Nigeria's Fallen Standard Of Education: Profiling The Rationale, Effects And The Way Forward
To claim or feign ignorance of the role of education in elevating a nation to the pinnacles of development and progress is to make an unjust claim which time will prove invalid. This is to say that when a nation is said to be developed, it is because of the avalanche of investment it has made on education.
The above may be the rationale why countries such as Russia, United States, United Kingdom, Germany that are regarded as world powers have the highest chunk of their yearly budget set aside for educational purposes.
The results of this are evident daily as their institutions are regarded as world class making people seek admission into them countlessly. What can we say of institutions such as Yale University, University of Stirling and the likes that continue to produce top notch graduates excelling in all spheres of life.
However, the reserve seems to be operating in Nigeria as one of the many woes befalling our nation is our fallen standard of education which has been a source of worry to policy makers and stakeholders. The consequences of this overtime have been nothing but underdevelopment, slow pace of growth and progress etc.
In the first two decades after independence, our citadels of learning used to be the envy of the world. You may talk about the University College which later metamorphosed into the University of Ibadan. You may talk about the University of Ife later known as Obafemi Awolowo University. All these and more were centres of learning and excellence.
Not too long, little foxes began to intrude into our educational vines making it to rot and stink. This further led to a decline in the quality of education. In the nick of time, was came into being was the quest to acquire foreign degrees and certificates.
Sooner than later, Nigeria experienced intellectual hemorrhage as choicest individuals began to seek for opportunities abroad which they eventually secured. What has this earned us? Underdevelopment, poor research output among other things. The media on a daily basis gives a chronicles of Nigerians in different professions - ICT, law, Pharmacy, Engineering, Applied Science, who are making waves in other countries. How beautiful would it have been that they were in the country making these waves.
Where exactly has the nation missed it wrong?
Do we talk of delapidated infrastructures - lecture theatres, hostel facilities, laboratories which student compete for? Earlier this week, the news carried an headline of water scarcity at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. It was recorded that some students had to go as far as fetching water from streams.
Don't tell me you don't know of our academicians who have risen to the peak of their career still utilising materials that are outdated and span several decades for lecture delivery. Some are even lazy and indolent to carry out research and make new discoveries in their field.
How about the government that has failed to give a facelift to these institutions making them malfunction resulting into prolonged industrial actions.
How about the better incentives and welfare packages for teachers in these institutions which are not encouraging. Little wonder many have concluded that teaching isn't a noble profession as many teachers live a life of penury, poverty and from hand to mouth.
All the above affect all categories of our educational institutions -primary, secondary and tertiary. Now tell me how we want to experience national development when we experience all these issues unabated.
Although education based on legislative principles is a collective effort between the federal and the state government. Nonetheless, the issues that come to fore light establish the fact that both tiers of government are at each other's with respect to developing and revamping the educational sector.
At this juncture, it is important to establish the fact that raising the nation's fallen standard of education is sine qua non to our development. All hands must therefore be on deck towards working out sustainable solutions that could be implemented towards reviving our fallen standard of education. This in the long run will make it an envy across the globe.