Dezeen School Shows: a vineyard which focuses on minimal intervention winemaking and a regeneration project…
By Jérôme-Mario Chijioke Utomi
A recent event that characterizes the country’s education sector as an area in dire need of assistance is the current poor quality condition of primary and secondary schools in Ologbo, Ologbo, Obarentin community in the area of Ikpoba-Okha Local Government of Edo State, formerly known as the Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria Primary and Secondary School, Ologbo.
In addition to pointing out the bloody history of poor leadership, neglect and outright abandonment of responsibility by the Edo State government, the images and accompanying commentary have misdirected the attention to a real threat deserving of healthy and appropriate fear, the federal government’s prolonged inability to resolve its standoff with the Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU). It is more than anything else that the ugly awareness in school has caused confusion that portrays Edo State as a state where the leadership has drained the will of the people and is now left with a rational character weakened.
Also predictably, many rose up in strong defense of the governor; saying that blaming in the current circumstances may not be the smart thing to do; because when the verdict is pronounced on someone, it blocks the possibility of knowing who the person is and definitely creates prejudices, feelings, prejudices, and also makes the mind impermeable and closed to seeing the good sides of the person or the bad sides of the person.
For others, the governor should be excused in the meantime because when it comes to making decisions or pursuing worthwhile initiatives, leaders naturally fall victim to the trap of unexpected limitations such as insufficient funds, among others. .
For the rest, achieving sustainable development in a sector like education is a systemic thing that takes time. Therefore, the governor needs more time to perform before subjecting his performance to critical scrutiny.
Whatever the true position, the truth is that this article’s latest condemnation of Governor Obaseki’s bad leadership habit is at once natural, neutral and perceptive.
The reason is simple. Observational experience has shown that in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta region, leaders are never mentally prepared for the task of leadership. They seem to forget that the more they prepare, plan and activate the execution process, the better they succeed in the task of leadership.
Supporting the above assertion is the realization that when we spend time reflecting on how we approach leadership in Nigeria and asking important questions about how Nigerian leaders set their priorities, time and funds, it becomes easy to situate the fact that the hallmark of poor performance in Nigeria is not specific to Obaseki.
Take, for illustration, some time ago, in a particular posting, this author highlighted images of a similar shoddy state and wicked neglect of Oyoko Primary School, in Abavo in the Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Like the situation of primary and secondary schools in Ologbo, the referenced piece highlighted disturbing images that showed visibly distressed structures with fallen ceilings, windows and doors. The article ended by concluding that from the images and accompanying comments, it cannot be called an exaggeration to describe such a “scene” as deplorable, dehumanizing, disturbing, in a bad light in violation of the best international standards and, more importantly, a reality that all well-meaning Deltans, including our dear Governor, should be concerned about.
Generally speaking, there are so many reasons why this author is particularly interested in highlighting these poor courses of action/inaction chosen above all logic by the public authority to address the sector of education of the nation; their definition of the problem, the objectives to be achieved or the means chosen to solve the problems and achieve the objectives.
By analyzing each of these elements in turn, it becomes easy to understand the essential ingredients that have made great nations what they are today, as well as to answer questions about why others, such as the Nigeria, fail.
To explain this point, it is believed that the policies, plans and strategies are fundamental for the progress and development of the countries, yet, since independence, the problem of education in the country lies largely in the under -funding, paying for lip service and policy inconsistency led by several panels set up by the government to recommend measures to improve the quality of education in the country. This problem is not so much the recommendations of the various panels as their poor implementation by those responsible for doing so.
If not bad policy and bad implementation, how to explain the failure of governments to heed the budget recommendation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on education? What other expression shall we say of the education of a country where research is not sufficiently funded and yet the president has authorized hundreds of millions to replace his plates and cutlery every year? And what to expect from a Ministry of Education headed by someone who is not a pedagogue? This may not be the only explanation.
As to what to do, we must recognize two realities.
First and very fundamental, it’s like in a business where no organization can consistently grow faster than its ability to recruit enough good people to implement such growth. likewise, we must admit that with the current state of the education sector, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to develop disruptive or constructive concepts that can break established patterns of thought and provide solutions to the nagging challenges of the countries until policy makers see education as the foundation of development; that with strong educational institutions, a country is as good as made – for the institutions will produce a complete manpower to pursue the development of a hypermodern society driven by ideas, policies, programs and well thought out projects. But such a trend is clearly different here.
Second, policy makers must recognize that our children enjoy the right to education recognized by a number of international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which recognizes compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, as well as the gradual introduction of free higher education/obligation to develop equitable access to higher education.
The nation must stop playing ‘casino’ with sector funding and instead realize that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that our schools function and our children are properly educated at the right time and at a good place.
As for closing the revolving door of the country’s underdevelopment, there is an urgent need to rework the university system to meet the labor demand of the industrial sector, because a strategic consequence of this failure has made universities Nigerian and other tertiary institutions in the country continue to grow. , each year several thousand graduates that the industry does not need. This situation is compounded by the fact that there is a nation where incalculable importance is attached to the possession of academic degrees as opposed to the possession of skills necessary for self-reliance and national development.
Utomi Jerome-Mario is the Program Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA), a Lagos-based non-governmental organization (NGO). He can be contacted via [email protected]/08032725374