Provocatively, opinions as to what defines Nigeria at 53 years post-independence are as diverse,yet as distinct as the rainbow colour.Nigeria has undergone progressive retrogression from 1960 till date.
AWAKENING NIGERIA’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM
Reviving the educational system of Nigeria requires an interplay of numerous forces:
Curricula modification/Intrinsic Motivation: the key to successful education is a focus on intrinsic motivation.Education reform must focus the curricula on application of skills in addition to basic knowledge. The outstanding education systems of the world all employ active learning. The human brain learns best through experience and practical strategy.The concept of intrinsic motivation is applied in the majority of excellent educational systems in the world including the highly regarded university system in the U.S. (Sugar T., 2013). Therefore, introduction of active laboratory and sports activities into the syllabus to ensure that students both learn and contribute to their fields is essential.
Increased Intake in Natural Sciences and Engineering: in South Korea, 38% of all undergraduates receive their degrees in Natural Sciences or Engineering. In France, the figure is 47%, in China 50% and in Singapore 67% (Yong, Z., 2009). This accounts for the level of development in the aforementioned countries.Nigeria needs to emulate this to revive our educational system and consequently achieve scientific and technological advancements.
Adequate funding-jbthe United Nations 26% annual budgetary allocations for education should strictly enforced in Nigeria to ensure that school structures are constructed, facilities are installed and maintained.
Teachers’ Remuneration: Pasi S.(2012), addressed the role of motivated teachers in education as well as the link between educational reform and how smart educational polices serve to raise a nation’s prosperity.He emphasised that Finland achieved success without going through the arduous and controversial process of implementing competition, school choice and test–based accountabilit.If Nigeria adopts this, better results would be produced in our educational system.
Establishment of Test-based Accountability for Teachers:“in 2008, Kwara state tested 19,125 teachers in primary four Mathematics, only seven teachers attained the minimum benchmark for the test in Mathematics. Only one of 2,628 teachers with degree passed the test; 10 graduates scored zero. The literacy assessment recorded only 12% pass (Ladipo A., 201.When accountability for our schools is real, the results for our children are real (Yong Z., 2009). I suggest that teachers be administered aptitude test in their respective disciplines before employment. This will foster learning, competence and competition among the teachers.
Decentralization of Educational System:autonomy for States and Local Governments with respect to the management of schools will bring about close monitoring of students’ activities, prompt report of and response to deterioration of facilities.
Other critical areas include:
Merit-based admission of students and employment of teachers
Quality based assurance in terms of students’/teachers’ ratios
Strict sanctions against corrupt teachers
Strict disciplinary measures against offenders.
In conclusion, Nigeria at 53 has had some measurable strides and slides. The Nigerian education system is in severe crisis, unless this crisis is resolved promptly, Nigeria will cease to exist as a nation and Nigerians as individuals. Undoubtedly, if the measures suggested above are adopted, the Nigerian educational system would be reawakened.