Secondary education is education children receive after primary education and before the tertiary stage i.e.it serves as the recruitment grounds for the tertiary institutions in the country. S. T. MBAYUAV noted in his article “The challenges of secondary education in Nigeria: the way forward” that secondary education in Nigeria came to being in the year 1859 when the CMS Grammar School Lagos was opened, followed by Methodist High School Lagos. He noted that that Kings College Lagos being the first Government Secondary school was established in 1927.
Secondary Education has contributed immensely to the educational development in Nigeria and manpower needs of the nation. However, there are problems confronting secondary education in Nigeria which need to be looked into for quick and lasting solution.
Problems of secondary education in Nigeria
Listed below are theproblems facing education in Nigeria:
Overpopulation in this regard means too few schools for the too large population in urban and rural areas. Schools in the city centers have a population that ranges between 2000 and 4000 making the administration a much cumbersome task.
This number of students has resulted in overcrowded classrooms i.e. a classroom meant for 35 pupils is packed with more than 100 pupils.
Effect of overpopulation
- The workload on teachers and consequent ineffective teaching and learning
- Indiscipline among students such as truancy, street roaming during school hours
- Criminal tendencies in form of exam malpractices taking dangerous dimension
Inadequate development of technical education
Inadequate promotion of technical education has denied many students the opportunity of self-development and consequent decent living. And this is because nearly all technical workshops built in the 80s are dilapidated and new ones are not built.
The aspect of wood-work, metal-work, textile, technical drawing, arts, and crafts deserved being accorded greater prominence in our educational system.
Lack of sporting facilities for development of healthy body and sound mind
Secondary education in Nigeria is no longer holistic because we have relegated some aspect of sports that should be given greater prominence. The teaching of Physical and Health Education as a subject is fast becoming unrealistic with the absence of necessary sports items with which to teach meaningfully.
Ineffective monitoring of the implementation of educational policy is a major problem facing secondary education in Nigeria. Also, there is a discrepancy in the running and administration of schools classified as government schools and others as public schools.
The administrative problems heightened above has led to unequal treatments and distribution of facilities and equipment to categories of schools, the public scramble to get their wards admitted to “government choice” schools to enjoy the better learning and teaching environment.
Inadequate teaching equipment
Some schools still go sharing equipment with nearby schools when their students are to take an examination in the sciences. They either have sparsely equipped laboratories or none at all. This has resulted in poor performance in the examination.
Inadequate number of teaching and non-teaching staff
In most of the secondary schools, there are less than the 50% of the teachers required in the schools. And this has resulted in the inability of teachers to maintain the necessary personal contact with every child in his work. Furthermore, some pupils are denied the opportunity of developing in what would have to be their chosen area of interest where teachers of such subjects are not provided.
Poor electricity supply
The classrooms, laboratories, equipments in schools, etc. needs electrification. And the epileptic power supply in the country is countributing to the reasons many schools don’t use these equipment to aid their students’ learning.
Solutions to the problems of secondary education
In order to solve the problems of education in Nigeria, the solutions listed below must be looked into and implement.
Establishment of more schools
Many of the schools that are overpopulated with students should be decongested so as to give room for effective teaching and learning
Provision of furniture
The Federal and State Ministry of Education should review the design of desks and benches for pupils and teachers with greater attention given to the improved quality of materials for their production and the suitability of dimensions, shape, and style that will facilitate good sitting posture for reading and writing.
Provision of adequate instructional materials
- The government should arrange for the adequate supply of science equipment and teaching aids to schools
- Development of well-stocked library in each school
- Provision of modern teaching audio-visual aids
- Parents should be encouraged to show interest in the education of their wards by providing necessary material support for effective teaching in schools.
The supervision of schools should be strengthened
Regular supervision is the most potent motivation force that keeps workers more focused, consistent and steadily improving on their job.
A system of motivating teachers should be installed
- The government should endeavor to recruit more qualified teachers to restore greater effectiveness in teaching and learning
- The government should consider a rural teaching allowance as an incentive to as to reduce rural-urban drift in the teaching working force.
- Residential quarters can be provided for the teachers in rural areas to encourage them to live in the village
- Given incentives to teachers is one of the great ways to motivate them
Professional Education and Training
The best teachers never stop learning. The professional teacher is one who is up-to-date with current educational thoughts and practices. Therefore, seminars should be organized on regular basis to review:
- The latest in teaching methodology
- Innovations in instructional technology
- Review of the syllabus in different subjects
- Code of ethics of the teaching profession
(1) NUT Oyo State wing (2013): Advancement of sustenance of qualitative mass ducation in Oyo state
(2) S. T. MBAYUAV: The challenges of secondary education in Nigeria: the way forward