If we critically examine
the problem bedeviling the Nigerian
education sector, we would notice that it needs holistic remedy to make it what society expects of it.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) English Dictionary, education consists of teaching people various subjects at a school or college. Education is also, the process through which a person is taught better way of doing something or a better way of living. Hence, education encompasses any form of learning which transforms and adds value to an individual’s life which should lead to the benefit of his family and society at large.
The fact that the Nigerian government institutions of higher learning run courses that are not accredited speaks volumes of the administrative anomaly in our schools. Notwithstanding, most students enroll into these schools to study Law, Engineering, Medicine and Economics and so on, perhaps because they see these courses as the best selling professions that can lead to gainful employment easily after graduation. This is so because most Nigerian students believe that the Nigerian environment only favours certain professions.
This is, however, a wrong notion because there are other selling professions like those in the environmental option such as Estate Management, Surveying etc which could enable graduates become self-employed. For instance a pupil in primary or secondary school may wish to become a doctor without knowing what is required of him before he could be qualified to study such course later in tertiary institution.
Today, much emphasis is placed on trained teachers to teach in schools that is, teachers with relevant educational qualifications. This has triggered countless persons to bribe their way through school in order to get certificates. Yet, not all trained teachers have the adequate knowledge to impart knowledge.
However, to create the much needed social balance and contain unemployment that is now ravaging the youth, there is need to upgrade technical schools to offer training in various skills.
It is toward breaking the youth unemployment yoke that the learning environment for skills acquisition should be encouraged with foreign partnership. This would go a long way to decongest the population of students enrolling in our universities, in addition to reducing the number of unemployed youth.
Robert Owen, who may be regarded as an environmentalist believes that environmental conditions determine individual destiny and to improve the lot of the individuals, any reformer must start with recreating the environment.
Now, how do we recreate the environment in our various institution of higher learning to favour these individuals? Bearing in mind that components of the environment or facilities in the environment make up what is referred to as the environment, how do we put strike actions by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) under control knowing really well that strike is a right of every labour union?
In juxtaposing the view of the English clergy, Reverend Thomas Malthus in his book, “Essay on the Principle of Population”, where he asserted that the population was growing more than the rate at which food is supplied, it becomes clear that our student’s population is growing more than the available educational facilities, hence the shortage of infrastructure at the tertiary institutions.
The fact that students population is continuously out-growing educational facilities in Nigerian institutions brings with it economic backlash as many are unemployed and these unemployed persons in order to obey the natural law of survival go into crime as the only way to keep food on their table. This goes a long way to slow down government policy of the day.
As a result, poverty keeps increasing and when proper measures are not taken to correct this imbalance, then, Darwin’s “Theory of Succession” sets in, such that it is only the strongest that survives. The big question is, what should be done to correct this imbalance whereby the Nigerian students’ population grows faster than educational facilities?
In Nigeria, birth and death registration lack proper documentation; this accounts for ghost workers being paid salaries while many persons including graduates remain unemployed.
However, should birth registration be done electronically alongside fingerprints and passport photograph of Nigerians in such a way that their data becomes accessible through the internet, in similar way information is sourced through Goggle, this would help to reduce fake declaration of age by workers in government parastatals and other firms, and create room for youth employment.
Wonukwuru resides in Port Harcourt.
Enyi Thank-God Wonukwuru