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Education : Problem Not Quality But Standard – Paseda
The founder, Paseda Legacy Foundation, Otunba Rotimi Paseda has attributed the abrogation of Grade II teacher, unworkable curriculum and poor remuneration, among others, as the bane of Nigeria’s education standard.
Otunba Paseda made the submission as the Guest Speaker at 2017 Education Summit organized by the National Association of Ogun state students (NAOSS), held at the NUJ Press Centre , Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The UPN Governorship candidate in 2015 General election in Ogun State explained that, the standard of education in Nigeria has not fallen, but argued that, it is the quality that has fallen.
Paseda who was represented by his Media Director, Mr. Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji stressed that, the abrogation of Grade II education under the Military regime of President Ibrahim Babangida was primarily responsible for the killing of quality of education in the country, the scheme was set up to produced skilled teachers.
According to him, not everyone who teaches in school possesses the methodology of imparting knowledge to students, saying that Grade II teachers were trained to passionately teach students effortlessly.
While adding that, teachers in many countries were well remunerated, Paseda maintained that teachers in Nigeria are not only poorly and badly paid, many are being owed salaries for several months.
He therefore lampooned Ogun State government for creating disparity among students in the state with the creation of model schools which he said, was established for the rich government officials and their cronies.
“The fall in standard of Education not only in Ogun State, but Nigeria in general, has been the subject of frequent press comments for some time. But I must say this, the standard of education has not fallen, rather; it is the quality that has fallen.
“Nigeria’s educational system is bedeviled by a myriad of problems, which keeps worsening by the day, all as a result of poor funding. These include: poor funding; shortage of quality staff; dearth of infrastructure; inadequate classrooms and offices; inadequate laboratories for teaching and research; shortage of books and journals; indiscipline; inconsistent and ill-conceived policies; corruption at high and low places; cultism; irregular payments of salaries; examination malpractices; embezzlement of funds; low staff-student ratios; poor record keeping; fraud and self-deception with regard to accreditation; failure to send staff regularly on short courses to improve and enhance their competences; and, the fact that government often reneges on the mutual agreements between it and the unions of educational institutions.
“In the Universal Basic Education (UBE) guidelines, every primary or junior secondary school in Nigeria is expected to have one general science laboratory for elementary science and domestic science; one ventilated improved toilet for a maximum of 40 pupils or students per toilet; and, one teacher to handle only 40 pupils or students in a class. But these criteria are yet to be met due to scarcity of funds.
“In some primary schools, pupils sit on the bare floor in a classroom. Most secondary schools lack classrooms, libraries, laboratories and equipment.
In the universities, the scarcity of funds manifests itself everywhere on campus as there are no current books or journals, no laboratory equipment, limited number of lecture rooms, acute shortage of water, no basic chemicals, no specialised chemicals, no nothing.”
On the way forward, Paseda advised Government to put in place industrial-driven vocational training and to properly equip our technical colleges to fast-track skills acquisition and make graduates from that sub-sector readily employable.
He added that, “trainees in our Technical colleges should be made to spend thirty percent (30%) in school and seventy percent (70%) in companies on internship” among others.