There are strong indications that the education sector in Nigeria is being ‘threatened’ by societal values that place more emphasis on money and materialism to the detriment of education in the country.
This has over the years ‘threatened’ the standard of education and brought about a situation where the economy of the country is under serge, as there seems to be scarcity of value- added teachers, as opposed to those who are worshiping money and materialism.
The entire country is feeling the brunt, since there are shortages of qualified teachers at the primary, secondary and university levels, leading to shortage of experienced and tested administrators to man strategic positions at the local, state and federal levels in Nigeria.
Pastor George O. Odunoye, Executive Director, St George Groups of Schools, located at Ashimolowo bus-stop, along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway axis of Ifo in Ogun state, dropped these hints during an interview with our correspondent yesterday at his office.
This writer notes that the school has two arms- St George Foundation School and St George Comprehensive College.
Speaking on whether or not, the standard of education in Nigeria is dropping, Pastor Odunoye, said the standard is still the same, but that some critically factors have over the years contributed to the treat in the education sector.
His words: “In the past, teachers and traditional rulers were adored and respected, since they were regarded as educated and therefore well informed”.
But, today, the rise of moneybags and the subsequent worship of money, which has become societal values that are not right, has dedicated education, merit, handwork to the background, he said.
Odunoye, a former journalist with The Guardian newspaper, lecturer and an advertising consultant, further explained that most teachers in public schools are trained and qualified, but are not doing their jobs, due to poor control system and weak supervision.
“Ifo local government area in Ogun state, where my school is built, has over 1000 private schools. Some of the schools are registered and approved by the federal government, the various examination bodies as well as the state government, while others are not”.
“Yes, some private schools, in an attempt to compliment of the efforts of government at various levels in maintain and even surpassing the standard of education in the country, do hire non-education graduates, who could be molded and orientated to fit into the education sector”, he said.
His words: “Let me tell you the truth that most students do not like to choose education courses for their first choices and this has over the years resulted in shortfall in the number of trained and qualified teachers in the country”.
Therefore, there is nobody to teach aspirant accountants, medical doctors, engineers, business persons, administrators, etc, and the economy of the country is suffering.
According to him, most A-list private schools all over the country, have the facilities, while the public schools have trained, qualified teachers and both the private schools ate regulated by the ministry of education at various levels.
In my school, discipline and the fear of God, not the worship of money are the watchwords, and we do not compromise on these.