High Quality Education Must Be a Priority
The Federal Government of Nigeria recently announced the appointment of vice chancellors and registrars to run nine new federal universities. Nigerians, suspicious of the government's intentions have been asking questions: Is this an attempt to silence loud opposing voices ahead of the elections? Is the president attempting to buy votes with these new institutions? Why build new universities when most of the ones that currently exist languish in criminal neglect?
Nigeria does not seem to invest in data and strategic planning, but anecdotally there would appear to be a real demand for functioning universities. It is legitimate however to question the need for additional universities when many existing universities rot in ruins.
Education does not seem to be a priority of this government. The chaotic election registration process has gulped over $500 million to date; the shocking equivalent of $10,000 per registrant. That amount of money would make a huge difference in the life of a Nigerian child. Our leaders would rather have an exorbitant shoddy chaotic electoral process than a well funded high quality education. Our government should reorder its priorities and put education at the very top.
A disastrous result of a decade of "democracy" has been the virtual collapse of Nigeria's educational system. Democratic institutions have given our rulers the cover to loot funds meant for the proper education of our children. What is happening to our children in their classrooms is a heinous crime. Our rulers are busily engaged in self-serving actions meant to line their own pockets. It does not matter how those actions impact or compromise the lives and fortunes of our young and vulnerable; their own children are abroad attending great schools with looted funds.
Most of Nigeria's public institutions are housed in decaying structures. And yet, the budgeted cost of building and maintaining them are more than what obtains in the West. The leaders of these institutions are busy "sharing" money that belongs to children. The result has been devastating; many graduates of Nigerian universities express themselves poorly; there are lawyers that cannot write a simple brief; and engineers who would not recognize a bridge if one fell on them.
We call upon our student union leaders, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and civil society to wake up and ask hard questions in the name of all our children: What will it cost to renovate and modernize our schools?; Is there a modernization schedule? What is the accreditation process for schools? Is the curriculum rightly structured to address the immediate and long-term needs of the country? What about the taboo subject of teacher accountability? Shouldn't the teachers and lecturers who instruct our young ones be accountable to them, and shouldn't students contribute to the process of evaluating the performance of their instructors? In effect, is there a strategic plan for education at the local, state and national levels?
It is okay to build new schools, there is also the need to maintain and sustain the existing ones. Our children, not goats, are in those classrooms.
Thank you Standpointers. This is the koko of the Nigerian state. Since the failure of education every other thing has taken a downward trend. I also hope that the new VC's can make it possible for students to engage in exchange progammes.
After reading the NVS standpoint one would assert that we produce lots of glorified illiterates. It's not from the truth. Our children should be stimulated to read right from elementary schools.
Apart from employing the best and most dedicated teachers to deliver knowledge from elementary to University level, I would further submit that Nigeria, with its oil wealth, should, as a matter of priority deliver well equipped library structures not only to all the community councils in Nigeria, but also to elementary and secondary schools, where they are at present, lacking. I mean libraries equipped with kids books, computers, reference books, daily newspapers, magazines, etc.
The off-shore recovery of ill-gotten deposits by the EFCC could be diverted to infrastructural rehabilitation of our educational system.
There seems to be a dearth of reading amongst Nigeria students due to lack of motivation. Establishment of libraries could reverse the trend. Students who do well are mostly those who dont depend solely on their teachers but engage in extra reading.
Bravo, NVS for presenting your standpoint on "high quality education."
Good Point NVS. No to additonal nine universities when the existing ones are suffering.
Thanks for bringing focus to bear on this glaring contradiction.
The funny thing is, right after the FGN went to town with this announcement, we are informed by no less a figure than the minister of education about the inaguration of a review panel tasked with looking into the state of current universities!
Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
nullAs part of efforts to ensure that the nations universities deliver on their mandates, the federal government, yesterday inaugurated high powered delegations as visitation panels to all federal universities to assess the education system between the year 2005-2010nullGovernment begins assessment of federal universitiesGovernment begins assessment of federal universities
So is anyone in Abuja actually listening ? /smh.
We are in deep freeze.....
Don't you ust wish that them in Abuja will listen! Knowing that the deacy in Education predates your 'nascent' democracy, where on God's good earth do you expect those in authority to have have found the wherewithal to make the right decisions much less formulate and implement decent policies.
Th usual culprits are still prancing about feigning expertise in education while the rest of us look on in awe of their doctorate degrees not worth the paper they are written on.
The private sector has been trying to salvage what they can of the system but even they are challenged as they have to fish in the same putrid waters for teachers, most of whom are untrainable. Not that much attempt has been made to train them!
If you love your progeny, buy them some private education and if those achieve a critical mass at some point in the future, maybe they can be fed into the decrepit public administration system and hopefully rejuvenate it. But that is way way off in a very distant and dicey future!