When the ship-Captain yells, “All hands on deck!”, it is a command. Usually, it signifies a time of crisis, a storm or an emergency. It means a call for all sailors to come on deck. A hand is a member of the ship’s cabin.
Deeper crisis looms the educational waters of Nigeria. The recurrent storm that goes never unending rocks our ship. Our little ones are on board, seemingly unaware of the emergency. The Captain lays drowsily, aloof of the situation of the storm. Sailors, each with his own ideology on how to overcome the storm awaits the Captain’s call. Alas! The Captain refuses to bemoan the cry. Who then shall we seek to yell for us, “All hands on deck!”?
Is the Nigerian education system beyond redemption? Surely it is not beyond remedying. However be it may, stakeholders have their major roles to play. The ability of a country to nurture its capacity for innovation rests with its domestic education system. The Chinese nation is known to have the largest education system in the world. How does She do it? The Chinese government in 2018 allotted 565.6 Billion in US dollars to her education; Nigeria, hardly 1.6 Billion in 2018. While it wouldn’t be fair to compare the budget allocation pattern of the Chinese nation with Nigeria’s, the former inevitably presents a lesson the latter need heed if indeed she wants to be redeemed.
In as much as the bulk of the intervention lies in the seat of power therein, a relative responsibility belongs to all, all hands. In almost all the sphere and sectors in Nigeria, we have brilliant policies but our implementation of these polices are woeful. We have people that no longer respect merit and hard work; but easy access and admiration to unaccounted wealth, culture of lawlessness and a closed up value system. Students and other stakeholders adopt short measures towards addressing the problems. This is evident in the rampant examination malpractices, recruitment of unqualified teachers, inadequate funding and where funding is available, embezzlement and corruption isn’t farfetched.
The other stakeholders are equally guilty. The teachers and the school administrators try as much as possible to survive from the difficult economic environment, thereby lowering down the acceptable standards. In actual sense, most of them are not qualified or trained to be educators and teachers in the first place. To be unbiased, they are the products of the same faulty educational system.
Nigeria should look at the corrupt system pervading the entire system, from the government to the teachers and all other stakeholders. The government should also fully implement a holistic educational value system that understudies skill, logic, scientific and technological training, vocational and entrepreneurial training.
Administrator, administrate well. Teacher, teach well. Lecturer, lecture well. Students, study well.
Education is not preparation for life; life is education itself – John Dewey.