens our eyes widely to things beyond ordinary life. Education is the best legacy, as it is said. Some of the problem and the possible solutions are hereby discussed;

 1.   Insufficient funding: The first problem facing education in Nigeria is the allocation of inadequate funds to the educational sector at the local, state, and federal governments. As of 2017, the sector was again allocated much lower than the 26 percent of the national budget recommended by the United Nations.

It is highly recommended the budget allocated to the educational sector should be considered and increased for the procurement of quality training facilities, rehabilitation of schools, and provision of good infrastructure for conducive learning and teaching environments.

2. Corruption:  Corruption is a major bane of our educational system. It thrives from the primary level to the higher institutions. In universities, lecturers collect bribes from students in exchange for good grades. The admission seekers pay money to the school officers to get admitted. In secondary schools, parents also bribe teachers for their children to have good grades in Waec, Neco, etc. Some funds meant for the maintenance of schools to get diverted to private pockets.

To solve this, it is recommended that Examination regulatory bodies set stringent laws to curb examination malpractice. This should include a severe penalization of anyone caught in the act of extortion, bribery, examination malpractice, and other vices. Students should further be admitted based on merit and not connection.

Over and above, funds allocated to the educational sector should properly be monitored at all levels to avoid mismanagement and embezzlement.

3. Bad government: The crippling state of education in this country can also be traced to poor governance. It is disheartening that the government is paying little attention to the educational sector and more attention to issues not as important as education.

It advised that the government should ensure that quality education is provided. Also, proper care should be taken to monitor the state of education by all levels of government; federal, state, and local government.

4. Insufficient infrastructure: The equipment needed is not well provided by the government. Some schools are highly damaged because they are neglected. Our tertiary institutions are to falling into dilapidation with a lack of basic equipment for conducive and adequate learning.

Consequently, the students only learn the theoretical aspect of their field rather than carrying out the practical aspect. Also, the libraries in schools are lacking the needed books, journals, and magazines.

This problem can only be solved by adequate investments in the development of institutions.

5. Indiscipline: Indiscipline on the path of students highly results in a high level of examination malpractices, cultism, corruption, etc. Shockingly, there exist some examination centres where parents pay money for qualifying their wards to pass SSCE –WAEC /NECO/JAMB.

Indiscipline is so rampant in the sector that we hear of occultic killings almost every day in the media. Students are no longer concerned about academic excellence.

 It is advised that parents should enrol their ward in tutorials in order to enhance their effectiveness and to prepare them ahead for any SSCE examination. On their parts,  teachers should work effectively to ensure quality teaching is given out to the student to avoid examination malpractices.

 Moreover, any student who belongs to any cult group should be expelled from school in order to serve as a lesson to others.

6.  Irresponsibility of the parents/guardian: As good parents,  the basics needs of the children are meant to be provided with the necessity

Parents are meant to provide the basic needs needed to meet the challenges of life, but some parents neglect their responsibilities. All they want is for their wards to excel irrespective of the means.

This lack of proper guidance of their wards leads to encouragement on the children’s to engage in examination malpractice, while parents enrol their children in “special centres” to write exams.

Parents are seen following their wards to schools to fight or harass teachers all because their wards were scolded and cautioned for mischievous attitudes.

To avoid the display of unruly acts in schools, parents should give their ward domestic training and any students disciplined by the school authority should not be followed to school for any reason.

7.  Expensive education: Our education has turned out to the most money-spinners the governments depend on. The tuition fees of some institutions are unaffordable. As it is said, “all fingers are not equal.” The minimum wage of the country is eighteen thousand naira; now Imagine how a parent collecting this amount is expected to pay a huge amount of money to sponsor their children to school. This undoubtedly has made education difficult for some people. Some students drop out of school because of the tuition fee.

This can be solved by giving out scholarship to the less privileged and intelligent students. Besides, education at all levels should be made affordable for the people. On a final note, the government should collaborate with the private sector to invest in the educational sector so as to ease the burden of huge fees.

8. Unstable staff: The changing of teachers sometimes affects the students’ learning abilities. The instability of classroom teachers is debilitating the quality of education we provide.  Most teachers, due to the meagre amount paid them, finds alternative jobs or stay in the job just to put food on their tables rather than impact lives.

Measures need to be taken to ensure stability in the teaching profession. Qualified and professional teachers should be employed.

Also, lecturers or teachers should be trained periodically to build their capacities in the teaching profession and ensure they are qualified in the profession.

Moreover, teachers can be motivated to do more and stay on the job if they are highly enumerated.

9. Lack of teaching aids: Teaching aids are objects or devices used by a teacher to enhance or enliven classroom instructions. It can be audio, video, books, DVDs, Projectors, computers, etc. These are not provided for teachers, thereby making teaching difficult

However, aside from providing teaching aids, the Ministry of Education should and renew the curriculum. There is a need for it to be more practical than just being theoretical.

 Since all work and no play make Jack and Jill dull children, there should be an inclusion of extracurricular activities in the new curriculum.

10. Poor remuneration of teachers: The salaries of the teachers are meagre and not paid regularly in some states of the country. Besides, some basics welfare packages which are supposed to be given to the teachers are highly denied of them.

 This results in teachers embarking on strike and in turn affects the students mostly. Once the teachers are on strike, students have no choice but to go home. This inarguably results in then spending more than proposed years in school.

Considering the roles they play in national development, teachers are meant to be encouraged with high remuneration.

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