No country can attain the level of development and growth it desires without a considerable investment of its resources in its educational system. The condition of a country’s education system has a telling impact on its level of development. It’s not accidental that developed countries have sound and impactful educational systems, ones that aid their development and hasten their growth…
Nigeria’s education sector has been in shambles for decades. For years on end, government after government has watched with sickening insouciance the deterioration of things in such a significant sector. But it wasn’t always like this. The same sector that no longer plays the kind of role one would expect and has become an ugly shadow of itself was once a big arena of wisdom where brilliant minds like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, JP Clark, Femi Falana are forged.
The descent of our education system into a pitiful condition — as it is with every aspect of socio-economic and political life — is by design by those who have mastered the art of subjugation as a tool to hold on to power. It’s will be disingenuous to assert that there hasn’t been an effort by selfless and patriotic individuals to revive education in Nigeria, but these efforts have been scuttled by vested interests who profit from the mind-numbing dysfunction in the sector.
The dysfunction that has come to characterize education in the country has ripple effects on other parts of our life, among these far-reaching consequences is the indifference of many youths to the teaching profession. Not many people take up teaching jobs because they are passionate about it. Many you see teaching in our primary and secondary schools, especially private ones, are left with no other choice and they don’t want to be part of the national bureau of statistics (NBS) unemployment data. Even a preponderance of those who study education courses in the university is victims of their desires to get into the tertiary institution at all cost, hence settling for what is available and what they wish for.
However, things are about to change, especially as it regards enrolment of students into tertiary institutions for education courses. On Tuesday, as part of the commemoration of this year’s world teacher’s day, President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government announced that it had approved the N75,000 per semester for every student studying education in public varsities across the country.
Adamu Adamu, minister of education, who made the announcement also disclosed that students who are undergoing National Certificate in Education (NCE) programme will also get N50,000.
As part of the government effort to strengthen the teaching profession and reposition the country’s education, he averred that the federal government would collaborate with state governments to ensure those who studied education in public tertiary institutions get automatic employment upon graduation.
Despite the flak it has received for its unconvincing performance and horrible handling of other aspects of governance, this initiative to incentivize the teaching profession to attract the best brains should be commended.
This will propel many who have a passion to impact knowledge through pedagogical means but have been dissuaded by poor welfare and subhuman conditions of service to have a rethink and fulfill their dreams.
The move is a ray of home in this otherwise gloomy enclave and one can only hope it’s the beginning of a new thing for stakeholders in our education sector.
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Afolabi Hakim is a journalist, content creator and writer. He is always on the look out for ways to broaden his knowledge spectrum and Impact people's lives positively.