Education has been described as the door to any national development by some. For education to be effective, the learners need to acquire knowledge, think clearly, develop skills, act effectively and adopt values.
The educational system in Nigeria is in dire need of a systemic overhaul. The entire educational curriculum should be reviewed right from the kindergarten to the tertiary level. The kind of education required for this era is one that should prepare and empower students starting from the primary level for the future of work as only an informed and empowered populace can act responsibly.
The curriculum needs to take into cognisance the importance of vocational and technical education as well as the use of more indigenous methods in our educational system. The curriculum should be made less theoretical and more practical in nature to drive home learnings.
We need to develop more relatable teaching contents as opposed to abstracts and teachings imported from the West. Most developed countries focus on building the vocational capacity of their citizens to ensure that they have the required manpower to develop their economy.
In creating a new framework, the current problems faced by the country should inform the system of education and modes of learning. The new system should encourage alternative learning methods with less focus on acquiring certificates and focused more on skills acquisition and development, both soft and technical skills. Learnings should be project based, hands-on and experiential.
Certainly, Nigerians are brilliant people as we excel wherever we go, and it’s evident when we see the list of top flying students graduating from schools abroad and Nigerians ranking among the best students. This can be attributed to the fact that they are experiencing what they are learning in real time which helps them perform excellently. Some of the courses taught in our schools have no relevance with our reality and should hence be switched to learnings which are applicable for the current era.
The curriculum being used in our schools at the moment is obsolete, teachers have been using the same lesson notes that were handed over to them and their own teachers. Repeating the same continuous assessments year after year. We should optimize for a curriculum that actually improves and impacts the various aspects of our society and economy.
Other developed and developing countries are embedding within their curriculum elements that teaches and empowers their students to gain lifelong skills. We need an education sector that teaches students how to translate what they are being taught in the classrooms to real world situations thereby bringing about innovations that can improve the economy of our country.
The quality of teachers also needs to be improved on. The need to have qualified teachers cannot be overemphasised. Continuous training and retraining of teachers is very important for the teachers to ensure that they are able to effectively improve the learning experience and impact their students. An educational system that fails to impact positively on its beneficiaries might have succeeded in making people literate but failed in educating them.
It is not only imperative but has become a matter of urgency that we ensure a paradigm shift occurs in our teaching and learning methods if we want to attain true development in Nigeria.
Be a Voice for Education: Join our Education Voices Network to contribute to the conversation by publishing your opinion. SIGN UP here.