By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA , Lagos
The causes of rising incidences of schooling without learning in Nigeria have been outlined by a Universal Basic Education (UBE) Board chief.
According to Dr. Adamnu Jatau Noma, Director, UBE, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, the bane of qualitative education in Nigeria includes irregular government policies.
Also listed by him are improper management of funds for education sector resulting in poor provision of facilities. “If the monies said to have been put in UBE programme were actually or properly used the system would be better,” the former vice principal and inspector of primary schools in the Kuje Area Council, Abuja said in Lagos recently.
Stressing how imperative it is to properly finance education, he declared: “No nation has grown above the level of its education system.”
Noma pointed out that no state in Nigeria has the qualified teachers it needs. He therefore recommended that teachers should be properly trained.
Also identified as one of the challenges facing Nigeria’s education system are issues such as curriculum, learning environment, security, teaching without instructional materials, wrong learner perception, according to Noma.
He bemoaned the existence of deplorable infrastructure especially in public schools. “Where children in public schools learn is very bad. Learners are discouraged. Learning environment should be friendly,” he said.
The UBE chief has also observed that there is apprehension in schools nowadays. According to him, “In some schools today when a strange face arrives school premises people run away. He therefore appealed that pupils should be secured to enable them overcome fear of strangers.
On the problem of accessibility, Noma said it abnormal that there is no free and affordable education in the country, stressing that that is the reason why children loiter on the streets during school hours. ”Take schools closer to them,” he requested. “Children should not be seen on the streets during school hours.”
Noma noticed also that teachers are not proud to be identified with the profession of teaching outside the school environment.
He stated that even students are not willing to learn, and that teachers do not have the strategy to persuade students to learn.
Other impediments to effective schooling and learning, the UBE director remarked, include non-payment of teachers’ salaries and constant strikes which result in break-up of academic calendar.
He bemoaned the dying of mother tongue in Nigeria, and, therefore recommended that schools have to “teach vernacular.”
Noma warned that no matter the amount of budget allocation to education, it will not solve the nation’s educational problems. In his opinion, partnership between stakeholders – public and private sectors – is important for the development of the high standard of education that Nigerians pray for. xxx