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    "EDUCATING THE EDUCATIONISTS" - Ajayi Joshua Morakinyo

    This is a sponsored post. 

    “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education;
    all politics can do is keep us out of war.”
    (Maria Montessori)

    “The first man ever created never knew wisdom completely, and the last person on earth will be no more successful. The possibilities of Wisdom are vaster than the ocean; her resources are more profound than the deepest waters beneath the earth.

    As for me, I thought of myself as an irrigation canal bringing water from a river in a garden. I only intended to water my orchard and flower beds, but the canal soon became a river, and the river became a sea. And so I present you with my learning; I hold it high, so that its light can be seen everywhere, like that of the rising sun.

    Like an inspired prophet, I pour out my teachings, so that future generations can benefit from them. Please realize that I have not done all this hard work for myself alone, but to help anyone who wants to be wise (culled from Apocrypha: Sirach 24:28-34).”

    When I strolled through history lane, I discovered that education in Nigeria has been fettered and heavily laden by political jingoists. Our National Policy on Education (NPE) had been written and re-written six times. The editions are as follows:

    1st edition; released 40 years ago in 1977,
    2nd edition; released 36 years ago in 1981,
    3rd edition; released 19 years ago in 1998,
    4th edition; released 13 years ago in 2004,
    5th edition; released 9 years ago in 2008,
    6th edition; released 4 years ago in 2013.

    Just imagine! A politician would gain power today, discard the current program tomorrow when it hasn’t even been tested for Dynamism, Objectivity, Practicability, Reliability and Validity and finally install his own political madness a day after into our national system.

    Alas! These political monsters have strategically installed corruption into our system to such an extent in which if we are to terminate all corrupt persons from our land, almost all Nigerians would be gone. No wonder Umezurike (1981) said, “If there is anything in which we have become experts in this country, it is our propensity to bungle the implementation of policies.”

     Our curriculum is growing fatter every now and then in the name of trying to meet up with the rest of the world when our primary school pupils barely know what instructional materials are. Our secondary school students stare at them because they lacked background knowledge and students from tertiary institutions would probably wreck havoc with theirs since they rarely have the opportunity of making such mistakes in their practical classes.

    The most annoying part of this whole thing is that these political cretins know exactly what they are doing and it can be found in the statement which was made about 27 years ago by Solarin (1989), that, “For almost 30 years (now 57 years) of independence, we have refused to send all our children to school because education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to ride; easy to govern but impossible to enslave.”

    Based on this ground, I strongly disagree to agree that anyone would disagree that there is at least a need to “Educate the Educationists”. (If this need is not met and rectified, then the situation in our dear country is like a time-bomb which is not motion sensitive yet going somewhere to explode…B-o-o-m!)

    In my own Surveillance, the Educationists have slept for too long; it’s time to wake up and get to work. They are the drivers whose job is to drive the passengers (The Students) to their desired destination in a vehicle called Education through the road called curriculum. It is well said that, “No state, country or nation can grow, develop or improve beyond the quality of her teachers.”

    Does that mean that Nigeria has no quality teachers? She has very many of them! But why aren’t they producing the desired result? Why is Education in Nigeria losing its virtue to such a point that it is almost impossible to bring it back to the limelight? Why is it a thing of the past; that people go to school to get Education? But currently, people want to go to school to get short cut which is cutting us short?

    Why were ancient teachers sought for even by the leaders (Kings) of their time but the current ones only exist like “Solomon Grunday; who was born on Monday; Christened on Tuesday; Married on Wednesday; Taken ill on Thursday; Worse on Friday; Died on Saturday; Buried on Sunday and that was the end of his story”? This list could go on and on but due to time constrain, I would like to examine what I felt our Educationists should take note of for us to revive education in Nigeria.

    The doctors must go by their Manual if they want to treat their patients and get the desired result. The Lawyers and Judges must go by their Manual if they want to defend and judge a case and get the desired result. The Mechanics must also follow due process if they want to get their desired result which is also in their Manual.

    The Pastors must follow their Manual if they want the best result. The Pilots must go by their Manual if they really want to takeoff and land well. The Divers must abide by their Manual if they don’t want to be buried in the sea. It goes on and on in other professions too except one which I know; “TEACHING PROFESSION”.

     The Educationists are no longer going by their own Manual. Hence, Education is losing its saltiness and our dear country (Nigeria) is decaying. They are only paying attention to Curriculum content;
    Teaching methods;
    Teachers’ inducement and salary (all of which are also fine and very necessary for effective teaching-learning process).

    Alas, they have neglected THE NATIONAL POLICY ON EDUCATION!!! Could they have forgotten that, “If the foundations are destroyed, the righteous could do nothing! (Psalm 11:3…Paraphrased)?” Let’s examine some serious and very important programs in our National Policy on Education which are yet to be effectively implemented and the money that would probably suffice to implement these programs is being wasted in paying some scalar quantities to alter the untested programs, rename the National Policy on Education as “Revised Edition”, put the year they want their foolishness to be publicized and then publish it (Political donkeys!).

    In our National Policy on Education (2004):
    Section 4, Paragraph 19, Sub-sections e, f and g state that, “The medium of instruction in the primary school shall be the language of the environment for the first three years. During this period, English shall be taught as a subject. From the fourth year, English shall progressively be used as a medium of instruction and the language of immediate environment and French shall be taught as subjects. For effective teaching and learning, the teacher-pupil ratio shall be 1:35.”

    On page 17, Section 5, Paragraph 27, states that, “Government shall regulate the establishment of schools, supervise and inspect schools regularly and ensure that all schools follow appropriate curricula and ‘conform to the National Policy on Education’. The teacher – pupil ratio at this level of education shall be 1:40.” The level here is referring to secondary education.

    Section 7, Paragraph 43, Sub-section c, states that, “For effective participation of students in practical work, the teacher – students ratio shall be kept at 1:20.” This section is referring to Science, technical and vocational education.
    Section 10, under the Aims and Objectives of Special Education, Paragraph 96, sub-section c, Roman figure (VI), states that, “The teacher – pupil ratio in special schools shall be 1:10.”

    Section 11, Paragraph 101, Sub-sections g and j, state that, “State and local governments shall establish public libraries and actively promote readership in the use of authority. In view of the apparent ignorance of many young people about career prospects, and in view of personality maladjustment among school children, career officers and counselors shall be appointed in post-primary institutions…”

    Section 13, paragraph 121, states that, “Government’s ultimate goal is to make education free at all levels…”

    Thorns in my Flesh
    If I may ask, when will our pupils in primaries 1-3 begin to learn using the language of the immediate environment? Or when are we going to restart? Because Babatunde Aliu Fafunwa implemented it in Osun State; Ife to be precise and it was a success story. In 1985, the Oyo State Government decided to follow this pattern. By 1988, ten other states used some of the published books that were used in Osun State.

    Historical Foundations of Education made us to understand that some of the non-Yoruba speaking states also translated the Ife materials, particularly Science and Mathematics into their own mother tongues. Between 1990 and 1992, with the encouragement and active support of the Federal Government, spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Education, various scholars, groups and institutions produced orthographies for over twenty-five Nigerian languages. Where has this “No retreat, no surrender” fighting spirit gone? Oh God of creation! We are tired of the countless number of Professor this and Professor that whose impact we aren’t feeling in our dear country. Please raise amongst us and for us another agent of positive metamorphosis in education like Babs (The first Professor of Education in Nigeria).

    Some educationists don’t even know if we have a National Policy on Education. So, can someone please tell me; how will they agitate for what they don’t even know exists? One of the original plans for designing our National Policy on Education was to follow a well planned developmental process based on Epigenetic Principle but today, academically speaking, we are only growing; we aren’t developing (Too bad). Another very important reason was to forge unity in our diversity.

    Thus, section 1, paragraph 2, sub-section a, states that, “The overall philosophy of Nigeria is to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible, indissoluble, democratic and sovereign nation founded on the principles of freedom, equality and justice.” A man or a woman from the Hausa tribe would almost give you his or her life if you, a man or a woman from another tribe can speak his or her language. The Yoruba tribe is not left out and so is the Igbo tribe with other ethnic groups.

    Alas! This program of the language of the immediate environment that has the potential of forging unity in diversity has been eradicated. English had already come to stay for colonial reason; is French also coming for colonial reason! Beware…“The colonial pattern of education had robbed the African child of inventiveness, originality and creativity, since he was forced to think in English instead of in Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo or any other Nigerian language” (Babs Fafunwa). I beseech the farmers (i.e. our parents) not to be mad at their farm produce (i.e. their children); for we are like the fruits (i.e. dependent variables), and we cannot, directly or indirectly, stop counting on the supply of and from the roots (i.e. the educationists) for our (academic) nutrition.

    When will the teacher-pupil ratios be maintained as the case may be for every category? When should we expect those libraries, career officers and counselors in all our public schools and when will public libraries be established at strategic locations? We have petrol stations instead, in every nook and cranny of our residential environment as if we are preparing for a mass destruction yet this fuel of ours which is gotten from our own land is either scarce or expensive if available… This is pathetic! We are still waiting for when government would provide free education at all levels for Nigerians (If this was possible at the basic levels in the defunct Western Region before our independence and oil boom; then, it is very plausible in our current six geo-political zones…Take heed)

    What are the functions of the following quangos?
    The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT)?
    The Honorable Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu)?
    The State Commissioners for Education?
    The Joint Consultative Committee on Education (JCCE)?
    The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN)?
    The Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC)
    The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and so on?

    Why shouldn’t we be lambasted by Donald J. Trump (The 45th president of the United State of America-see a chunk of his hate speech at the end of this article)? It’s quite obvious that our Educational system is losing its value and our Naira is doing likewise. The price of every commodity is going higher everyday and we’ve got no formula to simplify and bring them down because our value system has been compromised (and you think the students won’t query you in their minds [even if they can’t voice it out] why they have to learn some stupid multiplication tables, Pythagoras’ theorem, Hero’s formula, Almighty formula, law of diminishing returns, Stoke’s theorem, Green’s theorem, Newton’s Laws of motion, Numerical Analysis, Groups and Rings, Demand and Supply, Laws of Thermodynamics, Mendel’s Laws of heredity and so on yet all of these have their practical applications!).

     Please, what exactly do you stand for? What do you discuss in your meetings if in the 21st century of Information Communication and Technology there are still educational variations in the six geo-political zones of the federation? What is the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) telling her teachers during induction? Only registration and that’s it! To maintain professionalism in the classroom and that’s it! What else do the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) stand for aside fighting for teachers’ and lecturers’ salaries and inducements?

    When our classrooms in public schools are overpopulated, dilapidated, not well ventilated, lack chairs for sitting and tables for writing conveniently; who is supposed to stand up and fight for us? Shouldn’t all of these and even many more be the job of the educationists? Our primary school pupils cannot take to the streets to solicit for their rights neither can our secondary school students succumb to “aluta” (struggle). Some nasty tertiary institutions management would go to the length of closing down the school indefinitely or proscribe the Students Union Government for speaking and fighting for the rights and privileges of the entire students of that institution who are also Nigerians.

    Let’s pulse and ask these malicious managements if they would have done the same thing to the Division of Students affairs (DSA) presuming the Dean, Vice Dean and their subordinates in the Division of Students Affairs (DSA) discharge their duties as they ought to? The water pipes that were used in the 1970s or 1980s are still in use today to supply water to our hostels. Students are drinking the water that shouldn’t even be given to a pet and trooping into the Health Center as if the Health Centre is a market place yet some of these institutions that cannot supply clean water to the hostels of their students have factories some of which are producing and supplying pure sachet and table water.

     Majority of those 1970s or 1980s rooms were originally designed and built to be “managed” by four students (O.A.U for instance) but the number has been increased to twelve yet some students still do not have accommodation and when you see their poor performance, you pretend not to know what they are going through and still abuse them. Why would you expect the best from them when their minds are not settled (maybe you should visit a Psychologist to gist you on Abraham H. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs)? Some would not have breakfast before heading for lectures and even the lunch or dinner that would be taken after running from one Lecture Theater to another is not balanced.

     For how long should the pupils and students improvise a desk for themselves due to lack of the standard ones…Forever? Dr. Olatomide O.O.; a guidance counselor from the department of Educational Foundations and Counseling (EFC), Obafemi Awolowo University, once said that, “If students from this part of the world, can still make grade C with all the unwanted rigorous exercises they undergo; such as living in Awolowo hall and going to P.G hall, Moremi hall etc to fetch water or going to White house or Senate building before they can browse the internet which still fluctuates; then, they cannot fall below grade B if they go to a developed country where everything they need is at their fingertips (…Paraphrased).”Oh ye Educationists (NUT, ASUU, Minister of Education, State Commissioners for Education)! Rise up and do something. This is your jurisdiction and if you do not act, who will?

    It is so sad that the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) keeps herself busy with other educational agencies, tampering and reproducing our curriculum when issues like: Class size, Mother tongue, Infrastructures, Social amenities and even teachers’ inducement at almost all levels etc which are extremely serious and vital in one way or the other for effective teaching-learning process haven’t been met by the government!

    For whom and to whom are you tampering and reproducing the curriculum? Is it for Ghost Country and to Ghost Students? Could you have forgotten so soon that, “Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result is nothing but insanity (Albert Einstein)?” Could you please try to get it right that keeping all Nigerian children in one classroom in the name of increase in population is not improvisation at all? It is simply an act of foolishness, greed and fancy illiteracy and if it is not corrected, you are wasting your time and our resources. Behold the ants (those little creatures)! They have no guide, overseer or ruler but with increase in population, they still never break formation or orderliness. Instead, they expand and reorganize; and every one of them in their colony knows exactly what to do in the colony. The action of the drone and the queen will always lead to increase in the population of the colony. The workers always produce the meal right on time even before it is needed and expand the colony when it’s necessary while the soldiers are always watchful and serious….

    What, then, is wrong with us? Humans! Putting the cart before the horse! This ought not to be so. Wake up; educationists, Nigerians need you to act very fast on this because we cannot tell whether your road (i.e. your curriculum) is good or bad when our vehicle (i.e. our education) is not even moving. Please learn some lessons from Epigenetic Principle which states that, “Anything that grows has a ground-plan (blueprint) from which various parts arise with each part having its own time of arrival until all the parts have arisen to form a functional whole.” If anything goes wrong with any part of the system; that affected part will definitely affect one or two other parts and this deficiency (from one part of a whole) becomes prejudicial to the entire system; making everything to fall apart. Therefore, in other to recoup the situation; everyone of you should join hands together; academic and non-academic bodies such as the Joint Consultative Committee on Education (JCCE), Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Parents Teachers Association (PTA), and also include some academically inclined goal-oriented Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), to help make our vehicle (i.e. our education) gain momentum. What we need is not the changing of the hard covers of our National Policy on Education or that of the curriculum but a functional education….That’s the key!

    Based on Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education, Chief Obafemi Awolowo (The son of a peasant), who at first, studied to be a teacher, claimed that:
    Education is a strong instrument for political, economic, social and technological reconstruction;
    Education eradicates illiteracy, ignorance, diseases and poverty;
    The political consciousness of a nation depends largely on the level and the number of her literate population;
    Teachers condition of service is a sine-qua-non to effective teaching and learning; and
    Every citizen should have access to education and to the optimum limit of their ability.

    He backed up his claims by establishing (in the defunct Western Region i.e. his own jurisdiction) a free, universal and compulsory education at the primary level i.e. Universal Primary Education, using the money that came majorly from agriculture.  In fact, we’ve had of how even some of you (The Educationists) right now at the corridor of power had enjoyed (though, not totally free but) a good and sound education up to the tertiary level with your laundries being taken care of by the cleaners, nice food at the cafeteria with a very little amount (which you have now allowed to be used as reading rooms and for religious activities), early morning hot tea without money, healthy water supply, stable electric power supply, well ventilated accommodation etc.

    This teacher (Obafemi Awolowo) won the first Western region elections in 1951 and was chosen minister for local government structure, for which he established elective councils. From 1954 to 1959, as premier of the Western region, he worked to improve education, social services, and agricultural practices (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). Ajayi (1997) also emphasized that, Obafemi Awolowo prepared a comprehensive program for a free, universal and compulsory education- Universal Primary Education (U.P.E) for the defunct Western Region which took off in January 1955; five years to our independence and a year to the discovery of petroleum on our soil…!(….Emphasis mine). It is true that success in any generation results from the fact that there are some individuals who refuse to believe that what they know to be true cannot be achieved (King Davidson).

    The teacher, who is the hub of this paragraph, masterminded the establishment of that masterpiece called University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). He became the Chief Administrative Officer (Chancellor) of this great institution in the mid-1970s and his legacy still stands even till tomorrow. He projected into the future and provided us with this opus which is regarded as the most beautiful campus in Africa. Permit me to say that you (the current educationists at the corridor of power) will all die as fraidy-cats and prodigals if with God’s extravagant blessings on us in this land (Nigeria), you still cannot give us a functional education which is greater than or equal to (≥) the one that was provided before oil boom. Most of you are hiding under religion and even some claim to be Evangelists, Pastors etc and so you are camouflaging gentility when even The Holy Bible says, “Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy (Prov.31:8-9)”

    You (The Educationists) have abandoned your job to the politicians. Hence, the Igbo tribe is clamoring for Biafra, the Militants would not give up, Boko-Haram is a real threat and don’t forget that the Oodua Peoples Congress (O.P.C) of the Yoruba tribe is also like a weapon of warfare. Take it or leave it, Biafra, Militant, Boko-Haram, O.P.C and the likes of them are implications of your omissions. You can’t have time to really invest in all these learners, refine  and unite them if you continue to unreasonably allow them to outnumber you in the classroom as against the Teacher-Pupil ratio as detailed in our N.P.E. These people are yet to see any hope in the realization of the overall philosophy of our dear country. A Teacher is a Politician but the converse is not always true. Most of our Politicians are not stark illiterates but they are indeed, deductively decorated and glorified illiterates, psychologically delinquent, spiritually deficient, philosophically bankrupt and illogical, consistent forerunners of corruption, master-minders of misappropriations and genetically morally sick. Stealing from the country’s treasury just as I used to steal my parents’ money while I was a kid because I didn’t know it was also my money but only needed to tell them and after being given, use the money for the right thing.

     The late Dr. Myles Munroe was right to have called this misappropriation “The Slave Mentality” because only a slave should do that to his master and we have all become so myopic because you (The Educationists) have refused to show us how we can realize the overall philosophy of Nigeria as embedded in our National Policy on Education (Section 1, paragraph 2, sub-section a)

    My Submission:
    Before I drop my pen; you (The Stakeholders - NUT, ASUU, DSA, TRCN, NERDC, JCCE, WAEC, JAMB, RECTORS, PROVOSTS, VICE-CHANCELLORS, CHANCELLORS, COMMISSIONERS FOR EDUCATION, MINISTER OF EDUCATION, GOVERNORS and MR. PRESIDENT) are hereby apprised to arise and produce a positive result before “Everything Falls Apart”. Take initiative and help every Nigerian (irrespective of his or her geo-political zone) to know and understand the one and only definition that binds us together as a nation. Help us to stand and be guided by these philosophies that are embedded in our National Policy on Education. Teach us how to be democratic and yet be free from these political monsters of our days. Ring the bells of justice and egalitarianism to awaken our consciousness in our classrooms.

    Help us to understand what it means to be united, strong and self-reliant from our Basic level. We want to be great and dynamic for real because this is how we can truly have and see the emancipation of a land that is bright, glorious and full of opportunities available to every citizen irrespective of his or her ethnicity. Assist us to locate our bearings, posses our possessions, discover our essence of existence and engineer our successes by these philosophies. Teach us these philosophies in our classrooms and turn them to music if need be; because… “We’ve got to stand for something, else, we’ll fall for anything” (Malcolm X).

    We’ve got to live for something, else, we’ll die for nothing. To this end; a consistent and careful juxtaposition of these philosophies with there proper implementation is the remedy that we need. A functional education is what we seek and long for. We say no to ramshackle walls in our public schools. We say no to over-populated and dilapidated classrooms in our public schools. We say no to lack of well equipped and functional libraries in our public schools. We say no to lack of counselors and career officers in our public schools. We say no to lack of social amenities and infrastructural facilities such as clean water, good toilets, play-grounds, operational laboratories, instructional materials, health-bays etc in our public schools.

    We are tired of this “Survival of the fittest” lifestyle that has become the order of the day in our public schools. We demand for a free and democratic society; a just and an egalitarian society; a united, strong and self reliant nation; a great and dynamic economy; and a land, full of bright and equal opportunities for every citizen. Give us this day, a lasting peace which comes from a functional education and deliver us from war. God can do all things and one of them is what He has given us the grace to do by ourselves (making decisions and taking actions). I am strongly induced that with a Functional Education; our country would be a better place.

    Hate Speech of Donald J. Trump
    This paragraph was Culled from Donald J. Trump’s full speech on “Why he hates Africans and Arabs”…….Maybe some African-Americans or some Africans in America; like Professor Wole Soyinka offended this man during the process of the election that made him the 45th president of the United State of America and he took it personal, I do not know. What I do know is this; there are some elements of truism in his “Hate Speech” and these elements of truism are my concern; since the furniture would need the service of the sandpaper for its own smoothness. Please take your time to think over it.

    “Let us all accept the fact that the black man is a symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness and emotional incompetence. To make the matter worse, he can do everything possible to defend his stupidity. Give them money for development and they will fight and create hatred and enmity for themselves. Drill oil wells for them and they will not have peace all the days of their life. See, for instance, what’s happening in Nigeria…. A black man is stupid to the extent that he cannot plan for his life beyond a year.

    Therefore, how can they develop and live longer. Corruption in west and China is a big abomination but in Africa, it’s so huge that it is slowly becoming an acceptable way of life. They sing and rejoice to their corrupt political leaders. They worship their scandal-religious leaders…. Lest I forget, these so called Africans are praising, dancing and praying for the people that have impoverished them, and who comes to hide their loot here. Then which fool argues that the black man is not born a beggar, grows a beggar, looks a beggar… and dies a beggar?

    I wonder why even up till now most Africans still go to school by force and those who are at school are just drug addicts who don’t know what took them there. This is a pregnant stupidity in Africa that needs Jesus’ immediate second coming. The body of Africans is a very fertile ground for all diseases in the world because they don’t fear even HIV/AIDS…. They cried for independence but have failed to rule themselves. For sure, being African is a very untreatable disease that even prayers are not enough. They have minerals but cannot do anything with it. Therefore, let us (whites) go to Africa and pick what we can pick and leave…. Poverty is a disease to the whites but to the blacks it is very normal….

    I know this is the plain truth which will never see the light of the day to the cowards that are afraid to be told as it is. Jesus, please hurry and save Africans and Arabs. A word is enough for the wise.”
     “The labour of our past heroes shall never be in vain”

    God Bless our Educational System.
    God Bless the Educationists.
    God Bless Nigeria.
    Written in the heart of the most beautiful campus in Africa

    Ajayi Joshua Morakinyo
    A Student of Education and Mathematics (400L),
    Dept. of Science and Technology Education,
    Faculty of Education,
    Obafemi Awolowo University,
    Ile-Ife, Osun State.

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