Provost of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Isu, Ebonyi state, Prof Ruben Okey Okechukwu, has advocated an education conference in the country to discuss the way out of the many challenges confronting Nigeria’s education system.
According to the professor, the report of the conference will help in addressing the many challenges that have bedeviled the nation’s education system.
He noted that a similar conference convoked immediately after the civil war in 1970 had developed education immensely which led to the introduction of the universal primary education.
On the ravaging insecurity plaguing some parts of the North, leading to kidnapping of students in exchange for ransom, he urged government to urgently arrest the ugly trend.
Okechukwu, who spoke in Abuja after he was conferred with a professorial award by the Hipdet University and British American Business School, enumerated the problems confronting the education system to include increasing number of out-of-school children due to poverty, career imposition by parents and government misapplication of resources allocated to education.
This, according to him, has given rise to half-baked graduates whose output usually create doubt as to whether such a person went through a university or not.
He further stated that Nigerians needed orientation and sensitisation, adding that government and legislations cannot do it alone.
While calling on the government to provide conducive environment for learning in schools in the country, Okechukwu advised parents not to impose courses on their children so that those who are gifted to study science should restrict themselves to science while those gifted in arts should be allowed to go with arts.
“We need a reorientation, recommitment and a redevelopment of the mind to approach the world as it is presently. So the government’s duty is to provide environment for learning to take place.
“It is also our duty as teachers to condition ourselves to that situation so that teaching/learning could take place in a very favourable atmosphere.
“You know that in the North, the security situation is worrisome. We need to do something about the security situation. The parents also need to encourage their children to return to schools.
“Sometimes these people drop out of school because sometimes not because they don’t have money because sometimes their colleagues or mates in other fields have made it in other areas of life.
“In the case of Anambra, if your age mate has built a house for the father and he is driving a range rover jeep, you too have to do that. That is the reason for dropout in most cases.
“Also, the economy has affected educational development/system in Nigeria. When you cannot feed, you cannot train your children. We all need to come to the drawing board and convoke educational conference where we can discuss ways forward out of the woods.
“If we convoke education conference as they convoke conferences in other areas, we will be able to discuss what actually developed education after the war. It was the education conference they convoked that introduced the universal primary education,” he stated.