My house is sandwiched between two “private schools” not by any design or plan work but . . . this is where we have found ourselves now. It all started with a school first and the next thing another school sprang up on the other side.
Initially it was annoying because I knew the peace and quiet we had enjoyed over the years was slipping away. Then my annoyance turned to anger over the quality of teachers and teaching given to the children.
Starting from the Nursery/Primary schools where the foundation is laid, one is appalled at the kind of teachers the schools employ. The teachers are barely out of their diapers (exaggeration mine) and don’t know anything about training children. Then to the primary schools, the child is faced with “teachers “ who have only just maybe gathered experience from teaching in other schools or from the federal college of education. The secondary schools are a lost cause as the teachers are either still students in the Federal Colleges of education or in the university. Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to work and earn a living but not at the detriment of the future of a whole generation. And the flip side of it is where you have qualified teachers; there is some sort of confusion over which syllabus to follow. A friend aptly puts it as thus:
Well, if I am to do 26 subjects, I don’t think I would have finished school at all.
To digress a bit, I think parents also have a share in the blame. We have all run away from public schools which we say is not good enough for our children but good enough for the helps at home and want to put our children in private schools most of which have beautiful names, beautiful structures and eloquent principals and some just for the sheer fact that our kids are attending private schools . . .
Over the past few weeks, I have seen several posts about the extremely alarming work that is given to children in primary schools in Nigeria and the way in which Teachers dole out punishment with reckless abandon to children.
Students in primary schools are between the ages of 5 and 10 years. These children are between the formative stages of their lives and it grieves my heart to see and hear how these children are being enslaved in the name of being educated.
The life cycle of a child in Nigerian schools!
- Wakes up at 5am to prepare for school
- In school by 7:30 am
- Classes 8 hours a day with 60 minutes break time the whole day
- Friday is an exception . School close at 1pm with enough homework to last a month
- returns home at the earliest 3pm with a ton of homework that will last till late in the night
- goes to bed tired at about 10pm once homework is done
Now, I am wondering what time does the child have to grow up. Live his/her childhood when all the time the child is weighed down by school work.
But then we complain about the gradual disappearance of respect and value for humanity and I ask; when all the children are being taught is mathematics, English, civic education, computer classes, foreign languages etc . . . what time do they have to learn about the ways of life,, social values, cultural values and living together with others.
I don’t know if this is a social call or not but the EDUCATION SYSTEM is draining fast. Federal and State Ministries of education, NGO’s into education and for people like me concerned about the future of our little ones, we need to start a wakeup call and declare a state of emergency on the education sector!