EdTalk

Folasade Adefisayo Suggests Ways to Revive and Strengthen Public Education

Written by Akeem Alao

“The pedagogic skill needed to perform excellently in the classroom is not limited to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Teachers need to acquire the pre-classroom skills to impart knowledge to the learners” – Mrs Folasade Adefisayo.

This week’s edition of Elvis Boniface’s Education Dialogue on 103.5 Radio FM Lagos takes us through ways of reviving and strengthening public education in Nigeria.

The guest, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, carefully explained the solutions to the challenges plaguing the country’s public school system.

For the benefit of those who missed the live programme, below is the summary of the dialogue.

“It is unfortunate that most of those who develop software and programs for educational purposes are engineers who do not understand the needs of the schools, the teachers and the learners” – Elvis Boniface

The Presenter: It is a privilege to have you in the studio this evening. We hope to address some of the challenges confronting Nigeria’s public schools and proffer solutions. Our topic this week has been meticulously selected in order to reinforce our determination to ensuring that public education works in Nigeria. Ma’am, what is your reaction to the attitude of parents to public schools?

The Guest: It is unfortunate that many Nigerian parents have bad perception about public schools. These parents stand resolute that their children will never attend public schools. The irony of their attitude is that those who avoid public primary and secondary schools still end up in public universities. It is very essential for us to know that many children are in public schools. If we do not make it work, the future of this country is in jeopardy. We must work hard to make sure public education is promoted and elevated, most especially the primary education, which is the foundation.

The Presenter: Ma’am, you have identified foundation education as one of the ways to revive and strengthen public education. How best can teachers’ quality be improved?

The Guest:  The only way to improve teachers’ quality is through training. There should be significant investment in the training of teachers. Pre-classroom training is very essential.  What is being learnt at the colleges of education should be looked into. The curriculum must be evaluated. I have employed many teachers in the past. One thing I have seen in them is that the curriculum at the colleges of education is not equipping them with necessary pedagogic skills needed to perform excellently in the classroom. The curriculum cannot only concentrate on Bloom’s Taxonomy. It is important that they also know how to perform in the classroom. Teachers must possess the skills required to effectively manage different classes they find themselves. Many public schools teachers do not go for training.

The Presenter: I think in-service training is essential. However, CDP – Continuous Development Programme is unrealistic without funds. When there is no fund to train teachers, we cannot hold SUPEB responsible for not giving teachers sufficient training.  What is your reaction to that, madam?

The Guest: I do not think there are no funds as claimed by the government. It is a question of priority. One thing we should know is that the country is in a critical economic crisis. Our efforts should be channelled towards critical part of our economy. Once we get education right, a larger percentage of our problems are already solved.  Education affects every part of our life. It affects the way we do things, the way we drive on the road. People will not violate traffic rules if they are well educated. We have to train our children and socialise them appropriately.

The Presenter: Some time ago, I stumbled on your essay where you were agitating quality public education.  We can not revive public education without technology. But when technology is introduced to public education, teachers seem to see it as a very abstract intervention. Considering your role in the “edutech” programme funded by Osun State Government, what would you say about the attitude of public school teachers to technology?

The Guest: The major problem is the brain behind the technology schools are using. They do not understand what the teachers want. It is necessary they understand and work with the schools to design what is useful for the teachers.

The Presenter: What do you think are the roles of Guidance and Counseling in the schools?

The Guest: We seem not to value guidance and counseling in public schools anymore. In some states when it is difficult to pay salaries, the first set of people they lay off are their counsellors. We fail to acknowledge the roles of the counsellors in maintaining the emotional stability of the students. Students experience traumatic situations and unbelievable pressure; they need counselling to stabilize them. Besides, counsellors guide the students in their choice of career. It is just unfortunate that guidance and counseling is backward these days.

The Presenter: Madam, what roles do private organizations play in the revival of our public schools?

The Guest: Let us just leave the private organization out of this matter. It is the responsibility of the government to provide quality education.

 

Authors

About the author

Akeem Alao

Akeem Alao trained as a language teacher. He graduated from Adeniran Ogunsanya college of Education where he studied English/Yoruba Languages and Ekiti State University where he obtained a degree in English Education.

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