Nigeria education sector: Challenges and need for total overhaul

Mass failure in WAEC Examination in Nigeria, Causes of Mass failure of Nigeria students in ExaminationsThe recently released WAEC results recorded 69% mass failure throughout the federation. Stakeholders in the education sector have attributed the mass failure of students to power supply, social media, incompetent teachers, outdated school curriculum, dilapidated infrastructures, poor funding etc.

The executive secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Dikko Suleiman, attributed the mass failure of the recently released WAEC results to incompetent teachers engaged at both primary and secondary schools across the federation. A video showing a primary school teacher of 20 years in service in Edo state who couldn’t read her certificate and also some other teachers who couldn’t write or speak good English went viral last year; such case is not only predominant to Edo state but a common phenomenon throughout the federation. How will a teacher that can’t read or speak good English be able to communicate his/her subjects to students or update his/her knowledge on any subject? What foundations will such fellow lay for kids to build on with regards to learning?
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The time spent on the social media by students has also been highlighted as a factor that contributed to the mass failure of the recently released WAEC results through distracting them from reading their books. While it is believed that students spend most times surfing the internet for entertainment and gossip news, the internet is also full of “valuable materials” that can be engaged for learning. There are on-site coaching platforms like cousera.org, UoPeople.org, Alison.com, collegezagaleta.com etc from which people can get degrees for no fee on which careers can be built (mathematics, entrepreneurship, creative writing, history, physics, commerce, computer science, law, music, health science, etc); these sites when engaged for learning can also assist students in improving their knowledge on almost any subject. If the time spent on the internet can be used judiciously by feeding on “valuable materials”, it will help improve the students’ knowledge on any subject thereby improving their academic performance rather than the time spent on the internet being listed as a cause of poor academic performance of students.

With headlines like; the youngest billionaire in the world, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, is a school dropout; the second richest person in the world (Bill Gates) is also a school dropout; the incumbent president of South Africa never attended school etc. These are headlines most students chants while relenting in their efforts to study and also cling to statement like; “after all the movers and shakers of the world get famous or wealthy without completing school and why should they stress themselves to finish school or pass exams?” It is actually true that passing exams or finishing school doesn’t guarantee one wealth in life likewise; being a school dropout or not attending higher institution doesn’t translate to “not learning”. School is meant to create a pattern in people to constantly learn, while learning goes beyond the four walls of school. While Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and the second richest man in the world are both school dropouts, they know their onions with regards to computer programming and founded their organisations through the knowledge garnered from computer programming. The difference between these successful people and the “common man” is how they utilised their knowledge. Being thirsty for knowledge and seeing it beyond school will not only improve academic performance of students but will also give way to ground breaking ideas…

The dilapidated state of school infrastructures also makes it hard for students to learn. At the end of the day, all stakeholders in the education sector: governments, teachers, students, parents, etc, all have crucial roles to play in improving the academic performance of students. Parents at the home front also have a role to play by imbibing the reading culture in kids at an early age while the government needs to provide adequate funding for the education sector and ensure competent teachers are those employed in schools. To the students; you can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room. — Dr. Seus

Written by Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuff is a Construction Technologist by profession, writer and an advocate by passion, she volunteers with Slum to School Africa, a task force member of the Rabat-Conakry commitment, and a Climate Tracker for the adopt a negotiator programme who blogs on foreign policy, politics, and current affairs from her twitter handle(@saymamaa).

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About Safriat Yussuf

Safriat Yussuff is a Construction Technologist by profession, writer and an advocate by passion, she volunteers with Slum to School Africa, a task force member of the Rabat-Conakry commitment, and a Climate Tracker for the adopt a negotiator programme who blogs on foreign policy, politics, and current affairs from her twitter handle(@saymamaa).

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