By Tope Orogun
Functional education through the production of innovative individuals is the only means of bailing Nigeria out of its present challenges as education needs to take the front burner in the face of the continued poor indices of mismanaged education.
Making the observation during her keynote address at the 2017 Ondo State Education Summit in Akure recently, the Chairman of the National Institute of Education Planning and Administration, NIEPA, Ondo Prof. Lillian Salami said that mismanagement of education has resulted in the alarming rate of school drop-outs, youth unemployment, dearth of skilled manpower development, lack of enterprise culture among the youth and many others.
In her speech titled ‘Repositioning Education for Functionality and Technology Growth’ she said it all boils down to the known fact that there is acute shortage of quality teachers.
And the irony according to her is that teachers who are supposed to “play the pivotal role in the education of the children are themselves now swelling the unemployed rate largely due to the dysfunctional and poorly implemented teacher’s education curriculum, resulting in unemployable skills”.
She opined that what is not being addressed is the shortage in terms of quality, distribution, inadequacy of willingness and commitment on the part of the teachers in ensuring their primary duty is carried out effectively.
She further opined that, “there is no gainsaying that the quality of teachers will go a long way in determining the quality of the products produced by learning institutions as teachers are the learning resources in education.”
He added that government as well as all stakeholders must not condone the inbuilt culture of incompetence if they want change.
The don also avered that teachers must have a full grip of the knowledge and mastery of the subject matter in which they are to teach, understand all there is to it and equip themselves with the necessary skills and information needed to change the world.
“The implication of the foregoing is that training given to prospective teachers must ensure that they become worthy, efficient, excellent, focused, conforming, team player, relevant and literates.
Teachers are therefore not only those who are professionals, educated, experienced, adequately trained but those who have undergone quality pre-service and in-service training,” she said.
She surmised that an establishment of periodic conduct of reassessment be made for delivery and stability through training and retraining to keep them abreast of global standard and best practices.