High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority

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StandPoint

High Quality Education Must Be a Priority


February 21, 2011

The Federal Government of Nigeria recently announced the appointment of vice chancellors and registrars to run nine new federal universities. Nigerians, suspicious of the government's intentions have been asking questions: Is this an attempt to silence loud opposing voices ahead of the elections? Is the president attempting to buy votes with these new institutions? Why build new universities when most of the ones that currently exist languish in criminal neglect?

Nigeria does not seem to invest in data and strategic planning, but anecdotally there would appear to be a real demand for functioning universities. It is legitimate however to question the need for additional universities when many existing universities rot in ruins.alt

Education does not seem to be a priority of this government. The chaotic election registration process has gulped over $500 million to date; the shocking equivalent of $10,000 per registrant. That amount of money would make a huge difference in the life of a Nigerian child. Our leaders would rather have an exorbitant shoddy chaotic electoral process than a well funded high quality education. Our government should reorder its priorities and put education at the very top.

A disastrous result of a decade of "democracy" has been the virtual collapse of Nigeria's educational system. Democratic institutions have given our rulers the cover to loot funds meant for the proper education of our children. What is happening to our children in their classrooms is a heinous crime. Our rulers are busily engaged in self-serving actions meant to line their own pockets. It does not matter how those actions impact or compromise the lives and fortunes of our young and vulnerable; their own children are abroad attending great schools with looted funds.

Most of Nigeria's public institutions are housed in decaying structures. And yet, the budgeted cost of building and maintaining them are more than what obtains in the West. The leaders of these institutions are busy "sharing" money that belongs to children. The result has been devastating; many graduates of Nigerian universities express themselves poorly; there are lawyers that cannot write a simple brief; and engineers who would not recognize a bridge if one fell on them.

We call upon our student union leaders, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and civil society to wake up and ask hard questions in the name of all our children: What will it cost to renovate and modernize our schools?; Is there a modernization schedule? What is the accreditation process for schools? Is the curriculum rightly structured to address the immediate and long-term needs of the country? What about the taboo subject of teacher accountability? Shouldn't the teachers and lecturers who instruct our young ones be accountable to them, and shouldn't students contribute to the process of evaluating the performance of their instructors? In effect, is there a strategic plan for education at the local, state and national levels?

It is okay to build new schools, there is also the need to maintain and sustain the existing ones. Our children, not goats, are in those classrooms.



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Re: High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority
Iyke posted on 02-21-2011, 23:19:48 PM
alt

StandPoint


High Quality Education Must Be a Priority




February 21, 2011




The Federal Government of Nigeria recently announced the appointment of vice chancellors and registrars to run nine new federal universities. Nigerians, suspicious of the government's intentions have been asking questions: Is this an attempt to silence loud opposing voices ahead of the elections? Is the president attempting to buy votes with these new institutions? Why build new universities when most of the ones that currently exist languish in criminal neglect?


Nigeria does not seem to invest in data and strategic planning, but anecdotally there would appear to be a real demand for functioning universities. It is legitimate however to question the need for additional universities when many existing universities rot in ruins.alt


Education does not seem to be a priority of this government. The chaotic election registration process has gulped over $500 million to date; the shocking equivalent of $10,000 per registrant. That amount of money would make a huge difference in the life of a Nigerian child. Our leaders would rather have an exorbitant shoddy chaotic electoral process than a well funded high quality education. Our government should reorder its priorities and put education at the very top.


A disastrous result of a decade of "democracy" has been the virtual collapse of Nigeria's educational system. Democratic institutions have given our rulers the cover to loot funds meant for the proper education of our children. What is happening to our children in their classrooms is a heinous crime. Our rulers are busily engaged in self-serving actions meant to line their own pockets. It does not matter how those actions impact or compromise the lives and fortunes of our young and vulnerable; their own children are abroad attending great schools with looted funds.


Most of Nigeria's public institutions are housed in decaying structures. And yet, the budgeted cost of building and maintaining them are more than what obtains in the West. The leaders of these institutions are busy "sharing" money that belongs to children. The result has been devastating; many graduates of Nigerian universities express themselves poorly; there are lawyers that cannot write a simple brief; and engineers who would not recognize a bridge if one fell on them.


We call upon our student union leaders, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and civil society to wake up and ask hard questions in the name of all our children: What will it cost to renovate and modernize our schools?; Is there a modernization schedule? What is the accreditation process for schools? Is the curriculum rightly structured to address the immediate and long-term needs of the country? What about the taboo subject of teacher accountability? Shouldn't the teachers and lecturers who instruct our young ones be accountable to them, and shouldn't students contribute to the process of evaluating the performance of their instructors? In effect, is there a strategic plan for education at the local, state and national levels?


It is okay to build new schools, there is also the need to maintain and sustain the existing ones. Our children, not goats, are in those classrooms.




..Read the full article
Re: High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority
Chi2 posted on 02-22-2011, 01:40:17 AM
After reading the NVS standpoint one would assert that we produce lots of glorified illiterates. It's not from the truth. Our children should be stimulated to read right from elementary schools.

Apart from employing the best and most dedicated teachers to deliver knowledge from elementary to University level, I would further submit that Nigeria, with its oil wealth, should, as a matter of priority deliver well equipped library structures not only to all the community councils in Nigeria, but also to elementary and secondary schools, where they are at present, lacking. I mean libraries equipped with kids books, computers, reference books, daily newspapers, magazines, etc.

The off-shore recovery of ill-gotten deposits by the EFCC could be diverted to infrastructural rehabilitation of our educational system.

There seems to be a dearth of reading amongst Nigeria students due to lack of motivation. Establishment of libraries could reverse the trend. Students who do well are mostly those who don't depend solely on their teachers but engage in extra reading.

Bravo, NVS for presenting your standpoint on "high quality education."

Chi2
Re: High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority
Naijax posted on 02-22-2011, 11:54:53 AM
Good Point NVS. No to additonal nine universities when the existing ones are suffering.
Re: High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority
ComradeX posted on 02-23-2011, 09:04:34 AM
QUOTE:
Most of Nigeria's public institutions are housed in decaying structures. And yet, the budgeted cost of building and maintaining them are more than what obtains in the West. The leaders of these institutions are busy \"sharing\" money that belongs to children. The result has been devastating; many graduates of Nigerian universities express themselves poorly; there are lawyers that cannot write a simple brief; and engineers who would not recognize a bridge if one fell on them.


Thanks for bringing focus to bear on this glaring contradiction.
The funny thing is, right after the FGN went to town with this announcement, we are informed by no less a figure than the minister of education about the inaguration of a review panel tasked with looking into the state of current universities!
Talk about putting the cart before the horse.



QUOTE:
Government begins assessment of federal universities
As part of efforts to ensure that the nation's universities deliver on their mandates, the federal government, yesterday inaugurated high powered delegations as visitation panels to all federal universities to assess the education system between the year 2005-2010.
The panels which were inaugurated by the Minister of Education, Ruqqayatu Rufai are to carry-out the assignment within four weeks where they will also be required to inquire into the level of implementation of the white paper on the last visitation report carried out in 2004.
Mrs. Rufai stated that \"the mandates of the universities encompass the triple responsibilities of teaching, research and community service,\" adding that \"it is within the context of these mandates that the nation appraises the contribution of the institutions to national development. The products of the system are making remarkable strides in terms of manpower development, research and development as well as the acknowledged national and international service to humanity with spectacular measurable outcome. In spite of these achievements the challenges of providing internationally comparable education to Nigeria citizenry, provide world class research infrastructure to build and sustain national research culture have remained undaunting.\" This informed the need to visit and assess performance of the universities by the delegation. The members of the panel will also be required to look into the financial management of each institution, including their statutory allocations and internally generated revenue as well as examine some of the laws establishing the universities.
The minister shortly before inaugurating the panel, said the visit became necessary to enable the federal government take another cursory look at the entire educational sector, noting that a good number of the institutions are still being bedevilled by various forms of crisis such as cultism, internal bickering,
perennial strikes and falling academic quality.
\"This, no doubt, has manifested in the low global ranking of our Universities. Nigeria , like many other developing countries is a nation in a hurry to develop. This desire and determination is coming at a time when the dynamics of global development are not in favour of weak nations.
Nichola Damachi, permanent secretary of the ministry of education remarked that quality of education is a major issue that is not yet addressed adequately and that the exercise will provide required input that will foster quality of education in Nigeria. - http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Home...2-146/story.csp

nullAs part of efforts to ensure that the nation's universities deliver on their mandates, the federal government, yesterday inaugurated high powered delegations as visitation panels to all federal universities to assess the education system between the year 2005-2010nullGovernment begins assessment of federal universitiesGovernment begins assessment of federal universities
Re: High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority
Dapxin posted on 02-25-2011, 09:45:50 AM
^

So is anyone in Abuja actually listening ? /smh.

We are in deep freeze.....
Re: High Quality Education Must Be Top Priority
Dunamis posted on 02-28-2011, 03:05:37 AM
Don't you ust wish that them in Abuja will listen! Knowing that the deacy in Education predates your 'nascent' democracy, where on God's good earth do you expect those in authority to have have found the wherewithal to make the right decisions much less formulate and implement decent policies.

Th usual culprits are still prancing about feigning expertise in education while the rest of us look on in awe of their doctorate degrees not worth the paper they are written on.

The private sector has been trying to salvage what they can of the system but even they are challenged as they have to fish in the same putrid waters for teachers, most of whom are untrainable. Not that much attempt has been made to train them!

If you love your progeny, buy them some private education and if those achieve a critical mass at some point in the future, maybe they can be fed into the decrepit public administration system and hopefully rejuvenate it. But that is way way off in a very distant and dicey future!
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