Ambassador Mrs. Regina Inem is an educational consultant. She shares her views on the current state of education sector in the country in this interview with EFE AGHALOKPE. Excerpts:
As an educational consultant, how will you rate Nigeria’s the educational system?
On a scale of 1-5, 5 highest and 1 lowest, I will score our educational system. Reasons: We have improvements in the system examples: The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB has gone digital in their examination/admission process, TRCN has made it compulsory for all teachers to be registered with them and NECO yearly improvements in the examination/result release. Having mentioned their improvements, a lot still needs to be done. Curriculum needs to be improved upon, critical thinking skills, creative and problem solving skills should be embedded. The lack of these skills is why our graduates are unemployable and cannot become entrepreneurs.
What are the changes you desire to see in the educational system?
I desire to see increase in the budget/ finance of the educational sector; regular appraisal of what is working and what has failed and conscious efforts to improve. De-politicizing of our educational sector is important. Inconsistency in policies/implementations: we should decide which educational system/ structure we want to adopt and fully implement those and improve on it yearly. Presently, we are confused.
Do you think it’s the right thing for Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State to sack 22000 teachers?
On the proposed sack of these teachers, I would say, it is not wise to sack all of them. They could be retrained. Those that can be reformed should be given the opportunity to succeed. What is the guarantee that the new ones they will employ will be any better? The teaching profession is flooded with accidental teachers. Our colleges of education and faculty of education need to be updated to embrace best practices. I invested on myself by travelling out of this country to be trained and re-trained, took online courses to acquire the skills I acquired in the profession. I will advise the governor not to sack but help them succeed as teachers by training them. These are my thoughts.
How will you rate activities of this current administration in improving the welfare of the citizens?
Who is the government, we are all the government. I will ask, as Nigerian’s are we all taking positive steps in ensuring we all live by example? Disregard for the teaching profession/educators: Check all great nations of the world for example Germany, Singapore, Finland to name a few, gives great priority to the quality of their teachers, funding, training etc that is why they are successful. Nigeria should learn from them.
Do you think Nigerian youth are on the right track?
Today’s youth are in trouble. Many are not equipped to take up the mantle of leadership, This generation of parents we have, have failed as parents. Many are absentee parents, the youth can’t even think and make decisions effectively on their own because the nanny, driver, their teachers do everything for them. The parents pay for special centres for GCE/WAEC./NECO, bribes for admission to be given to their children. Nigeria will be in trouble if we fail to readdress our priority and help our youth. This is one the reason, I reach out to this generation of parents, students and youth.
For a better society