Teacher Quality Reforms: Nigerians Hate Nigeria


By Tijani Sheriffdeen

​Isn’t it good that some incidences allow us appreciate and understand certain issues better? Everything has gone so clumsy in our country, that it takes critical and intellectual findings to discern and descry somethings. 

An average Nigerian wouldn’t want to be convinced when a government says it is coming up with a project that would benefit the mases, as it has constantly been seen as one of their expensive tricks, which the citizenry have no choice but to trade in. 

Maybe this is the reason why the masses don’t tend to trust the actions and inactions of those they elected to lead them, if not, it’s quite unfathomable how some people would question the move to shop for new teachers in Kaduna State.

We have continued to complain and grumble about the appalling state of our education sector, how pale and lean it looks, and how fast everything seems to be growing worse for it, but it’s apparent we aren’t really bothered, maybe some are getting something for complaining.

 Nigerians are really a rare breed, one that needs an extensive research, as it is safe to say we are a different make. We understand that certain things don’t work in our country, and we are so good at pointing it out, with those connected to the problems most times, but we don’t want to give way to change, and if asked what we want from a government, we yell change like a child who is denied his favourite television station and isn’t expressive enough to convey his feelings but who sees hope in yelling “change”.

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The Nigeria we have today is what we all want, as we have all collectively pushed it to where it is today, we generously painted Nigeria the colour it shows to the world, but we don’t want to agree it’s our doing, what relaxes an average Nigerian is saying our leaders are bad, they have destroyed this nation, isn’t it? 

Call out ten teachers anytime, and ask them what they feel about the education sector, they would help you with more than you inquire, but they would hardly talk about the contributions of teachers in the downturn of things in the education sector. It’s what we have as a nation!

About 21,780 out of 33,000 teachers failed the primary four test administered to test their competence by the Kaduna State government. The more reason the state is shopping for 25,000 teachers, as one of her plans to restore dignity and quality to education. If this is the case, isn’t it safe to conclude that Nigerian teachers are one of the problems affecting the education sector? The sustenance of the affected persons and their families is what some feel is important, at the expense of the potentials of this nation. Pathetic!

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Critical thinkers have continued to remind us of the need to go back to the drawing board, but my fear is not about going back, it’s about those who would go back to the drawing board. 

If all that matters to Nigerians is the security of jobs of teachers who beat students for not knowing basic things they themselves don’t know, then, we may have to rush back to the drawing board with the right set of people, as a whole lot needs to be looked into, if we must get it right as a nation. 

It’s not surprising to see that changes aren’t meeting Nigeria, when young minds pass through institutions with nothing to hold on to, we then start thinking of working out solutions to people who should be drivers of innovation and creativity in our society, but with teachers who have nothing to offer, it’s a case of back to square one for us!

Governor El-Rufai asserts that the hiring of teachers in the past was politicised, and he intends to change the problem by bringing in young and qualified teachers to restore dignity to the education sector in the State. There is no gain saying he doesn’t have a point, if this productive move stretches the length and breadth of this nation; it only means we want a better future for our nation. 

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Aside the politicking that brings some into the workforce, the spate of things in our country has also contributed in no small measure to the problems facing the sector in discussion, as people settle for teaching after endless search for job, with good consideration of the fact that most aren’t fit to teach. They have to survive too, isn’t it? 

The choice is ours, as it has always been and would continue to be, we can choose to go the right way or otherwise, either ways, there would be stories to tell!

Tijani Sheriffdeen is an undergraduate student at the University of Ilorin. Tweets at docshe_42

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