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Fixing the Educational System in Nigeria (Winning essay for the Write4Change competition

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By Ogbaga Sunday (Winner, Write4Change Competition)
Introduction
“It is not education that will save us but education of a certain kind” David Orr
It is a proven fact that education does more than meet the literacy needs of mankind. It enhances human empowerment, promotes peace, reduces poverty, improves health, and boosts economic growth among others. Ironically, despite the ineffable number of educational institutions in Nigeria, and the ever teaming number of people engaged in schools, yet, mass illiteracy, extreme poverty, unemployment, conflicts, heath challenges, economic glitches and inequality are commonplace. It is, therefore, indubitable that the modus operandi of Nigeria educational system is ineffective and unproductive. Hence, the need to fix the system is paramount if Nigeria is to rake the good fortunes of education.
The problems bedeviling Nigeria educational system are many but let’s briefly examine the most critical ones. First up, Nigeria operates theory-based education system which has reduced schools in the country to a mere place of churning out scholars who were never trained on how to practically use their talents and skills to create value and solve societal problems. The system creates no room for innovation and inextricably kills creativity—a factor responsible for the country’s highest number of unemployed graduates in the whole of Africa. Another back-breaking problem confronting the system is poor funding. Poor funding has led to “lack of infrastructural facilities, teaching facilities, instructional materials and equipments for running some science-based courses, ill-equipped libraries, and insufficient lecture rooms” (Idris, 2013).

Nonetheless, the scourge of corruption and ethical decadence is also another canker worm that have eaten deep into the nooks and crannies of the system. Exam malpractices, bribery, extortion, cultism, embezzlement of school funds among other unruly behaviors are equally bustling in the system.

How can this kind of education groom citizens that are skillful and mentally well-adjusted? Impossible! To sustainably efface these menaces, the following recommendations are paramount: • School curriculum should be revised to place great emphasis on the acquisition of practical skills in applied science, engineering technology and e-commerce. • The educational sector should be properly funded. This will enable it upgrade the dilapidated infrastructures, improve students’ support services, procure adequate and sound academic personnel, retrain the existing ones and remunerate them appropriately. • The Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other concerned institutions should thoroughly checkmate the menaces of corruption and ethical decadence in Nigeria educational system. • Nigeria should critically study and emulate the modus operandi of other advanced countries such as US, Canada, UK, China, etc, that have marvelously developed their educational system. In conclusion, I strongly believe that for Nigeria to realize her dream of having civilized citizens cum a strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy, the skills and knowledge of its people must be adequately developed and harnessed through the provision of quality and responsive education. Therefore, the Nigerian government and stakeholders should make concerted efforts towards effecting changes capable of sanitizing and making the country’s educational system much better.

Bibliography
Abiola Solanke, “Nigeria’s Unemployable Graduates” Retrieved 22nd January, 2019 from http://www.punchng.com/opinion/nigerias-unemployable-graduates/

Idris A. (2013). Does the Nigerian education system prepare students for the work environment? First prize winner, 2013 Naija Writers Coach Essay Competition

Ihejirika J.C.(2013) “predisposing factors to life on the streets: the case of out-of-school children in Nigeria” Retrieved 5th February, 2019 from http://www.erint.savap.org.pk/PDF/Vol.1(1)/ERInt.2013(1.1-10).pdf
Ebegbulem, S. (2013) “Teacher can’t read own certificate” Vanguard online newspaper. Retrieved 5th March, 2019 http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/08/drama-in-edo-asteacher-cant-read-own-certificate/

Famade, O.A., Omiyale, G.T. & Adebola, Y.A, (2015). “Towards improved funding of tertiary institutions in Nigeria” Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (AJHSS). Vol.3(2). Available at http://ajhss.org/pdfs/Vol3Issue2/5.pdf

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