Stop the impending education sector collapse

It is unjust and an act of irrationality to blame government alone for the collapse of education in our dear country. People need to look at this with eagle-eyes. Everyone contributes his or her own quota to the worsening standard of education in the country.

I am not saying that government has no share of the blame, but things need to be taken into cognizance before condemning government on that.
 Education is the fundamental way of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the power of reasoning and judgement which also helps one in preparing to be intellectually mature in his or her life.
In those days, education had an integral image and maintained its whole status. The population was less, the students were curious to learn and teachers were full of keen interest to teach. Presently, the standard of education and the poor performance in our schools at all levels have become devastated in our beloved country.

To start with, students of nowadays are shiftless, indolent and unfocused when it comes to learning. They are no longer enthusiastic about their studies and hardly read their notebooks not to talk of their textbooks. It is obvious to see a student, especially in a public school, finishing without possessing a single textbook. 
Previously, students were stimulated to read short stories, novels and newspapers by their teachers. Such students tend to accumulate a lot of vocabularies, idioms, proverbs, and suitable English expressions. This helps them in having good command of English and they could express themselves fluently. Now, the reverse is the case as graduates of even English language can be seen without reading a single novel in his or her entire academic programme. To cap it all, he or she cannot form a simple sentence or speak good English for few minutes but know the entire names of local and foreign footballers and musicians.

More so, students encounter a lot of distractions which make it difficult for them to concentrate on their educational activities. Modern technologies contribute immensely, although, negatively to that. Most of the students prefer to watch television, listen to music, watch either sports or movies or attend parties, among others rather than reading their books.
Today, in secondary schools, students are seen with smart phones. They listen to different radio programmes, watch nude pictures and pornographies during and after lessons instead of concentrating on their studies.

Lack of seriousness among students cannot be overemphasized. They often roam the streets around 9 o’clock instead of being in school. Some do not go to school. They wear fitted clothes or “earth down trousers” with their bottoms outside in the name of fashion while going to school. Females do apply make-up and wear tight trousers as if they are going to a party.  How can such students perform well in their academic programmes? 
On the other hand, teachers, too, are not to be exempted from contributing to the mess the education sector is in. They contribute to the backward slide of the sector in the country. Many are not qualified to teach. Some accept it as a last resort because they have not got the lucrative job of their desire. Thus, they manage to teach not out of passion; and the most irritating thing is that, you may find someone who studied economics or religion teaching mathematics or English just because she or he manages to do some simple arithmetic or speak English though there are specialists  in these areas. Some people believe that talking is teaching.
The same thing happens to NYSC members. They are sent to schools without having any good first-hand experience of teaching. Many have been wrestling with syllabus, lesson plan or lesson notes without knowing where to start or what to do and how to deal with them. In fact, they are clueless. 
At the same time, many have abhorred the profession for long  but they are posted during NYSC assignment to teach at schools. Others are given subjects different from their fields of studies; for example, someone studied physics and ends up teaching Government, PHE or English. 

Head teachers and principals too are more concerned about what to get from PTA and school fees than paying attention to the children’s education. Sometimes, they do not even attend school or report to school late.
Parents also contribute to this serious problem. Negligence especially on the part of illiterate parents contributes a lot. Some send their children because they disturb them at home. Such parents do not usually ask about what their children have learnt or if they are given assignment or homework, among others. At times, parents scold their wards when they open their bags to read or do some homework.
Such habits are also found among literate parents. They allow their wards to watch different movies on satellite TV up to midnight instead of reading books.
At the same time, parents do not usually motivate their wards. For examples, when a student performs poorly at school, parents discourage him or her through insult, mockery or scolding instead of showing him or her that he or she can do better next.
However, it is unfair for me to exclude government from having a hand in this calamity. Indeed, education is being poorly managed by all the three tiers of government in the country.

First and foremost, teachers’ welfare is not given due attention or priority. Despite the significant role they play for the development of the country; teachers are paid peanuts. This demoralises industrious teachers, who have the zeal of teaching. 
Besides, most of public schools are without proper equipment or instructional materials. Students sit on bare floors in dilapidated classrooms with no windows, cracked blackboards and leaking roofs. Such students suffer a lot during either rainy or harmattan season.

Unlike the days of yore, laboratories, libraries and playgrounds are no longer functioning in some schools. Students remain idle in their classes and “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
Lack of enough classes also makes teaching and learning difficult. You may see more than a hundred pupils in one class particularly in primary schools. How can such a crowded class be controlled and taught within 40 minutes?
Government officials who are called inspectors are often after their pockets. A lot are doing nothing  other than what they will get when supervising a school. 
Education desperately needs absolute attention for its survival; all hands must be on deck to restore its glory. Parents should know that government alone cannot provide qualitative education to their children. Thus, they must stand firm for the education of their children. 
The philanthropic individuals and old boys associations should contribute their quota in educating the children and youth as well as equipping the schools so that the challenges facing education would be addressed and solved.

Government must ensure that it recruits qualified teachers and provide all the necessary equipment that will enhance teaching and learning. Teachers’ salary must be paid on time and promote those who deserve so; their welfare should not be taken for granted.
Still, government must ensure that teachers and lecturers’ strike are resolved and avoided permanently; it destroys our education system and youth’s future. 
Usman Usman Garba,Kano08069771400; [email protected].

Leave a Reply