I found myself staying home all day today because I didn’t want to experience the traffic wahala all over Lagos. At least I was able to do some quality work at home alone.
But it wasn’t all rosy. I stumbled on one of these local TV soaps where a father was teaching his daughter that the capital of Hungary is Helsinki while that of Canada is Toronto! I almost had a heart attack – the last time I checked, Helsinki was the capital of Finland while Budapest held sway in Hungary and Ottawa in Canada.
My question is if the writer or producer got it wrong, doesn’t the actor know it too to correct the errors? Anyway, like they say, you can’t pass on what you don’t have. Our children and grand children are in deep trouble.
It doesn’t look like the scrapping of History we heard of is the only problem with our education system. Geography seems to have also copped it! Kids used to reel out world captals, longest rivers and highest mountains right from primary school.
Whatever happened to the rhymes we used to sing those days to remind us of the longest rivers in Africa? “Nile, Niger, Senegal, Congo, Orange, Limpopo, Zambezi” was how we used to sing it those days.
I hear the curriculum the government is implemented in the schools is even confusing the stakeholders in the sector. It’s easy to say these problems are more pronounced in public schools. But are our graduates from private schools any better? Aside from the fact that they charge very high fees, do they have better teachers? Are they better paid? Do the children come out with better morals?
To get into government colleges those days was a Herculean task because of the competition as those schools were thought to be the best of the lot. That doesn’t seem to be the case today. Some of their classrooms are as squalid as those of public primary schools and their teachers do not seem to be the quality we had then.
Some of the presidential candidates are already touting free education at all levels as part of their campaign promises in order to win votes. Should we be more concerned about free this and that as against quality stuff? How about better funding for education? Regular payment of salaries of teachers to motivate them and prevent them from engaging in buying and selling to make ends meet?
The future of our children is at stake. Let us hold people to their promises now and ensure we provide the best learning environment and infrastructure for coming generations.
Our education sector deserves better to ensure that the future is brighter than it is now.
Photo credit: Infoguide Nigeria