The use of smartphones and internet has affected reading culture among Nigerian students, encouraged examination malpractices, cultism and other vices among students, Director of National Education Academy, Prof. Adams Agahiu, has said.
He advised the government to “fund the education sector properly, pay teachers handsomely and promptly so that they could focus more on their jobs.”
“A situation whereby teachers and university have to run around to source for extra funds to feed their families often create gap of indiscipline and this makes the students do whatever they like without being attended to.
“Teaching abroad is smooth because they pay wages as and when due, but you must work to their satisfaction or lose your job. Therefore, the Nigerian government should replicate such discipline in our schools to instil discipline in the teachers and students. Education must be students centred because teachers must always impact knowledge and morals in their students not the other way round”, Agahiu stated.
He also raised the alarm over the decay in both infrastructures and quality of education in the country with a call on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the education sector.
According to him, the demand became necessary because of “infrastructure decay and academic laxities among students.”
Agahiu, a senior lecturer at the National Open University of Nigeria, told journalists that having experienced education in the country and the United States, the standard of education and gap between both countries had remained widened.
“The decay in both infrastructures and Nigerian education has gotten to an alarming rate whereby the Federal government must urgently intervene to arrest the ugly trend. There is high level of indiscipline and lackadaisical attitudes from teachers and students in Nigeria.
“Indiscipline on the part of students has made them lazier and unable to read. Reading culture among Nigerian students is now nightmarish owing to the availability of smartphones and the internet and all these encourage examination malpractices, cultism and other vices among students”.
“The standard of Nigerian education in the early 1960s which I enjoyed has dropped to zero level. In those days in my nativity in Ofu – Idah, Kogi State Nigeria, headquarters of Kogi Central Senatorial districts with nine Local Governments, education was at its best”.
“We were under the then Benue State government and students strived hard to read with lantern in order to pass their examinations. I spent about five years as Headmaster in Anyigba, Ankpa and Principal in Ajekalaga Semene Secondary School before leaving for U.S to further my studies and lectured for over 26 years in New York City. Unfortunately, the growth and values we witnessed in the education sector before travelling abroad were no longer feasible.
While comparing education in the United States with Nigeria, Agahiu said the difference had been so wide.
“The standards of education in both countries are wide. When I worked in Nigeria as a teacher in those days, I discovered, we lacked many qualified teachers as only few teachers were trained. But in the U.S, you cannot teach in any school without proper certification.
“Again, you cannot be late to school like the lackadaisical attitudes exhibited by many Academic Administrators, teachers, lecturers and students without being punished.”
Agahiu also advised Kogi State government to build Education Academies like those in the United States to help keep students more focused on their studies.
The EAs, he said, would end examination malpractices, drugs addiction among students and other vices owing to proper monitoring.
“My priority would be to help the state build a solid academy and use my links from the U.S to fund the project. With this, we would be able to put our education right at home and this would serve as a role model for educational standards in Nigeria”, he said.