Nigeria Has Many Roadside Teachers – Okebukola

The Chairman of Council of the Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, Prof. Peter Okebukola, on Monday in Lagos declared that there were too many roadside teachers in the country.

Okebukola also urged the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to review the current model of teacher education in the country.

He stated this while delivering a convocation lecture entitled “Taking Advantage of a depressing Nigerian economy to accelerate socio-economic development” at the University of Lagos on Monday.

According to him, if the incoming administration wants to improve on the quality of education in the country, it should review the existing model for preparing teachers, with a view to inaugurating another one.

Okebukola, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, while offering solutions to the problem, noted that there was the need to focus on better teacher quality, provision of learner-friendly facilities and curriculum delivery.

He said, “The first line of business should be to improve teacher quality at all levels of the education system. Our 15-year study has shown that teacher quality accounts for about 22 per cent of the variance of scores on overall quality of the education system.

“If Gen. Buhari will want to improve the quality of education in Nigeria, he should dismantle the current model of teacher preparation and install one that will lead to the production of quality teachers who are steeped in content knowledge. There are too many roadside teachers in Nigeria today. Every day they are in the classroom sets the nation back two years.

“Next is to improve the quality and quantity of facilities for teaching and learning at the basic, post-basic and higher education levels. Over 80 per cent of our public basic schools have grossly sub-standard facilities. About 65 per cent of our tertiary institutions also face this poor-facilities blight.

“Research shows that facilities account for about 18 per cent of the variance in quality scores, therefore, paying attention to this variable should be of great interest to the Buhari administration.

“Lastly, a good curriculum delivery platform offers an opportunity for practical work and engagement of students. It also embeds values re-orientation and the teaching of 21st century skills.”

To further reform the sector, Okebukola recommended a reduction in the load of education courses, more time for teaching practice, limiting the number of Sandwich/Part-time students and the periodic training of teachers in modern methods of teaching.

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