Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
A Director at National Education Academy and Senior Lecturer, National Open University of Nigeria, Professor Adams Agahiu, has called on the Federal Government to immediately declare state of emergency in Nigeria’s education sector owing to infrastructural decay and academic regression among students.
Speaking at a media interaction to sensitize government on the challenges of Nigerian education, Professor Agahiu explained that the decay in both infrastructure and education has gotten to an alarming rate, to the point where the Federal government must urgently intervene to arrest the ugly trends.
He pointed out the high level of indiscipline and mediocrity in teachers and students of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria, saying “Indiscipline on the part of students has made them more lazy and unable to read.
“Reading culture among Nigerian students is now nightmarish owing to the availability of smart phones and internet and all these encourage examination malpractices, cultism and other vices among students,” Professor Adams Agahiu said.
“The standard of Nigerian education in the early 1960s has dropped to zero level,” he observed.
“In those days in my nativity in Ofu – Idah, Kogi State, headquarters of Kogi Central Senatorial district, with nine local governments, education was at its best”.
“We were under Benue State government and students strived hard to read with lanterns in order to pass their examinations. I spent about five years as Headmaster in Anyigba, Ankpa and Principal in Ajekalaga Semene Secondary School before leaving for the US to further my studies and lectured for over 26 years in New York City. Unfortunately, the growth and values we witnessed in the education sector before travelling abroad were no longer feasible.”
While comparing education in United States of America with Nigeria, Professor Agahiu added: “The standards of education in both countries are wide. When I worked in Nigeria as a teacher in those days, I discovered, we lacked many qualified teachers as only few teachers were trained.
“But in the US, you cannot teach in any school without proper certification”.
“Again, you cannot be late to school like the lackadaisical attitudes exhibited by many academic administrators, teachers, lecturers and students, without being punished.
“Teaching abroad is smooth because they pay wages as at when due, but you must work to their satisfaction or lose your job. Therefore, Nigerian government should replicate such discipline in our schools to instil discipline in the teachers and students. Education must be student-centred because teachers must always impact knowledge and morals in their students not the other way round.”
He advised government to fund the education sector properly, pay teachers handsomely as at when due so that they could focus more on their jobs.
“A situation whereby teachers have to run around to source for extra funds to feed their families often create gap of indiscipline and this makes the students to do whatever they like without being attended to,” he said.
Professor Agahiu advised the Kogi State government to build education academies like those in the United States of America to help keep students more focused on their studies which, according to him, would end examination malpractices, drugs addiction among our students and other vices.
“My priority would be to help the state build a solid academy and use my links from the US to fund the project. With this, we would be able to put our education right at home and this would serve as a role model for educational standards in Nigeria,” he said.