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Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Future of the Nigerian Child

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When I wrote my first blog post on my other blog on the 29th of May this year, the same day President Jonathan was sworn into office, it was borne out of my passion for education. On that day, I was keen to hear what his plans were for education but the whole speech said little to give me any real hope and it left me feeling frustrated. But I wanted to channel that frustration into something constructive and that was where my writer's instinct kicked in. I followed my instincts and decided to express my disappointment at the same time proffer some solutions.

That was how I started my first blog, Education that works for Nigeria. Some of my followers here may have visited it but if you haven't, could I enjoin you to please visit, read my views, follow if you can and as always I welcome your thoughts on what I believe is the way forward. My focus this week is about the Nigerian child and what future awaits her. Judging by what I perceive as a lack of vision in how the sector is being managed, I fear the life chances of the Nigerian child is once again put at a disadvantage. As I wrote last week on my other blog, I want to share with you here my views on the proposed 'new' system of education in Nigeria.

I read with utter amazement that the Federal Government has apparently announced plans to ditch the new 9-3-4 system of education and revert to the old system of 6-3-3-4. However, from what I understand it will come in a slightly modified version called 1-6-3-3-4. In simple terms, the 'new' system will just have an Early years element to it. It's amazing that it's taken our politicians and technocrats over 50 years to suddenly realise that early years education should become policy. However, we never fall short of coming up with bucket loads of policies but what has always being lacking is the political will, lack of funding or should I say its misapplication.

As an educationist and teacher myself, education is a very expensive business and changes in policy even cost more in terms of planning for it to have any impact in the classroom. However, judging by our dreadful record in policy implementation, I fear this may yet become another wild-goose chase which sadly has turned our educational system into the shambles it has become over the years. There's no doubt, systems can always be improved but I do not think our current system of education is really the issue. The real issues are to do with poor infrastructure in schools, poorly trained and inadequate teachers which have grave implications for teaching and learning. And to make matters worse, they need a 30-man committee to implement this 'new' system. Educational policies are implemented by teachers via civil servants through local educational authorities and not by politicians and technocrats.

Sometimes I wonder why we choose to do things differently in Nigeria and ignoring what seems to be the obvious. Who stands to gain from this new policy? Is it the politicians or the average Nigerian child? I'm definitely sure it's not the latter but I'll leave you to make your minds up. What I do know is that sadly the Nigerian child will continue to pay the price for the incompetence, corruption, mismanagement or whatever name you choose to call it that goes on at the very top.


  1. It's really depressing the way government handled education issues in Nigeria. When I read news of results from secondary school, or about half baked graduates, I want to weep. God help us.

    BTW, you won the giveaway on my blog. Thanks for taking part.

  2. I don't think the government suffers from a lack of knowledge of what to do, as much as a lack of desire to do anything. The people in government are simply not bothered by the state of education in the country because they have their own children in either private schools in Nigeria or in various schools overseas. And unfortunately, I think the average Nigerian has taken a cue from them and is striving to continue this trend. Why should they put out the fire that is burning at home when their family and property are not anywhere near the fire? In my opinion, the future of Nigeria's education lies in the impact that private individuals can make in the public sector and I think we have our work cut out for us.

  3. This is quite worrying. Sounds like Naija govt is playing Las gidi roulette with the future of Nigerian Children. Really sad!

  4. @Myne, The Relentless Builder, Adura Ojo, thanks for sharing your sentiments on what is rather a serious national issue. Even though we have a non-listening government.



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