Nigeria System of Education: A Mirage Amidst Hope
Today, a foreign language is what anyone must pass to be able to gain admission into Nigerians tertiary institutions.
A child whose foundation is not in the English language will have to undergo series of training to be able to communicate effectively and thereafter pass the English exams before securing admission into the tertiary institution.
Now, what if his/her mother tongue is used as a medium of instruction, would it have taken that long to get the child educated in a common trade? Well, we chose to embrace the English language because we felt ours is not good enough.
In the United Kingdom, for example, an emphasis is placed on the development of the child from the very beginning, her culture is the first to be inculcated as that is very critical in the development of a child. This child must first realize that he/she is a Briton, and this and this…are the characteristics of a Briton, the child is already indoctrinated with the dos and don’ts and that child grows to be a typical Briton and he/she is proud to be one and that remains so unless the child decides to deviate.
Being a graduate in those developed countries have not placed any superiority on any person, as there are jobs for every Tom, Dick and Harry, whether you are a graduate or not, the minimum wage is paid to anybody irrespective of qualification, in fact, age becomes one of the strongest criteria for determining one’s minimum wage which conversely is what Nigerians die to achieve and yet most have no jobs after graduation.
Nigeria no doubt, is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic nation, but be that as it may, I can only propose that mother tongue be used as one of the important media of instructions at whatever level and emphasis should be placed on mother-tongue as a requirement to gain admission into Nigeria’s tertiary institution, to encourage even those who cannot speak the so-called English language.
Also, I will propose we just have three (3) Universities in Nigeria, first should be the University of Agriculture, secondly, the University of Petroleum, and finally, the University of Science and Technology, all should be situated in every geopolitical zone in Nigeria, to begin to harness the various untapped resources wasting away in Nigeria.
Lastly, a closer look at some of the developed nations where the English language is not a medium of instruction, take, for instance, China, Japan, Singapore, Russia, etc.
Do they have to abandon their languages and embrace the English language before they are developed? Critics might want to react, but before they do so, they should recall that Nigerians were faring better with whatever level of education they had before the coming of the colonial masters.
I watched a video clip of Sir Abubakar Tarfawa Balewa’s (Nigeria’s former Prime Minister) first visit to the United States in 1961, that was a year after Nigeria got her independence.
Americans came out en-mass and stood still, to witness a historical moment.
The question now is, how did we get it this bad?