Two weeks ago, we discussed some pressing needs in the education sector including the need for more accountability in the sector, the efforts from different sectors to be collaborative, a revamp of the existing curriculum etcetera. As agreed, here is a continuation of our discussion.
The Need to Hire Well qualified teachers: It is said that you can’t pour from an empty vessel and I couldn’t agree more. How can an individual who struggles to attain the minimum proficiency level required to teach be appointed to head the classroom? This brings us back to our point on accountability. There are so many qualified individuals with the passion to bring up the next generation, but they often find themselves frustrated with the faulty recruitment processes in the country. They go through these exercises with energy and vigour, only to end up disappointed. Those who end up getting selected are the unqualified persons with little or no passion for the job. We continuously find our classrooms either lacking in instruction due to teacher capacity or having no instructor present at all.
UN reports 2015 indicate that more than 60 percent of children enrolled in school are not learning in Nigeria. This is a mundane crisis that must be checked urgently. Recruitment processes have to be transparent and credit-based and must be of equal opportunity as long as you qualify. We have suffered enough in the country and can’t afford to neglect this anymore.
Continuous Capacity building for Educators: Even after hiring the right candidates, there is a need for continuous training to keep them refreshed and informed of current trends in education. As an expert on this, Justice Toojah rightly mentioned “We have to equip our teachers with the right tools and current trends especially when it comes to technology. That’s why my organisation continued to provide teacher training even with the Covid19 pandemic. ” After every training exercise, deliverables should be clearly defined by school administrators and followed through.
Effective Guidance and Counseling systems: Does our education system recognize the need for effective Guidance and Counselling in the first place? I doubt. There’s hardly any structured system that provides the service for students. Guidance Counsellors are often made to take the roles of subject teachers in schools. In our world of today where young children are susceptible to many vices, there’s a need for awareness and continuous close monitoring in schools, there’s a need to design non-academic programs that would otherwise boost students’ social skills and sense of self-worth. These gaps should be filled by highly skilled counsellors that would make a lasting difference in the lives of children.
The Right Extracurricular Activities: While academics are important, talent is often identified through well organised extracurricular activities like debates within and outside schools, drama clubs and other useful clubs and societal activities. Nowadays, these only exist in some private schools.
Effective integration of E-learning: The Government cannot do this alone but the private sector should also strive to contribute its quota towards actualizing it. No child must be left behind. Be it a public or private school, every child should have access to Information and Communication technology that would aid their smooth adoption of the digital era. Once again, with efforts that are well planned and collaborative, we’d see a huge difference.
The Need for More Projects to be Completed: With every regime of Government, new projects are rolled out. Unfortunately, these projects are stalled whenever there’s a change of Government? Why is that the case? So many resources get wasted this way. Commitment has to be made to see every project, especially the education projects to fruition once started.
A Serene Environment for Learning: Our classrooms are overcrowded, but that’s not news anymore. While I was in the university, you would find more than four thousand students attending lectures in a 1000 seater lecture theatre. We have cases of students passing out in class due to suffocation. What kind of graduates does such an environment expect to produce?
Be it formal or non-formal learning, the environment has to be serene. “At FlexiSAF Foundation, We ensure that our learning environments are ideal for children to learn and thrive.” contributed Mr Nelson during the webinar.
Systems that Encourage Equality: Our education systems, unfortunately, do not encourage girls to remain in school. UNESCO 2019 reports show significant challenges on the part of gender parity in education. Schools do not have facilities that encourage girl attendance, especially adolescent girls. As Mr Busayo from CODE Africa pointed out, “ Our advocacy campaigns are not just for children to go to school, but we ensure that they also have reason to remain in school, especially the girls. We advocate for adequate access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Facilities in schools”.
More Support from Private Sector: If many more tech companies like FlexiSAF EduSoft take the initiative to invest in education, a lot of impacts would be recorded especially if these efforts were collected together. Activities like Online safety and Information and Communication Technology tools will enhance adaptability and understanding of STEM(Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). Many more students would graduate having a firm grip of how to navigate through a technical career.
More Activities on Career Awareness: Because of the faulty structure of our education system, the majority of students even at the university level do not still understand the career path to take. This has to change. More so because students have to graduate and invest in their passion. The Nigerian labour market doesn’t need more graduates, it needs more employers. Recent reports indicate that Twenty-one million people are unemployed presently according to the National Bureau of Statistics. If for every set of graduates the country produces, 5-10 percent would become employers, these saddening statistics will long be history.
While there are many other needs in the sector, quickly moving to tackle the above mentioned will bring about drastic positive change. What do you think are the needs of our education sector? You can share with us on firstname.lastname@example.org