KWARA: EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND STUDENTS WELFARISM AS DEVELOPMENT MODUS
Public education systems in many developing countries including Nigeria face a number of challenges. Curricula are often outdated; textbooks and other instructional materials are sometimes in short supply; and student/teacher ratios are well above desired levels, student retention rates and test scores are both low, among others. Amidst these challenges, several solutions have been suggested; private participation in education to improve effectiveness in developing countries, more government investment in education to mention a few are solutions suggested over the years. Frankly speaking, in order to secure the future of the nation, government has to invest grossly into education and monitor such investment to create result and this can only be achieved when the government prioritize education among other things which is evident in Kwara’s effort over the years.
Education remains the most powerful tool in liberating the people from poverty. In any human society, education is concomitant to growth, for quick, effective and sustainable growth, thorough investment in education is ineveitable. Formal education is highly instrumental and even necessary to improve the production capacity of a nation and discusses the rationality behind investment in human capital. Empirical evidences of human capital model were identified in Kwara and findings reveal that investment in education has positively affected the economic growth and development of the state. However, the merit is not a sudden event, it has its root in significant and quality effort laid as foundation by the government. Foundational efforts beginning from 2003, the major activities of Kwara education reform were built around increasing pupils’capacity to learn at every educational stage, by putting in place the required infrastrutures needed for learning at all costs and also combating challenges of leadership in educational development such as malpractices, cultism and gangsterism among students.
In battling the fore mentioned challenges, an essential method of inspection was adopted by the state which it tagged “Whole School Inspection”, a system that aim at improving students achievements as well as analysing the quality of school’s overall performance; this explains one of the reasons why the minister for education in 2009 strongly commended Kwara state in a letter for “it’s fight against the malaise of examination malpractices and efforts at sanitizing the examinatio sub-sector which is also similar to a letter in september 2010, WAEC commended the laudable role played by the state government in reducing examination malpractices rate in the state, such landmarks are endless. Before, 2003, tertiary institutions in Kwara were popular for cultism among other ills, an intensified security measures mounted on student cultism groups, beginning with Governor Bukola Saraki’s administration clapped down cultism in tertiary institutions in Kwara which has created a secured environment for learning. This fact was attested by the leadership of Kwara state chapter of National Association of Nigerian Students.
As noted by the popular philosopher George Santayana, the great difficulty in education, is to get experience out of ideas. i.e linking education to the world outside its walls is as vital as it is obvious. Creating an avenue for people to exercise what they have been thought in classrooms is essentially important as learning; striking a balance, the dawn of the incumbent government prioritize this vision when it change Kwara’s ministry of education to Ministry of education and human capital development, which the focus of ensuring human development beyond classroom lectures. To reach the needed level of change we desire at each period, it is essential to go farther and think about how better to engage products of education in addressing the development challenges we have as nation which Kwara Ministry of Education and Human Capital Developement is engrossed with, translating academic knowledge into palpable societal growth.
Such standards and more are difficult to fetch but easier when a government is led by visionary leaders who have the progress of the people in mind. Among other efforts been put in place, it is pertinent to note that, Kwara state government is essentially leading and growing the state using education and student welfarism as major tools.
Written By Henry Adegboye