Preparing Teachers For The Challenges Of Nigeria Vision 202020

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PREPARING TEACHERS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF VISION 20:2020

Abstract

An unbiased in-depth examination of the situation of things in Nigeria clearly shows that the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and its precursors: the Seven Point Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not achievable by the target dates. They may not even be achievable by the end of this century unless Nigeria goes through a rebirth. The challenges, which are all Nigerian made, are enormous. As regards preparation of teachers for the challenges of the Vision, it is a herculean task because the right people to prepare are not easy to come by; and the right people to prepare them are also not there. The right people left in the teacher training vineyard are very few and on their way out of the system. The proposed possible solutions to the whole scenario include making teacher training in Nigeria 100 percent free with added incentives, clear definition of career patterns for teachers, excellent emoluments, rigorous selection process for university teachers, adjustments in teacher education curricula, establishment of model Universities of Education, and last but not the least, absolute re-orientation of Nigerians.

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Preparing Teachers For The Challenges Of Nigeria Vision 202020

  1. 1. PREPARING TEACHERS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA VISION 20:2020 BY PROFESSOR ALPHONSO I. IKEOTUONYE, FNAE. FACULTY OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA, ABUJA
  2. 2. PREPARING TEACHERS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF VISION 20:2020 AbstractAn unbiased in-depth examination of the situation of things in Nigeria clearly shows that the NigeriaVision 20:2020 and its precursors: the Seven Point Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) are not achievable by the target dates. They may not even be achievable by the end of thiscentury unless Nigeria goes through a rebirth. The challenges, which are all Nigerian made, areenormous. As regards preparation of teachers for the challenges of the Vision, it is a herculean taskbecause the right people to prepare are not easy to come by; and the right people to prepare them arealso not there. The right people left in the teacher training vineyard are very few and on their way out ofthe system. The proposed possible solutions to the whole scenario include making teacher training inNigeria 100 percent free with added incentives, clear definition of career patterns for teachers, excellentemoluments, rigorous selection process for university teachers, adjustments in teacher educationcurricula, establishment of model Universities of Education, and last but not the least, absolute re-orientation of Nigerians. 1
  3. 3. IntroductionThe focus of this paper is preparation of teachers for the challenges of the NigeriaVision 20:2020. However, the paper will first define the route to the preparation;and this definition of route includes a detailed assessment of the achievability ofthe Vision itself and its precursors, namely, the Seven Point Agenda and theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs). This route definition is considerednecessary because, as the writer always states, if an individual does not knowwhen he gets into the rain, he will not know when he gets out of it.Vision 20:2020It is stated in the document ‘Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint’(2009) that by the year 2020, Nigeria will have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and quality of life to its citizens (p. 9).In order to achieve this, according to the same vision statement, a Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) of not less than $900 billion is required. This translates to aNational per capita income of not less than $4000 annually by the year 2020. It isalso stated that another implication of the Vision 20:2020 is that Nigeria’seconomy must grow at an average rate of 13.8 percent during the period.Another expectation is that by 2020 Nigeria will generate 60,000 megawatts ofelectricity.The objectives of Vision 20:2020 have social, economic, institutional andenvironmental dimensions. The social dimension envisions an equal society thatcan sustain a life expectancy of at least 70 years. 2
  4. 4. The economic dimension envisages a vibrant economy whose manufacturingsector can contribute at least 25 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The institutional dimension expects a stable democracy; while the environmentaldimension envisions effective management of our natural environments. It ispretty clear, from the objectives, that the Vision 20:2020 is a grandioseadventure. The question is: Is it achievable?The Present Situation of Things in NigeriaA good question to ask is: Where is Nigeria this year 2010? From Wikipedia(http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/ , the list of countries by GDP shows that Nigeriaoccupies the 41st position, with GDP of $207,116 million by 2008 InternationalMonetary Fund ranking; 38th position with GDP of $212,080 million by 2008 WorldBank ranking; and 44th position with GDP of $165,400 million by 2009 CIA WorldFact book ranking. It is very easy to see the yawning gap between the GDP of$900 billion required by 2020 and the present situation.From recent Nigerian Television Authority news, it is known that Nigeria atpresent generates about 3,700 MW of electricity. The nation had a target of 6,000MW by December 2009, and came abysmally short of that. One can also see thegap that exists between the projected requirement of 60,000 MW of electricityrequired by 2020 and the current capacity of 3,700MW. It was stated earlier thatthe social dimension of Vision 20:2020 envisions life expectancy of at least 70years for Nigerians. The Human Development Index Report 2007/2008,presented in the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Economic Blueprint (2009), shows thatlife expectancy in Nigeria at birth was 46.5 years in 2005. With almost 70.8percent and 92.4 percent of Nigerians living below income poverty line of onedollar and two dollars a day respectively, one may suggest that life expectancy islikely to drop rather than go higher than the present level. 3
  5. 5. At present, the growth rate of Nigeria’s economy is 7. 4%; and the industrialsector contributes only 4% to the GDP.The Precursors of Vision 20:2020In order to get a more comprehensive idea of the present economic situation inNigeria, we need to have a quick look at what might be described as theprecursors of the Vision 20:2020; namely, the Seven Point Agenda and TheMillennium Development Goals (MDG).The Seven Point AgendaThe Seven Point Agenda encompasses the following areas: 1. Power and energy 2. Food security and agriculture 3. Wealth creation and employment 4. Mass transportation 5. Land reform 6. Security 7. Qualitative and functional educationPower and energyEverybody in Nigeria knows that the situation of power and energy is veryworrisome, to state the least. The Federal government of Nigeria promised thatby December 2009, electricity generation would go up to 6,000 MW. Today thePower Holding Company of Nigeria is struggling to maintain the 3,700 MWcurrently generated. It is already stated that for the Vision 20:2020 to be achievedthe target is 60,000 MW. It is clear that with the present power and energysituation, the expected industrial development is a bad dream.
  6. 6. 4Food security and agricultureThe Seven Point Agenda expects a “5-10 fold increase in yield and production”;which would result “in massive domestic and commercial outputs andtechnological knowledge transfer to farmers”(httpi//www.nigerianmuse.com/20070930075420zg/spotlight/govern…).Thewriter knows that this is an empty promise. The likely thing to happen is that foodprices will continue to rise. Many more Nigerians will go hungry. Thus, the idea offood security is a farce.Wealth creation and employmentOne can observe some efforts here and there to help the teeming unemployedand unemployable youths in Nigeria to acquire some skills and become useful tothemselves and society. However, to the best of the writer’s judgment, the effortsdo not amount to more than a few drops in the ocean. As regards wealthcreation, Nigeria’s economy is hopelessly dependent on crude petroleum exports.Abject poverty stays over 70 percent of Nigerians on the face. Nigeria is stillranked among the poorest countries in the world.Mass transportationEfforts in this area are a far cry from the objectives of the agenda. Most Nigerianroads are in a very bad state of repair. Water transport is yet to become a reality.Only God knows when the dredging of the River Niger will be completed. Airtransportation is faltering to the extent that the Central Bank of Nigeria had towork out a rescue package for it. Rail transport is still virtually in the pipeline.Thus reliable, sustainable mass transportation is still a dream in Nigeria.Land reformThere is ongoing discussion of land reform in Nigeria. To the best of the writer’sknowledge, it is all talking and no action yet.
  7. 7. 5 The first term of the present federal government remains about six months; andland reform is still at the discussion stage. The question is: Will the next four yearssee anything concrete in land reform?SecurityWhen the State and Federal governments of Nigeria talk of security, it is only ontheir lips and minds. With each day that passes insecurity of lives and propertyincreases. There are the religious and tribal conflicts which usually leave hundredsof people dead and hundreds of others maimed. I do not think that you havealready forgotten the recurring Jos crises, the recurring Boko Haram onslaught onthe nation, and so on. Violence seems to be part of the political culture in Nigeria.Let us watch and see what will happen between now and May 2011, and in factthereafter. Crimes such as armed robberies, kidnappings, judicial murder, ritualkillings, and so on, are increasing at an alarming rate. Corruption, of course, is anincurable cancer in Nigeria. The latest addition to insecurity in Nigeria is thebombing that took place on October 1st, 2010. Thus, forgive me to state the truththat what the Seven Point Agenda has achieved in the area of security is to makethe country, more or less, a haven for criminals.Qualitative and functional educationIn the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s education in Nigeria was at its best level.Even primary, secondary school and teacher training graduates were persons whocontributed to the development of society. They effectively manned the schools,government offices, company and industrial positions. Of course, universitygraduates were very highly skilled persons who attracted respect all over theworld. From the mid 1980s, things fell apart. Rapid decline set in as “a result ofbad political, economic and national development policies” (Ikeotuonye 2000a). 6
  8. 8. Today, when one talks of quality and functionality of education in Nigeria, he istalking of illiterate primary school leavers, semi-illiterate and disorientedsecondary school leavers, unemployable university graduates, inefficient anddisoriented teachers at all three levels of education, over-crowded classroomsalso at all three levels of education, and poor educational infrastructure. One cango on and on enumerating various types of decay in the education sector.From the foregoing analysis, it is clear even to the untutored mind that the SevenPoint Agenda is nothing but political music meant to keep Nigerians singingFederal government praises while things go from bad to worse. As a precursor ofthe Vision 20:2020, the Seven Point Agenda is, more or less, a dream. We shallnow turn our attention to another precursor of the Vision.The Millennium Development GoalsIt is already stated above that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is aprecursor of the Vision 20:2020. Information from Wikipedia (2010) states: Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include reducing extreme poverty reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development (United Nations Development Goals website).The goals are: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty. 2. Achieve universal primary education 3. Promote gender equality and empower women 4. Reduce child mortality rate 5. Improve mental health
  9. 9. 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7 7. Ensure environmental sustainability 8. Develop a global partnership for developmentThe target year for the achievement of the MDGs is 2015. The question that is ofinterest to us is: How has Nigeria fared so far? A quick look at the situation inNigeria shows that about 70 percent of Nigerians still live below the poverty line.Hunger is a big problem particularly in the rural areas. Unemployment is veryhigh. The number of unemployable youths roaming the streets is alarming.Enrollment in the primary and the junior secondary schools is still low. It is knownthat the combined Gross Enrolment Ratio for primary, secondary and tertiaryeducation in 2005 is 56.2 percent. Child mortality rate is high (194 per 1,000 in2005). The percentages of children under-weight and under-height for age arehigh- 29 and 43 respectively in 2005- (Human Development Index Report2007/2008). Girl child education is a recurring issue; while women are grosslyunder-represented in employment and the national and State Assemblies.HIV/AIDS is on the increase. In fact, health care leaves a lot to be desired.Desertification and erosion are threatening the existence of millions of Nigerians.The degradation of the environment in the Niger Delta is a crime againsthumanity. On the whole, the writer appreciates that we are still five years awayfrom 2015; however, there is every reason to doubt that by that year Nigeria canachieve any of the Millennium Development Goals.What has been done so far is to define the route to Vision 20:2020. It is very clearthat there is no evidence along that route to show that Nigeria can achieve any ofthe precursors, namely, the Seven Point Agenda and the MDGs, of the Vision20:2020. If a child can not crawl, one wonders how he can walk, let alone run. Inplain language, the writer sees both the Seven Point Agenda and the Vision20:2020 as political music meant to keep Nigerians singing while the Federalgovernment and the politicians carry on with business as usual.
  10. 10. Even at the expense of some repetition, we want to state most emphatically thateven the untutored mind knows that with the present situation of things in 8Nigeria, (poor and decaying infrastructure, unstable power supply, corruption,inconsistent policies, hopeless dependence on the petroleum sector, increasinginsecurity of lives and property, poverty, poor health care, tumbling standard ofeducation, increasing unemployment and unemployable youths, policy ofequalization towards mediocrity in the name of quota and federal character,unending religious crises, culture of political violence, increase in crime rate, andother numerous anti-development indicators) the idea of the Vision 20:2020places Nigeria squarely in a dreamland. The above analysis shows that thechallenges facing the Vision are enormous and, more or less, intractable. As amatter of fact, even the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Economic Blueprint (2009) itselfexpressed a very loud doubt about the achievability of the objectives of theVision. It is stated: The fact that Nigeria’s socio-economic progress has remained sluggish despite the existence of these plans justifies the level of skepticism and apathy among the Nigerian people as to the possibility of realizing the goals of NV20:2020 (p. 164).This ex-ray of the achievability of Vision 20:2020 and its precursors, hopefully, willmake for easy understanding of the reasoning that will now follow concerningthe nature of teachers needed for the Vision and their availability.Preparing Teachers for the Challenges of Vision 20:2020In a country with stable and responsible governments, development plans form acontinuum with each one dovetailing into the other. Such plans arecomprehensive and include objectives in all aspects of national life. Naturally oneof the objectives of development plans is human capacity development. Humancapacity building hinges absolutely on the education system; and, of course,teachers are the pivot of the education system.
  11. 11. Unfortunately, when we talk of teachers in Nigeria, particularly, at the primaryand secondary levels of education, we are talking of the dregs of society. 9It is stated elsewhere (Ikeotuonye 2000a, 2000b): Teachers are treated as under-dogs by society, including government, members of the community and even students themselves. They are looked down upon as individuals who could not make it in more prestigious and paying jobs. Teachers are not expected to enjoy the good things of life. They are condemned by society to living at subsistence level. He is a teacher; why should he want this or that? This is the usual question. Teachers are used as scape-goats for the country’s socio-political and economic woes. The first indication that government is running out of fund is non-payment of teachers’ salaries. Government is usually happy to sink a lot of wealth into political adventures rather than payment of teachers’ salaries. Teachers are forever condemned to non-payment of fringe benefits, for example, housing allowance, leave grant, transport allowance, and so on. Teachers are not supposed to go on leave. The situation is so bad that almost every young adult thinks it is a curse for anybody to suggest to him or her to apply to study Education in the university. This is the fate we have carved out for our teachers. What should we expect in return? The nation can only reap what it has sown. In our teachers, we have sown inferiority complex, low self esteem, dissatisfaction, bitterness, hunger, nakedness and every other thing that is demeaning. What should we expect in return? We shall leave every listener or reader to think and answer this question himself or herself. However, there is one thing we must not make any mistake about, namely, no nation can develop beyond the condition of its teachers (p. 60, pp. 205-206).When one thinks of preparation of teachers for the challenges of the NigeriaVision 20:2020, the first question that readily comes to mind is: Where are thepersons to be trained? It is already stated that almost every secondary schoolleaver in Nigeria thinks that it is a curse for anybody to suggest to him or her toapply to study Education in the university (Ikeotuonye 2000). Has the situationchanged? The answer is that it is getting worse. You can hardly see any boy or girlwho scored credit in five subjects, including English and Mathematics, applying tostudy Education in the university. As stated elsewhere (Ikeotuonye 2000a): The only boys and girls who go to Colleges of Education, and reluctantly too, are those with poor performance in the School Certificate examinations. As soon as they obtain the Nigerian Certificate in Education (N.C.E.), most of them make frantic efforts to get into the university to read courses other than Education. Only those who fail in this still read
  12. 12. Education most unhappily (p. 62). 10If I may ask again, where are the persons to be trained as teachers?The Present Crop of Primary and Secondary School TeachersThe writer has no hesitation at all in stating that most of the teachers currentlyteaching in Nigeria’s primary and secondary schools are made up of semi-illiterates, unwilling horses and misfits. They are making easily observablecontributions to the falling standard of education in our country. You can imagineonly two percent of all students who sat for WAEC and NECO examinationsobtaining five credits including English and Mathematics in the 2009 May/Juneexaminations. Most probably the two percent got extra help from parents. Thisyear 2010 the percentage of passes is put at about 25 percent in the NECOMay/June examination. A good question is: Are the present crop of primary andsecondary school teachers those that will be retrained for the Nigerian Vision20:2020? The writer’s answer is that old horses, particularly unwilling ones, donot learn new tricks.Teachers at the University LevelFrom the establishment of the first generation universities in Nigeria to the 1980s,the selection process for university teachers was a disciplined exercise(Ikeotuonye 2000a). It is further stated: Most of those selected had the abilities and potentials for scholarship. Salaries and fringe benefits were regular. Scholarships and fellowships were usually available for academic and professional growth and development. The university libraries were rich with most current publications. Facilities for teaching and learning were commendably available. On the whole, the university teacher was satisfied with himself; and also enjoyed a reasonable degree of respect in the society. However, by the mid-1980s things fell apart in the university system as a result of bad political economic and national development policies. Decline set in and proceeded very fast, indeed (pp.60-61).
  13. 13. It is important to point out that as a result of the decline in the university system,brain drain happened at an unprecedented scale. 11Of course, when the good ones left, the misfits moved in . Their motto is struggle for survival. Scholarship, academic and professional development are poison to their ears. University ethics and tradition are thrown to the dogs (p. 61).This description fits most of the present day university teachers. The question is:Are they the kind of university teachers that can train teachers for the NigeriaVision 20:2020? Right now they are largely responsible for littering the Nigerianjob market with semi-illiterate, unemployable graduates.Who Will be Trained and Who Will Train Them?Honestly, the writer sees a very bleak future for the teaching profession inNigeria. From the analysis so far, it is very clear that it is an uphill task to get goodcandidates, of at least average intelligence, to train as teachers. In the year 2000,the writer stated: Thus, if Nigeria wants capable hands in the teaching profession, it must make very serious efforts to get such persons. Otherwise, only birds of passage, misfits and unwilling horses will continue to dominate the profession. The situation will definitely get worse (Ikeotuonye 2000a:62).For sure, the situation has got worse much more than the writer expected. Whatis the way out of this very difficult situation?Possible SolutionsThe possible approaches recommended here should simply serve as a basis forbrainstorming, directed at coming out with sustainable solutions to this seeminglyintractable situation. To start with, the writer will repeat two of the suggestionsmade ten years ago because they are still very relevant today. It is hoped that thistime around there might be somebody who may listen.
  14. 14. 12Ten years ago it was stated: If we want our young adults, who are at least of average intelligence, to go into the teaching profession, government must provide incentives for them in the form of free tuition and bursaries or scholarships for feeding, accommodation and personal welfare (Ikeotuonye 2000a, p.62).All that may be added now is that if the mission schools could do what has beendescribed in the 1950s and 60s, why can our Federal and State governments notdo so now in a country flowing with milk and honey? As a matter of fact, someState governments in the northern part of this country continued with thispractice into the 1970s and early 80s. At the university level, our governmentsprovided scholarships, bursaries, and loans for both Education and non-educationstudents. The writer was a beneficiary of Federal government Crash ProgrammeScholarship. If the truth must be told, it was because of the scholarship that thewriter did not go to University of Ibadan for History Honors; and instead mosthappily went to University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) for a degreein Education/Geography.Concerning career patterns for teachers, it was also stated ten years ago(Ikeotuonye 2000a): The nation should also try defining in very specific terms career patterns for teachers. The upward movement routes should be accessible. Remuneration should be attractive; paid as and at when due. Gratuities, other retirement benefits, and secure pension scheme should be well defined and paid promptly (p.63).The question is: Did anybody listen? It took series of strikes by teachers at alllevels to get what appears to be a fair deal. In some States of the Federation,teachers are still begging for the Special Teachers’ Salary Scale to beimplemented. In the South Eastern States, university teachers went on strikedemanding for the new University Salary Scale to be implemented. It isunfortunate.
  15. 15. 13We think that it is very important to reiterate that teachers’ emoluments shouldbe kept constantly very attractive if the nation wants to attract capable personsto the teaching profession and retain them. May I repeat what was stated tenyears ago, namely, that “no nation can develop beyond the condition of itsteachers” (Ikeotuonye 2000a: 63).There is need for a few words on who will train the teachers who are capable ofhelping to pilot the nation to at least within sight of the Vision 20: 2020objectives. Right now most of the personnel we have in the Colleges and Facultiesof Education all over the nation are those already referred to as misfits. Theymoved into the system when a vacuum was created by brain drain. They are theones whose products created the disaster we have now at the primary andsecondary levels of education. The poor standard and mass failure nowexperienced at these levels of education can be traced back to their entry into theColleges and Faculties of Education as teachers. Their peculiar dispositions arenauseating. Now that the conditions of service in Colleges of Education anduniversities have improved considerably, the suggestion made ten years ago(Ikeotuonye 2000a) will fare better. The universities and other tertiary institutions should go back to the old good days. Recruitment of teachers should be treated with all the seriousness it deserves. Only persons with very high academic and professional capabilities and potentials should be recruited. This was the case in the past. Tertiary institutions should stop employing misfits. Those already employed must be flushed out. There may, in fact, be need for self-esteem enhancement programmes for teachers in tertiary institutions in order to rehabilitate them and upgrade their behaviors (p. 63).It is pretty clear that with the proliferation of universities in Nigeria and increasein school enrollment at all levels of education, there is need for more teachers.Thus, something must be done to rehabilitate and re-orientate some of theteachers now causing havoc in the education system. Those who prove amenableto rehabilitation should be retained; and those resistant to change must beflushed out as already suggested.
  16. 16. 14Adjustments in CurriculaIt is necessary to point out quickly that unless concrete steps are taken to ensurethat young adults of at least average intelligence are attracted to the teachingprofession, and unless concrete steps are taken to recruit capable teachertrainers, any adjustments in teacher education curricula is an absolute waste oftime. Even the curricula we have now can lead to wonderful achievements in allareas of human endeavour, including science and technology. The problem is notwith the curricula but with the present crop of teacher trainers and the unwillinghorses dragged in to train as teachers.If Nigeria is able to bring in persons with appropriate levels of intelligence,aptitudes, interests and personality dispositions into the teaching profession, alittle adjustment in the teacher education curricula will help to produce teacherscapable of understanding the goals of the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and playing theirappropriate roles in achieving those goals, or at least some of them.The specific adjustments in curricula envisaged are in the following areas: (i) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) (ii) Provision of instructional materials (iii) Provision of enabling environmentInformation and Communication TechnologyIt is recommended that our teacher education curricula should be informationand communication technology based. Our teachers should be well educated tomake effective use of modern ICT facilities including the computer, Internetfacilities, radio, television, video, and so on. Our teachers in training should begiven laptops free of charge. By the time they graduate, each successful student
  17. 17. should be able to use Internet facilities, type and print his documents, play gamesand so on. 15 This facility should be provided at all levels of teacher education. Okebukola(2006) stated: Integration of ICTs into teacher education will be greatly enhanced if students in the programme are given the opportunity to experience innovative technology-supported learning environments in their teacher education programme (p.6).In their discussion of the need for ICT in counsellor education, Ker and Ikeotuonye(2006: 263) stated that “Information and Communication Technology can addimmense value to counsellor education.” This same statement can be repeatedwithout any hesitation at all for teacher education. It must be pointed out,however, that the suggestion that teacher education should be ICT based doesnot imply that traditional instructional materials are not relevant anymore. Theyare still as relevant as they have always been.Provision of Instructional MaterialsIt is important to reiterate that instructional materials, as we know them now, arestill very important in teacher education programmes. Teacher trainees should betaught how to prepare and use both hard and soft instructional materials in theclassroom. They do not have to wait for ready-made materials. It must be addedthat the cost of this aspect of teacher training must be borne 100 percent bygovernment.Provision of Enabling EnvironmentDuring the good old days, Teacher Training Colleges were environments toadmire. Some of them were better than some of the universities we havenowadays. The classroom blocks, the hostels, the refectories, the football fields,the other games pitches, the grass lawns, the flowers and ornamental trees, and
  18. 18. the rest of the environment were all sources of beauty and discipline. Time for co-curricular activities brought joy to the body and soul. 16 The environment automatically enhanced the self-esteem of the teachertrainees. In fact, any adjustments in teacher education curricula that do not takeinto consideration the provision of excellent environment is already doomed forfailure.Establishment of Model Universities of EducationThe analysis done so far clearly suggests the need for the establishment ofUniversities of Education modeled after four of the oldest universities, namely,Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria Nsukkaand Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Nothing less of those environments isacceptable. The universities should employ the best personnel available, bothacademic and administrative. Admission of students should be by a very rigorousselection process. Quota and federal character should not apply in any of itsoperations. Once Nigeria is able to achieve this, the existing Colleges and Facultiesof Education should close down. The carrying capacity of each university can be ashigh as 50,000. In fact, the thinking is that there should be one such university ineach geo-political zone.These universities can also run the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE)programme. The NCE primary education programme must include all primaryschool subjects. That is the only way NCE can become minimum teachingqualification in the primary school. The present crop of NCE teachers are just notprepared for that.Some Nigerians who believe in business as usual may see the recommendationsas living ahead of them. It is unfortunate. The only alternative, of course, isbusiness as usual; with the resultant consequence of Nigeria continuing tostagnate. If Nigeria wants development, it must be prepared to work for it. ANigerian proverb states that if a wild animal being hunted runs in a peculiar way,a unique arrow must be used to hit it.
  19. 19. 17Need for Absolute Re-orientationLast in the catalogue of recommendations, but not the least, is the need for valuereorientation in this nation of ours. It is generally known now that formulation ofdevelopment plans, such as the Seven Point Agenda and the Nigeria Vision20:2020, is no problem to Nigeria. The same goes for teacher education policies.Nigerians are good at coming up with wonderful ideas. Honestly, what Nigerianeeds is value re-orientation. The political class sees Nigeria as a ware-house fullof inexhaustible wealth; and their role is to loot as much as possible while theyhave the chance. Most of them have no genuine commitment to the nation. Therest of the Nigerian elite have imbibed the same idea. This is why we have theterms ‘government work’, ‘government property’, ‘government palaver’, and soon. Teaching is now ‘government work’; and hence there is little or nocommitment to excellence at all three levels of education. Nigerians, includingteachers, need to change over to new ways of doing things; otherwise, even bythe end of this century, Nigeria will remain an under-developed country.SummaryA major conclusion from the analysis made is that considering the presentsituation of things in Nigeria, the Vision 20:2020 in its entirety may not beachievable even by the middle of this century. The challenges, all of which areNigerian made, appear intractable. Hence preparing teachers for those challengesis quite a herculean task. The right persons to prepare are just not there; and themajority of the present teacher trainers are misfits. It is hoped, however, that ifthe possible solutions proposed in this analysis, as unpalatable as some of themmay be, are painstakingly followed, there might be hope that the Vision may beachievable in the very long run. Finally if Nigeria wants teachers capable ofcontributing to the achievement of the Vision, the nation must make up its mindto train them.
  20. 20. 18 ReferencesIkeotuonye, A.I. (2000a). The Teaching Profession in Nigeria, Past, Present and Future: A Teacher’s Experience. In C.T.O. Akinmade et al. (eds.). Improving Teacher Education in the 21st Century Nigeria: Challenges and Strategies. Jos: Department of Arts and Social Science Education in Association with the Faculty of Education, University of Jos, Jos. Pp. 58-64.Ikeotuonye, A.I. (2000b). Arresting Educational Failure in Nigerian Secondary Schools. In V.S. Molemodile (ed.). Nigerianess. Enugu: Vougasen Publishers Ltd. pp. 200-212.Ker, B.O. and Ikeotuonye, A.I. (2006). The use of Information Technology in Counsellor Education. Benue State University Journal of Education 7, 259-264.Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Economic Blueprint 2009.Okebukola, P. (2006). The Role of Information and Communication Technologies ( ICTS) in Teacher Education. Benue State University Journal of Education 7, 1-8.United Nations Development Goals Website.Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/http://www.nigerianmuse.com/20070930075420zg/spotlight/Govern...
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