Pulse Blogger Deteriorating state of education in Nigeria

Well, it would be an understatement to say the state of education of Nigeria is in distress and urgently needs help.

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Well, it would be an understatement to say the state of education of Nigeria is in distress and urgently needs help. Despite concerted efforts by the government to turn around the fortunes of education in Nigeria, however it seems all effort has come to naught as the state of education keeps depreciating in value.

With students in the diaspora making waves and bagging laurels in their respective institution; back home it is another sad tale ,our students keep failing WAEC with the recent WAEC result a pointer to the fact that Nigeria's education is in its woeful state ever. Many stakeholders have harped on the need for the Government to look inward and identify factors retarding the progress of education in Nigeria.

However, since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration, little has been done to improve the state of education. our students keep failing WAEC, several universities have been shut down due to the inability to run the school with the meagre amount of money made available to them, several teachers are been owed salaries in different states nationwide.

For instance, about 478 teachers in Akwa Ibom state have not been paid for about 42months! ASUU is threatening to go  on strike and not forgetting the mass number of graduates in the famed 'labour market’ toiling endlessly in their quest to earn a living. With so many multinational companies in Nigeria, one continues to wonder why the rate of unemployment is still on the increase.

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics(NBS) put the rate of unemployment for youths aged 15-34 at a record high of 13.3 percent for the second quarter of the year. Albeit, the reason is not far-fetched, our tertiary institutions keep churning out half-baked graduates annually ,many of whom can't defend their certificate.

With the Government already clocking more than a year in office, several pragmatic changes have to be made to improve the quality of education and also ensure our education is back to the old glory days.

According to a factsheet by USAID, there are about 30million primary school aged children in the country of whom an estimated 10million are not enrolled in school. However, it is important to note here that there has been little concerted efforts by the Ministry of Education. Since the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu came on board, his reign so far has been dogged by criticisms over his extreme policies.

The recent decision by the minister to scrap the post-utme exam still rings a bell in everyone's heart likewise the sack of 13 Vice-chancellors appointed by Former President, Goodluck Jonathan. The Minister however seems to be playing politics with the affairs of education as the issue of schools majorly tertiary institutions been closed down seems to be left unattended to. recently, The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta was closed down due to a peaceful protest which was disrupted and hijacked by hoodlums thereby prompting the police to shoot one of the student.

Furthermore, Kogi State University recently reopened after a 3months' strike due to the inability of the state to pay the salaries of the lecturers, a situation which made more than 40lecturers leave the school according to the ASUU chapter of the institution.

A similar situation occurred in September 2016 at the Olabisi Onabanjo University after the state government failed to live up to its promises. Several other schools also experienced delays in their session due to students' unrest, inability of the management to run the school effectively and not also forgetting the different strikes embarked upon by the staff unions.

As it is not everyone in the country that can afford the expensive private university, The Government must therefore take urgent steps and decisions towards improving the quality of education in Nigeria? As it was done recently in the Ministry of Agriculture, the Government should draft up a long-term developmental plan for Education in Nigeria as there is no quick fix to the problems affecting education.

Recently, A YouthSpeak report based on a worldwide survey conducted by AIESEC (An International youth leadership group) and PwC on education revealed that 53percent of the 42,257 respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of education they received, complaining that it did not prepare them adequately for economic opportunities.

The dearth of Infrastructural facilities in our schools remains a worrisome development. Most of our 21st century tertiary institutions lack modern and state-of-the-art facilities. In May, students of Unilag held a protest over the poor state of facilities in their school especially their halls of residences. Also, there is the need for the Government to collaborate with Individuals and Corporate Organisations in every institution nationwide. If this can be done, it would enable students to gain entrepreneurial skills and also be self-employed. Also, it would reduce the number of people in the labour market as it would enable students to be self-reliant.

Furthermore, little has been done so far to change the curriculum been used in our schools today as most still use materials dating back as far as 1970. The Country Senior Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Mr. Uyi Akpata during an entrepreneurship summit listed poor education as one of the factors contributing to the unemployment challenge. Many employers, he said complain about skills gap in graduates.

However, there is also the need for a Private-Public Partnership on Education. The turnaround to the fortunes of Nigeria's Education would not be a quick one. It would take years of planning, formulation and implementation of well-laid strategies.

Otolorin Olabode is a student of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta. He is a Seasoned creative writer. He loves reading Biographies and Auto-biographies. He currently handles rufaioseni@wordpress.com. He can be reached via Instagram @viewsfromthebod or otolorinolabode@gmail.com                      

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