Modupe Adefeso-Olateju: In the beginning was the philosophy of education – Part 2 (Y! Policy Hub)

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  • http://chrisngwodo.blogspot.com Chris Ngwodo

    This review of our nation’s education philosophy made for interesting reading. In my view, the 6-3-3-4 system accurately articulates our social and economic needs but is only nominally operational today. The idea that individuals be nurtured through school according to their aptitudes and gifts has been forgotten. Career guidance and counselling facilities no longer exist. we need to get away from the fixation with certificates (without learning, skill or mastery) which drives our pursuit of tertiary education. Many people do not have to go to university. A greater emphasis on vocational skills as originally outlined in the 6-3-3-4 system could significantly solve Nigeria’s unemployment problem. We have to revitalize our polytechnics and establish vocational institutes where craft skills can be imparted. When people have the capacities to be productive citizens and economic actors with a stake in society’s future, there is a knock on effect on social harmony and national unity. The presence of working people with the skills to guarantee their own upward mobility drastically reduces the potential for conflict and the ethno-religious frictions that bedevil society. People who have a stake in tomorrow and have the means to continuously learn, earn and eat have no reason to become foot soldiers in political battles. They have too much to live for. Our education system offers a very limited band of opportunity – one that is almost entirely restricted to “office work” and thereby deprecates the value of the dignity of labour. One necessary task, i think, is to revisit how we measure the success of our schools. At the moment, it seems to be based on examination performances. Our entire educational establishment is built on passing exams without any real investment in actual learning and mastery. As a result, we are failing to deliver in all fronts whether academic or vocational. Conceptually, there is nothing wrong with the 6334 system. Its philosophical assumptions are sound and they tally with the needs of our society. The problem is the lack of political will and stable institutional frameworks with which to implement it nationwide. Thanks.