Is ‘extra lesson’ necessary for children? Minister criticises trend

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Students learning inside a classroom at Alagbado Grammar-School, Lagos

A Nigerian Federal Minister, Hadi Sirika has criticised the organisation of extra lessons for school children beyond school hours.

Mr Sirika who is the minister of State for Aviation expressed this in a tweet on Monday evening where he wondered why children have to stay longer in school beyond 1pm for extra hours of lessons for which their parents would have to pay.

He believed that they should have some time for social interactions beyond academics.

Extra lesson is controversial

In the tweet thread monitored by EduCeleb.com, the minister was not sure whether the reason behind extra lessons was because children were not being taught well or it was some sort of extortionist strategy devised by schools and teachers.

He reminiscent on his younger days when children used to close from school earlier by 1 pm and had time to do other things.

The politician wrote thus: “I just don’t understand extra lessons for our kids, It is either that they are not taught properly or there is an element of corruption! In our time most schools closed by 1pm. We had time to rest, play, run errands for parents, read, go to Qur’anic school/Bible study and bond…”

This had since attracted over a thousand reactions with people giving varying opinions on the subject. Some seem to agree with him while others don’t.

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Limits play, social interaction time

Among his comrades is someone by the username @Freeman2gud who revealed that he had to discourage extra lesson for his kids as he felt that they should be given time to play after school hours.

Like him, a user named Eze Odili expressed worries that extra lessons take away all the time children needed to be free from them.

I can’t explain such burden on kids. Even during holidays, no time for kids to explore other areas of lives. Everything now is education.

— EZE ODILI (@Odiliseze) December 18, 2018

In response to that, a parent, Frederick Ehiagwina whose four year old kid closes at 4pm and returns to the waiting hands of a home lesson teacher believes such a practice was gradually making children “intelligent things” devoid of human interaction.

My oga, the matter tire me. 4-year old kid closing 4pm. Returning home to a home lesson teacher. The whole system attempting to turn kids ‘intelligent things’ rather than intelligent humans, with keen awareness of the need for social interaction.

— Frederick Ehiagwina (@FEhiagwina) December 18, 2018

To this, a parent named Remi Adeseun revealed that he has not been allowing his son to go to summer school.

Just like I never fancied the idea of summer school. Holidays are meant for rest and play. I prevented anyone from waking my 8 year old son early in the morning during this holiday. Let him sleep till he is ready to wake up. Not every time 5am wake up! 😀

— Remi ADESEUN (@kojere) December 18, 2018

Increasing education spendings

A former speaker at the Edo State House of Assembly (1999-2007) and Minority Whip in the House of Representatives,(2007-2015), Mr Samson Osagie agrees with Mr Sirika.

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He believes that extra lessons have increased individual spending on education and felt that called for attention.

Hon Minister your observatnis quite Apt. Only recently I started asking myself why we paying so much for educatn and we are getting much value when I didn’t have to spend 1/100 of what a child in primary pays even when I was in the Law school. Our school system deserves attentn

— Rt.Hon Samson R. Osagie, Fsm, Fcia. (@samsonosagie5) December 18, 2018

But children have varying learning abilities

A twitter user with the username @i_am_babatunde opined that extra lesson was needed to cover children’s learning deficiencies and, perhaps prepare them for the classes ahead.

Not every child learn at the same speed as others. Most times, lesson teachers help the children revise what they’ve done in school so far and give them insights as to what they should expect in the next class.

— ۩۞⌂ĄƁƊƯḺṞĄĦĪϺ⌂۞۩ (@i_am_babatunde) December 18, 2018

Another named Akwuiwu Iheanyi tweeted disagreeing with the minister. He wrote that extra lessons were fundamental to the children learning considering their varying abilities to assimilate things.

@hadisirika Your position is stern but incorrect. Extra lessons are good because Children vary in learning capabilities. I have worked with disabled kids and non-diasabled kids and I have learned that some kids need more time and alternate teaching tactics to become their best

— Akwuiwu Iheanyi (@Iam_SiQs) December 18, 2018


Such an opinion on learning disabilities was also held by user @deezer234.

Many children have learning disabilities that most parents and teachers aren’t aware of, sir. In many cases, it’s genetic and beyond the reach of doctors even. If a child needs extra lesson time, please let him or her have it.

— Deezer234 #Sapere Aude! (@deezer234) December 17, 2018

Then, we have a voluminous curriculum

Then, another user, Umar Suleiman wrote that the curriculum was so voluminous that not all its content could be covered during official school hours.

Sir the curriculum is also becoming quite voluminous unlike before, nowadays alot of discoveries are been made and are Incorporated into the scheme.

— Umar Suleiman (@usuleiman72) December 18, 2018

Teachers live on extra lesson

While the conversation was on, a supposed unemployed certified teacher expressed his opinion. He said extra lessons provide people like him some source of living.

sir it’s for benefit, we unemployed certified teacher. Let have some things for a living.

— Abdullahi Kafur (@KafurAbdullahi) December 17, 2018

This necessity conversation is unending on why schools or teachers organise extra lessons. What are your thoughts about it?

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