A deputy vice chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Nike Ijaiya, says Nigeria’s educational system promotes enslavement of the mind and examination malpractice.
Speaking at the 2016 graduation and prize giving ceremony of Roemichs International Schools, Ilorin on Wednesday, Mrs Ijaiya said that intellectual debates and individual presentations are limited in Nigeria’s educational system, and that “thus new ideas or critical thinking are severely limited.”
“Nigerian educational system that emphasises completion of syllabus, objective questions at the expense of critical thinking skills, lecturing rather than group discussion, fixed chairs and desks, lecture theatres instead of loose-sitting arrangement that are movable for group discussion and assignments can only promote regurgitation of facts presented by the teachers and examination malpractice,” she noted.
Professor Ijaiya advised government and the people to promote quality education above enslavement of the mind, saying that deprivation, inflation, unemployment, and poverty being complained about by Nigerians are not caused by the increase in the price of petrol (PMS), but are symptoms of a chronic disease called ‘enslavement of the mind’ “by the minority elite, of the ignorant and gullible masses who have resigned to their fate; and rather than open their eyes wide enough to see things clearly (they) would prefer to blame others and look for one-man ‘messiah’.”
Mrs Ijaiya said that Nigeria needs ideas to ‘fight’ enslavement of the mind, adding that, “an educated person should not be gullible but critical in his thinking. We need unity, intellectual solutions to our national challenges; and above all, strict laws that will curb the cheats in our nation.”
“Today, the world is ruled by new ideas and innovation. Youngsters across the globe are doing great things with technology. Can our students compete globally? How can they participate in the technological development rather than be consumers? Even when some have the ability (and we have seen great invention by some youth in this country), have our leaders given them encouragement to develop and patent them?”
The professor of Educational Psychology also called on government to return History subject to its past glory in the school curriculum, adding that it should also make reading association mandatory in all secondary schools.
“Education is the best investment and the foundation of any meaningful development, and teachers are the pivot around which its quality revolves. Unhappy teachers cannot deliver quality education, as one can force a horse to the river, but cannot force it to drink water,” she said.