A Solid Base To Sustain Authentic Teacher Education In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Education

A Solid Base To Sustain Authentic Teacher Education In Nigeria


The study has been conceived out of the current problems facing the Nigeria education industry, especially the extravagant and uncontrolled bureaucracy which the government and the policy makers have enthroned over and above the profession of teaching. The undue recognition accorded to bureaucratic processes which place undue emphasis to the office administrators than those· teachers labouring in the classrooms. Teachers were underpaid and less motivated. The consequences are that the teachers transfer their aggression on the work they do and the way they do it. Again the teaching profession has not been recognized as a profession in the first place. This is evident from the treatment that is meted out to the teachers and their union. COIP4C is an authentic educative approach that helps to stimulate the thinking capacity of children and motivates them in reasoning. With P4C method, everybody is an inquirer or philosopher. The main goal of P4C is to seek for truth and clarity of ideas. No truth is the absolute and this method of educating children in the classroom is what will help to bridge the missing link in the chain of education and that is reasonableness.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

Nigeria needs a better educational system than what we she has at present. There is no gain saying the fact that authenticity has eluded us both individually and collectively as a people. Our environment is polluted with artificiality. We ignore nature’s gifts within and around us in preference to synthetic existence. We prefer to copy the work and life of other people regardless of our own background, nature and nurture. We thrive in sacrificing authenticity at the alter of conventionality. Because of these misgivings and misconceptions, we have persistently witnessed in our societies and communities cultural upheavals and disenchantment, political and democratic imbalances, socio-economic disequilibrium and academic backwardness.

All these individual, social lives and values are immersed in the deep see of deception. The position we find ourselves and the state of affairs of the nation is filled in utter confusion. It has been severally said that the life of any nation depends on the type of education it has. Apparently, no one seems to have any correct answers to the multifarious problems facing the country’s education system. The government is handicapped in finding a lasting solution to the nation’s education problems instead it is contented with the policy of remediation

Lack of authentic education has been the bane of Nigeria’s existence from cradle: There are numerous cases of in authenticity in our society.

There are cases of many schooled persons who are yet to be educated. Engineers who can not fix their cars’ engine problems instead they will be looking for road side mechanics to do it for them. There elites in our society who have acquired the white man’s education based on theory alone without practical application of the technical know-how or depth knowledge and experience of the discipline they have undertaken. This accounts for the reason why we have many lettered but uneducated people certificated but not certified graduates who roam the streets of our urban cities in search of the scarce white-collar jobs instead of being able to generate or create job opportunities for themselves and the less privileged members of the society. What then is the value of education if it lacks authenticity? Where and how does one evaluate such education which does not help its possessor to become self-actualized, self-realized and self-fulfilled? Does the holy book not say that the supremacy of knowledge /wisdom is that it helps the owner to live? Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verses 11 & 12 say” “Everyone who lives ought to be wise; it is as good as receiving an inheritance and will give you much security as money can. Wisdom keeps you safe; this is the advantage of wisdom. Thus the value of good education is reflected in the usefulness of such education in making one self-reliant, self-realized, self-actualized and self- fulfilled.

Though many educationists and authors have written so much on the educational problems of Nigeria and have equally proffered various solutions both workable and unworkable to the problems, the very Ref. Fr. Prof. Stan Anih has distinguished himself as an author par excellence by his many education theories and write-ups. He has dealt in details about authentic education and what Nigeria ought to be in the third millennium. He has written about the qualities a potential teacher should possess in order to achieve his objectives in the classroom. He has written about the need to teach philosophy from pre primary, primary, secondary and to the tertiary institutions m order to authenticate education in Nigeria. He has equally dealt with the problems facing the teachers both individually and collectively in their teaching profession which he captioned “The anatomy of a professional teacher”. In fact the very Rev. Prof. Stan Anih has synthesized many issues concerning functional and innovative approach to education. These syntheses of the very rev Fr. Prof. Stan Anih is what this study is set to review and to point out how and where they could be used in tackling Nigeria’s education problems.

1.1 Background Of The Study

Nigeria is at the· cross roads of her developmental stage and therefore needs a decisive action to liberate her from the danger of total collapse in the face of political, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, ecological, and religious and communication problems. It has been repeatedly said that no nation can rise above her education and Nigeria is not an exception. The method of education adopted by any country speaks volumes as to how far the country would go in solving her domestic or internal problems and her relationship with other people especially her external neighbours.

Each country has problems and needs that are peculiar to her and her environment and as such need to construct her education philosophy with regards to her needs. Education in Nigeria is an instrument par excellence for effecting national development (N.P.E. 2004:4).

It has witnessed active participation by individuals, communities, non-governmental agencies as well as government intervention. It is therefore desirable for the nation to spell out in clear and unequivocal terms the philosophy and objectives that underlines its investment in education. The Federal Government of Nigeria has stated that for the benefit of all citizens the country’s educational goals shall be clearly set out in terms of their relevance to the needs of the individuals and those of the society in consonance with the realities of our environment and modern world (ibid).

Unfortunately, Nigeria’s education system is still in the woods courtesy of strict adherence to the conventional pedagogical method of education which she received from her erstwhile British colonial master which does not consider the implications of such education philosophy to Nigeria’s political, socio-cultural, economic, environmental and ecological needs.

The pedagogical method of education is devoid of reasonableness because the British came to Nigeria and other African colonial dependences not to develop them but to saturate their economic and political ambitions and so their educational objectives are based on how to maximize their profit and expand their territorial ambition. They introduced to the colonies the type of education that ensured their continuous domination of those colonies which emphasizes basically the “3Rs” – Reading;’ writing and Arithmetic through which they produced those who could read their letters or directives (Anih,s ; Igwe, S. and Igwe, C. 2004: 110). This method of education is devoid of the 41h R reasonableness which is the missing link in our education system.

Since the system does not teach reasonableness, it does not possess the capacity to empower the citizens towards self – actualization, self ­fulfillment and self – emancipation. The system was only able to produce local teachers, catechists, interpreters, clerks and other minor workers, who have no capability to play any leadership role in economic cum socio-political arena of their countries. The colonial masters tended to cling to these leadership roles perpetually while keeping the citizens of the colonies in perpetual bondage of servitude. It then became true that no education philosophy could appropriately address the problems of a country than the one made for her by her own citizens because it is one who wears the shoe that knows where it pinches him. It is pertinent at this juncture to state that we know our problems better and should solve them better with our own indigenous, resources.

The educational objectives of Nigeria in the 21st century differ completely from that of Britain of the 18th century. There is a big gulf of difference in the spatio-temporal perspectives of the two countries and so educational philosophy planned by the British and for the British interests in the 18th century can not be used to solve Nigeria’s problems in the 21st century.

The major alms of the British venture into Nigeria were for politico-economic interests to ensure steady supply of raw materials to their industries back home and not to train the indigenous people of Nigeria. They worked for gain and not for grace.

Thus, it can be said free of any equivocation that the system of education which the British people bequeathed to Nigeria was completely pedagogical in practice, dehumanizing and depersonalizing in intent and slavish in execution. Any education system based on pedagogy emphasizes competition instead of cooperation, me ism instead of we hood, egoism and monocracy instead of democracy.

The education policy formulated by the pedagogists always paid lips service to the teaching of reflective, critical and creative thinking even as enshrined in the national policy on education 1981 (revised 1998 and 2004) respectively.

When we examine the in-put and out-put of the nation’s education system, we shall see how far we have performed woefully below expectations ‘because of misapplication of priorities which is associated with the pedagogical stance of education. The Nigerian education system has failed to achieve the broad goals of education as mapped out in the national education policy.

It is common knowledge that most of our secondary school leavers do not possess the ability and skills to reason well, they do not respect the dignity of labour, all they live and hope for IS to pass their final examinations through cheat and “expo 419”. They like the school administrators target only the end result. They are not interested in the means by which they achieve those results. The values and norms of honest living have eluded those children from the beginning and so, how would they be expected to live honest lives after they had been schooled and graduated in dishonesty. That is why in our political lives, we exhibit bitterness, rancor and turgery. The school curriculum is prepared and delivered in such a way that the children are not invited to think. They are expected to reproduce exactly what the teachers had given them thereby encouraging laziness among the pupils/ students hence there is acute lack of creativity.

The pedagogical method of education has dealt a great havoc to our education system. As a result we have the problems of cultism in the secondary ‘Schools and tertiary institutions to contend with. The students vandalize school properties, kill and main their fellow students and teachers; they are threat to themselves and the society in which they live and above all they have been performing woefully in their academic out-put generally.

Anih, S. (2004: 109) states that negligence of reason results in the loss of everything. He emphasized the need for redesigning of Nigeria’s education philosophy. We need an authentic philosophy of education to solve national problems in Nigeria.

1.2 Point Of Inquiry/Statement Of The Problem

There are four main phases to the problems of Nigerian education system. These are:

  1. Problem of what to teach
  2. How to teach
  3. Problem of effective management or bureaucracy
  4. Problem of professionalization of teaching.

The problem of what to teach has to do with the curriculum of education while the problem of how to teach is concerned with the method to be used in teaching and learning business co make learning effective. The management or bureaucratic problem is the mother of all problems since management is concerned with planning, directing, controlling, organizing, and supervising of any organization.

Quite unfortunately, there are many mediocre in the various levels of administrative cadres of our education system. In the classrooms, there are teachers who are not qualified to teach in the first place but they are there for one reason or the other. Because they do not understand the nature of teaching work, they cannot be effective in their work and as such cannot impact any meaningful learning to the learner. The teaching profession is currently being regarded as profession of the hopeless as all manner of people enter the profession both qualified and unqualified (Chigbo, 1976: 9­10; Anih, 1988:2-3). The Nigerian Union of Teachers (N.U.T.) has neither means of controlling entry into the teaching profession nor to discipline the erring teachers.

The administrative problems or bureaucracy places undue emphasis to the office administration at the detriment of the teachers who labour in the classrooms. The people in the hierarchy of education administration and the policy makers show more interest in the award of frivolous and inflated contracts from which they enrich themselves at the expense of teachers, students and the schools. As a result there are evidence of dilapidations of the school buildings and infrastructure; the teachers are not motivated to teach. Teachers are paid peanut compared to their counterparts in other professions which have always resulted in trade disputes between the Nigerian Union of Teachers and the government. During the strike actions, a lot of useful time is wasted at the expense of the learning periods, the tax payers money and above all the learners (pupils and students) who could not graduate within the expected duration of their studies at various levels of education. This has caused frustration to many of the students and makes them to lose interest completely in their studies.

Another bad effect from this is that the teachers are deprived of job satisfaction. The teachers who are so badly treated by their employers do not teach with profound interest as most of them are engaged in other activities like petty trading, okada and kabukabu riding, pepper soup joint and quasi restaurant businesses to make ends meet. They spend less time to prepare their lessons if at all they do. As a result, the business of teaching suffers and the products of school are half-baked and less prepared people who are brought into the society with less quality education and nothing to offer their societies.

This study will expose the reader to of the very Rev. Fr. Stan Anih’s synthesis in education with a view of unveiling the secrets of successful teaching principles and practices of education.

1.3 Purpose Of The Study

This research study aims among other things:

  1. To do a survey on Nigeria’s education. system with a view to finding out how the pedagogical conventional method of education has affected the development of education in Nigeria.
  2. To show evidence of misplaced priorities in approach to educational issue in Nigeria.
  3. To evaluate the teaching profession with a View to finding a lasting solution to the problems confronting the teaching profession, e.g. the issues of falling standard of education; poor academic performance/ achievement of pupils/ students; teachers incessant strikes and cultism in our schools.
  4. To see that the child as the epicenter of education is given its rightful place in the education process.
  5. To point out and place the right values to our education system.
  6. To show how the COIP4C educational approach could be used to address ‘the socio-economic, political and cultural Issues that affect education in Nigeria.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

The importance of this study is that the outcome of the inquiry will be useful in:

  1. Addressing the Issue of academic backwardness of pupils/ students in Nigeria.
  2. It will address the problems of lack of motivation for the teachers and the taught in Nigeria.
  3. It will address the problem of placing much emphasis on rote learning and memorization which does not elicit thinking in the learner
  4. The study is like a roadmap showing/directing our educational objectives.
  5. The study will provide a format for redesigning the Nigerian education system.
  6. The study will help the teacher’s educators in the colleges of education to see the importance of giving adequate training to the student teachers that is in line with modern methods of education.
  7. It will help the student teachers to embrace this innovative method of performance / achievement t through the teaching of thinking skills in a community of inquiry format
  8. It will help the education curriculum designers In formulating better curriculum for our schools.
  9. It will help to solve the problems of cultism and examination malpractices in our schools and education system.

1.5 Scope Of The Study

This study is limited to the investigation of Nigerian educational problems and will cover such areas as.

  1. Principles and practice of education
  2. Effective method in teaching and learning
  3. Better management strategy for effective education administration and planning.

1.6 Target Audience

This study is directed to the following group of people in Nigerian education system.

  1. Student teachers in the colleges of education
  2. Classroom teachers both in pre-services and in-service education administrators and managers of our various institution of learning

A Solid Base To Sustain Authentic Teacher Education In Nigeria

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