How the Nigerian Educational System Can be Improved from its current State
The Nigerian educational system is in a state of confusion and disarray as a result of inconsistencies, non-implementation of educational policies, inadequate infrastructure in schools and indiscipline by stakeholders. There has been a clarion call by all and sundry to re-examine and appraise the Nigerian Educational system in line with current trends. In this paper, I advocate for transformative education as this will enable the country to have a complete change in the way funds are allocated to schools and ensuring that there are democratic review of policies in line with best practices. Also that facilities to be provided in schools are adequate and learner friendly thereby ensuring successful learning.
The efforts of the colonial government towards the early development of teacher education in Nigeria were noteworthy and documented in literature (Salami, 2002). However, The general dissatisfaction with the existing educational system which had become irrelevant to national needs, aspirations and goals led to the National curriculum conference of 1969 where Nigerians from all walks of life debated their own aims and content of education in the country (Olujuwon, 2004). The final document of this expression came into existence in 1977 as the National Policy on Education (butrevised in 1981, 1989, 2004, 2007 and 2013) education was conceived as an instrument “par excellence” in achieving national unity, objectives and goals. The revisions were needed to address noticeable gaps in content and provisions that emerged in the course of implementation, maintain currency, relevance and to give adequate attention to new opportunities, issues and challenges. However, Ayeni and Dada (2011) infer that the education policy in Nigeria was revised to address the perceived needs of the government in power and to ensure that the education sector supports government’s developmental goals. The authors further stated that the problem with policy revisions in Nigeria is the lack of implementation and all the efforts on revisions have not yielded the expected results.
In addition, Imam (2012) indicates that no matter how ambitious the current edition of the NPE, it is merely a piece of paper and its implementation is fraught with problems, especially seeing that the political, economic and socio-cultural issues in the country are not sensitive to the aspiration and needs of the people. This supports Nwangwa and Omotere (2013) who assert that the current school managers find it difficult to meet the managerial expectations implicit in the policy changes. They suggest that school managers should be retrained on curriculum implementation and in other areas that affect their performance as school managers.
Let's have look at some of the challenges facing the educational industry in Nigeria.
Inconsistencies of Government Policies
Non-Implementation of policies and agreements
Inadequate infrastructure in schools
Historical and contemporary realities
Indiscipline in Schools
A Model for Transformative Education
The success of any educational system hinges on proper planning, efficient administration, adequate funding and motivation. The Government needs to provide an enabling environment for teaching and learning for Nigerian Education to have its pride of play in the community of nations. All stakeholders must contribute their quota with particular reference to the following:
The Government must as a matter of priority stop paying lip service to the full restoration of autonomy in educational institutions as well as in the provision of adequate facilities for effective teaching and learning. The interference in the selection and promotion of staff in institutions by Government should be a thing of the past. Educational institutions should be allowed to select and appoint their staff without any hindrances from the government.
Staff salaries and fringe benefits must be paid as when do, so as to reduce corruption within the educational system and thus motivate staff to contribute their quota to the development of education.
There must be school of leadership for would be school leaders as this would prepare them for the day-to-day activities in their new position.