ALIU KABIRU MOBOLAJI
The quality of education in Nigeria has dropped to an alarming rate; and ever since this issue has been a canker worm that have been investing the development of the country, this is really sad and portends great danger for the future of our country, even worst is the fact that we have borrowed digital computer and yet the future is filled with uncertainty. Unlike in the past that teachers were the repository of knowledge due to the fact that information were not evenly distributed, these days information is at our finger tips, and yet the colonial education products are better. All these emerged from the neglect which the sector suffered from the 1980’s leading to the gradual erosion of the system. Inadequacy of funding, lack of teaching tools and modern classrooms, poor remuneration of teachers and the acute shortage of qualified teachers have all contributed to the fall in the standard of education.
Significantly, the government is largely responsible for the falling standard of education in the country. They change policies concerning education so frequently, leaving other teachers and student confused. They also do not equip classrooms, laboratories and other infrastructural facilities which are now in a dilapidated form and the environment is not conducive and appropriate enough to enhance good learning in our institutions. How do you expect lecturers or teachers to carry out their duties effectively when all the necessary facilities that are needed are not available to be utilized? The government has failed to provide quality education to his citizenry, when you look at the history of education you will discover that free education was provided for Nigerians by the government but now, the government does not care whether its citizens are educated or not, also they do not encourage the teachers to perform up to their intellectual capacity. They only think about themselves and paying poor remunerations to the teachers and to cap it all, most of the corrupt officers who misused institutions funds go unpunished.
Inadvertently, lack of dedication and punctuality to duty by the teachers has contributed to the fall in the standard of education. The teachers show divided loyalty to the teaching job. Most teachers pay lip-service to their job, spending more time and energy in other businesses and less time in the classroom. Their action is not unconnected with the poor salary structure of the sector and the low level of esteem accorded to the profession by the public. Since in a capitalist society like Nigeria, only those who are influential are respected by the general public. Money making is evident to their over engagement into other business which has seriously injured the education sector. The frequent strike by the teachers union on poor salary structure and nonpayment of arrears or salary and other staff entitlement are also causes of the fallen standard of education, thereby leading to the brain drain syndrome in the educational system and shortage of staff in most of the public schools which has to some extent crippled the sector.
Meanwhile, parents also share in the blame on this menace. Most of them simply do not care about their children’s education. they put all their attention towards money making, leaving the children’s guidance and motivation to the house maids and drivers as a result the children’s projects, home works will not be done neither will they be reminder to study at home. This has led to the high increased in examination malpractice and it has led many children to derail and drop out as a result of peer groups influenced which has later metamorphosed to the massive reduction of the quality and standard of education in the country.
Just like the saying goes when “the foundation of building is not well erected; there is the tendency of an imminent collapse”. The government should be the bedrock of our educational system playing its role in the sanitization of our educational system through proper encouragement of teachers and lecturers of institutions, through the payment of salaries and arrears as at when due. Also they should ensure the proper funding and provision of adequate infrastructural facilities and laboratories for our sciences, which will foster a good qualitative and conducive learning environment in our schools and employment of qualified teachers should be the topmost priority of the government in terms of employment. Parent should not also be left out as they are the first agent of socialization, they must always be ready and available to their children and ward and ensure that their children do not get influenced by peer group, therefore proper attention must be given to their children. And when the virtue is embedded in education, it thrives and abides, education is the foundation to a brighter future.