There is no doubt that education is the torch of civilization. It’s also the backbone of both the economic and social developments. No wonder why wise nations, including Nigeria, lay more emphasis on it. However, in Nigeria, it seems as if the education standard is going down steadily compared to the good old days. Why is this so?
In this exclusive interview with a seasoned educationist, he blares his mind on the issue roving in the minds of both literates and the illiterates as well- why education standard is falling? Dr. Anthony Adeola has been in the education sector for over a decade . He was once a sub- dean of faculty in one of our first generation universities in Nigeria and at one time, a visiting lecturer in one of the universities in Southern Africa. Currently, he’s the director of studies in one of the sixth-form colleges in Nigeria:
Question- What can you say about education standard in Nigeria?
Answer- There is no doubt that the standard of education in Nigeria is on the downward trend. This can be seen in the high number of jobless graduates, even when vacant positions are advertised daily, as well as employers preferring graduates from other countries.
Question- Can strikes be prevented in our educational institutions?
Answer- Strikes in our educational institutions can be reduced or prevented if necessary provisions for students’ education are in place like in the developed countries.
Question-Do you think the government has done or is doing much in the education sector?
Answer- The government is doing its best, but this best is not enough. There is need to increase the budget on education as well as put the necessary standards in place.
Question- W e have many private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions and public school now unlike the 70’s and 80’s, yet, opinion polls indicate fallen standard of education. Do you share this school of thought?
Answer- Yes, the standard of education is a function of what the students can do with the knowledge gained at the institutions and not the amount of knowledge the students are exposed to. It is either the regulatory bodies to ensure standards are not doing their jobs or they are incapacitated to deliver.
Question- A Youth Corp member posted to Ogun state, Nigeria, last year, had to teach with a Yoruba interpreter in order for the students to understand what was being taught as they could not understand basic English language, the language of instruction, according to a newspaper report. What is responsible for this ugly development?
Answer-Many factors can be responsible for the ugly development. First , the report did not not specify the level of students being referred to whether primary or secondary. If secondary, one of the factors can be from the home , as some parents may not have time to support their children in their educational endeavours. Another may also be weak foundation in English language from primary school level. In addition, the Youth Corper may not come from Yoruba speaking area and the pronunciation of some English words may not be familiar to the students.
Question-The use of internet can enhance better academic research among students. Do you think students are using this positively?
Answer- To some extent some students are using the internet positively while majority are using it negatively.
Question- The reading culture –why is it going down among the youths and adults in Nigeria?
Answer- The reading culture is going down among the youths and adults in Nigeria because they are no more finding value and joy in reading, the cultural paradigm has changed to materialism, wealth accumulation and riches.
Question- Chairman House Committee on education, Hon. Sulaiman Aminu, said sometimes in Abuja that ‘’the standard and quality of education has confirmed to be at low ebb because of inadequate libraries to support teaching”. D o you agree with him?
Answer- Yes, but not only inadequate libraries; there are also inadequate laboratories, books and other infrastructures as well as inadequate qualified human resources.
Question- The 2014 release of WASCE results send cold shiver into the spine of parents with a 53% passes. What could be done to prevent future occurrence?
Answer- Prevention of future occurrence can be achieved by cooperation of the home, school, government , and the community at large. First, the home should give adequate support to the child in terms of putting necessary requirements for the good education of the child in place. School should also put all necessary and standard qualified human and material resources in place. Government must be in a position to give the necessary support to the school as well as put the necessary standards including active supervisory instrumentation in place.
Question- Is it true that women are better administrators in schools and governments than men looking at the likes of Prof. Alele Williams(former VC. UNIBEN), Margaret Thather, UK and the late Prof. Dora Akunyili(former NAFDAKC Boss)?
Answer – This is highly debatable as the number of highly successful women administrators are small compared to male administrators over the years.
Question- The first school for a child is the home. How has the home contributed to low ebb in education?
Answer- Majority of the home is not there for the child. The urges to acquire wealth and riches have been their major pre-occupation, thereby having little or no time to support the education of the child.
Question- What is the way forward?