With indications that a large number of students failed the current JAMB exam, Nigeria’s deteriorating educational standard is even more apparent. This has been a problem for several years, not just today or yesterday. It is also a well-known fact that students in public schools are more affected by this issue than their counterparts in private schools. In addition, a visit to a few public schools in both rural and urban areas raises many questions in our minds. The declining state of the infrastructure is horrible, the learning quality is pitiful, and the standard of instruction provided is, of course, disgraceful. In the end, it is the poor and middle-class Nigerians who, unable to afford the high fees charged by private schools, are forced to allow their children to attend these failing public schools. In this article, we examine the various reasons for the sharp decline in educational quality. We also consider what may be done to improve matters.
The government, society, schools, teachers, parents and students themselves are the primary causes of this decline. The government can be held accountable for the decline in educational standards. They regularly change educational policies, leaving both teachers and students perplexed. For example, the Obasanjo administration’s school feeding program, which began in 2005, was halted at the pilot stage by the next administration. They also do not adequately equip classrooms, laboratories, and workshops to facilitate successful learning. Corrupt officers who misappropriate funds from institutions go unpunished. The authorities have not yet addressed exam malpractice, which is one of the main drivers of deteriorating educational standards.
Parents are not left out in the blame; most of them do not care about their children’s education. So many parents fail to understand that they are supposed to do more than paying their children’s school fees. Some parents might be illiterates but, it is not a yardstick for lack of proper investment in the children’s education. Parents are supposed to guide and monitor their wards. In situations where parents are not able to provide the necessary support for their children, it is essential to seek external help. In Nigeria, examination malpractice has spread to all levels of education. Students have mastered numerous ways of examination malpractice. Some parents also assist their children in cheating on exams. Teachers are also at the centre of exam cheating, aiding their students in cheating on exams. At the secondary schools (mostly private schools), some schools have become miracle schools where schools make students pay to get help in examinations.
Nigerian public schools have a low standard of education due to a lack of motivation in the sector, inadequate facilities, and poor administration; as a result, there are few and unqualified teachers, frequent strikes, deterioration of facilities, and poor learning experience. Teachers in public schools are increasingly victims of a low educational standard. They are unfairly punished for enduring a poor salary structure and incentives, and many have lost the strong appetite and joy for teaching, nurturing, and effectively passing on knowledge to students. There is a complete lack of motivation in Nigerian public schools, and education is one of the most neglected sectors in the country. A big issue in education is the severe scarcity of teachers in all subject areas. The situation is so bad; in certain schools, the principal may be the only teacher available.
Many solutions have been suggested to curb this menace. According to TCB & ASSOCIATES, more schools should be built to make education more accessible to everybody. To avoid needless strikes, the government should prioritize the well-being of teachers. In addition, more qualified teachers should be hired to address the current teacher shortage in our schools. Educational facilities should be modernized, and enough instructional resources should be made available. The need to strengthen higher education should begin with a focus on preschools, elementary schools, secondary schools, and vocational institutions. Because not everyone needs a university education, these are the building blocks of society’s educational basis.
Furthermore, TCB & ASSOCIATES suggests that the federal and state governments should find measures to assist financially disadvantaged students in higher education by making favourable financial loans available to help them complete their degrees. It is necessary to make adequate plans to collect student loans as soon as they are employed. Finally, parents should be made aware of their involvement in raising the country’s educational standards. They should pay closer attention to their children’s academic achievement and make sure that they are learning.
According to Chinelo Ogoamaka Duze, the falling standard of education in Nigeria could also be attributed to the lost glories of traditional education, which instils, among other things, the critical values of hard work, diligence, integrity, and high productivity. She also surveyed to determine whether educational standards were falling in Nigeria and, if so, at what level. She discovered that standards had declined at all levels of education, with the tertiary level being the worst hit, followed by secondary and, finally, primary. The three main reasons were: inadequate educational funding, ineffective educational policies and programs, and a negative attitude toward schoolwork. UNESCO’s minimum of 26 per cent of the annual budget for education, inculcation of traditional education precepts, and utilization of research findings in running Nigeria’s education were among the recommendations. Ultimately, any society’s educational sector must be formidable if it is to develop. Education is, in reality, the backbone of all industrialized countries around the world. As a result, Nigeria must do everything possible to prevent the deterioration of its educational standards.