Nigerian education has been experiencing a geometric setback since the past two decades. And its pathetic situation has always been an issue of discuss over the years. Some of the challenges in the sector are here discussed.
The problem is no longer unavailability of teachers but that of instability. Due to the poor earnings of teachers, many people use teaching profession as a stepping stone to a more attractive job. This has made teaching a profession of fresh graduates of universities and colleges of education, who are ready to quit the job as soon as they get a better offer.
As a result of the meager payment, most Nigerian teachers do have other jobs which they give more concentration to. And this, no doubt, affects their effectiveness in teaching. Imagine a secondary school teacher also working as a taxi driver during or after school hours.
Classes are always over crowded with up to ninety students in a class designed for about thirty students. In most cases, especially in public secondary schools, chairs are not enough. Students will be sharing seats and some would stand to receive lectures.
Politicization of the education system
In their desire to compete with others, governments at all levels, especially at the state level, attempt to run many institutions even when they are least prepared for such. This causes the general fall in standard of the initially existing ones. Resources to be shared between few schools are now being shared among many.
Inadequate learning equipment
Nigerian schools at all levels are lacking the essential materials for learning, especially for science practical classes. This, no doubt, affects the learning process.
Most secondary schools lack science materials, and those that claim to have are managing the old ones. Hence, the students only cram theoretical steps rather than carrying out the practical.
At the tertiary level, the polytechnics which are expected to do more practical are all having little or no practical classes.
Also, many school and colleges have building that they call library, but most of these so called libraries are not equipped with needed books, journals and magazines
Solutions to the problems
- Firstly, most of the problems boil down on lack of funding of the sector. There should be a proper budgetary allocation for the sector. Funds should be channeled to each institution and proper managing of the funds must be ensured by the government.
- Teachers’ salary should be more attractive and paid regularly, so as to build the interest of brilliant and promising students in the profession. Teaching should not be seen only as a job chosen when there is no option.
- The regulatory bodies in charge should ensure that the syllabuses are strictly followed and the school curriculum must be well implemented.
- Critics have argued that, one of the causes of the non caring attitudes of the Government on education is the existence of double standard. Most people in Government would have their own children in the few private schools where standard education is ensured. Thus, making the government not to care about the masses.
- It is advised that all school should have the same standard and policy for the general interest of the masses.