Monday, 11 May 2015

The Challenges of Nigeria Education system and the way forward

The problematic Nigerian education system and the way forward

Following a paper of Aiyamenkhue Edokpolo, Senior Special Assistant of Edo State Governor, the debate over overcoming the challenges of developing the Education System in Nigeria has come up. Nigeria is a former British colony which was accused of being underdeveloped due to its own citizens. This grievance makes it's place in Edokpolo's writing. Nigeria got its 'republic' status in the year 1963, after 'flag independence' of 1960. The contribution of British colonizers in 'civilizing' Nigeria is a historical debate of crucial and decisive importance, that works as reference that's either to be assumed or negated, in making future policy. This decision will give direction to education policy and orientation to the nation towards future ahead. 
Defining education and the grievance of Nigeria about interpreting the definition, in making policy and implementation
According to Wikipedia, that summarises the concept of 'education' in the West, 'education' is : “an act or process of developing and cultivating (whether physically or mentally or morally) ones mental activity or senses; the expansion, strengthening, and discipline of one's mind, faculty, etc; the forming and regulation of principles and character in order to prepare and fit for any calling or business by systematic instruction.” Nigeria, under the rule of British colonizers, were structured to function as a helping hand of the imperial government. The education was also fashioned accordingly to produce executives following colonial instructions. This ideal of following instructions being educated through formal training, is mentioned precisely in the above-mentioned definition. Later, after independece, the country followed the American-model, which was also Western. The commonsensical definition of education being a medium of : 'transmission of knowledge and worthwhile values from a person to another', that transcends generations, is exactly what constitutes arguments of nationalists like Edokpolo who saw the fading away of national cultural values in the centralised education-model of foreign origin. 
Recommendations for development


Modernisation has to be balanced with an eye towards local cultural preservation in education as well, that will patronise patriotism.
Now the recommendations made precisely in reaserch, that will pave the way with good intention for the way forward for Nigeria :
1) As mentioned above, the recommended and supposed promotion of Edo language and cultural values in Edo State for example, is to be the model for educating cultural values throughout the extended territory of quasi-federal Nigeria of 36 states. Keeping that in mind, the primitive dogmatic cultism induced in youth to retain power is to be curbed, to promote a healthy environment for education. 
2) The issue of fund comes second in the list, for building material infrastucture that's the very raw, crude and physical need for (classroom) education to take place. 

3) Technical education is to be emphasised. Nigeria, which was once a good prospect for the world in producing technocrats in the region, is lagging behind. Lack of initiative and consistent forward-looking decision making has brought this state, in which the country has to import rudimentary material from Asian countries which were far behind them industrially once. 
4) Education has to be made cheap and available that makes it accessible to the vast poorer section of an African country like Nigera. So, the affordability matters, that will make education worthy of the effort to reach the grassroot level of the country.
5) Finally, education has to be competitive that's an essential in any case, appealing to the basic human nature of excelling over others in the struggle for survival that will provide the urge to be educated. 

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