The standard of education can be measured by the quality of graduates that are produced yearly. When the standard has fallen, half-baked graduates are produced who can’t contribute to the society in terms of cognitive, affective and psychomotor.
It became obvious in this year’s UTME cut-off marks that the quality of secondary school leavers have dropped after JAMB set the cut-off marks at 120 out of the 400 total mark. This is an indirect message passed by JAMB to the country informing us that the quality of secondary school leavers have dropped. And it is also logical to say that the same is true for graduates.
Education is defined as the aggregate of all processes which bring about the development of the individual to the fullest extent and also the maximum development of society in such a way that both enjoy maximum happiness and prosperity. From the definition, the output of education is for the society and individual to enjoy maximum happiness and prosperity. And if this is not true, it means the purpose of education has been jeopardized.
Causes of Fallen Standard of Education in Nigeria
Listed below are the causes of the fall in the standard of education in Nigeria.
- Poor funding
Nigeria’s education sector received much lower than the 26 percent of the national budget in 2021, as recommended by the United Nations. 5.6 percent of the N13.08 trillion budgeted for 2021 was allocated for education which is contrary to the recommendation by UNESCO.
This has resulted in poor infrastructural facilities for learning, poor research funding, low quality of teachers, learning environment that are not conducive, etc.
There is one thing I have observed and it is that teaching or lecturing no longer attracts best brains or qualified people. Moreover, people take up teaching or lecturing because of unemployment and later resign if they find a better job. So committed educators and professionals in education are few and this has had a devastating effect on education. When qualified teachers are inadequate, the quality of students produced will be low.
Most of the public schools have poor infrastructural facilities: laboratories and workshops are poorly equipped and this has impaired learning process in students.
Somebody said “the decay in education began spreading very fast from when private secondary school started to multiply at an alarming rate. Because money became the focus rather than excellence”
Some of the founders of some private schools know nothing about education and their motivation is “there is money in education” They are money driven instead of how to train a child to a life useful to him/her and to the society to which he belongs. And that is why most of them encourage malpractice just to burst the image of their schools. Since their students are of low quality and their income is at stake if they fail, so they resulted into examination malpractice as a means for their students to pass.
- Unstable education policies
Our education policies have been unstable as water; a different government with different policies. And this is affecting the standard of education. Some years back Post-UTME was introduced to check the irregularities in JAMB, later it was scrapped and now reintroduced. This shows that our policymakers have no clear picture of how admission process should be.
- Poor attitude of government to education
An industrial strike by lecturers and teachers has become a yearly thing in Nigeria and government isn’t looking for a way to provide a lasting solution. Imagine a state where one of its tertiary institutions was shut down for months and the government was reluctant to save the situation early. This can only happen in a society where education has been relegated to the back door.
Selfish political interests rather than long-term goals and achievements have destroyed the standard of education in Nigeria. A situation where politicians promise free education but fail to fund education and are only interested in the political points they will score.
- Entertainment has taken over education
Companies and even individual prefer to invest in entertainment than to spend their money promoting education and this has contributed to the fallen standard of education. The only well-known academic competition in Nigeria now is cowbellpedia. Due to the heavy investment in entertainments, the way our children see education have been impaired negatively. The publicity and sponsorship given to entertainment is on a high level and this has made children lose interest in education. Although some IOCs in Nigeria have tried to give scholarships and invest in education, this can’t be compared with what is obtainable in the entertainment industry.