Nigerian children are daily faced with constraints and challenges that impede their progress. Poverty is a common phenomenon that shields the rays of light which education projects. Access to quality learning that can magnify knowledge and break the vicious cycle of penury is hard to come by. Children are becoming victims of parental negligence and abuse. A glance at the Nigerian streets shows alarming bands of hawking underage children who should be in the classrooms. These less privileged and uncared for children live at the mercy of the society. What seems unnoticeable is the class of the affluent who spend fortunes to acquire the best of education for their children. In the midst of it all laid fragments of hope and promise.
We are living in an age when education is becoming unattractive due to the rate of unemployment and lack of economic resources that promote development. This forms a reflection on the minds of most young students who resultantly turn recalcitrant and play hard-to-teach. Most students are losing their morale and keep up with the Joneses to meet the social trends. Most Nigerian students have become hardened in examination malpractice. This spreads through all the layers of our system of education.
The government’s effort seems like scratching a rock with bare fingernails. There is a lot of lopsidedness in the system. Schools are incessantly closed due to unpaid salaries of teachers. There are few or no structures and basic facilities for learning. The schools lack furniture, equipment and teaching aids. The teachers are rarely supported for further training to improve teaching and learning. However, all these do not spell doom for Nigerian students.
The way to progress begins at every home. Every parent, rich or poor, needs to be more conscious of the education of their children. Parents and children need proper orientation that can bring a change. Besides this, the government needs to maintain proper dispensation of funds and make payment of teachers’ salaries a priority. More schemes and projects should be executed in schools. The government needs to encourage training and retraining of staff in schools. There should be sufficient supply of furniture and facilities for learning. There should be more collaboration between government and private sector. Non-governmental organisations can be more vigorous in their fight against poor learning conditions of the children. Private establishments should spend more on education and reward academic excellence as they do in reality shows. The media houses should beam more light on orientation of the children and emphasize right values in their programmes. Students should begin to see pride and dignity in academic success. The government should address the menace of unemployment and create more economic empowerment avenues for the youth.
Ojo Oyeyemi J. (2017)
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