Rebecca Ejifoma

CMS Grammar School, the oldest secondary school in Nigeria, has called on governments at all levels to take data collection seriously in the education sector to enhance planning.

The school during a colloquium titled, ‘157th Year of Secondary Education in Nigeria’ to mark its 157th founder’s day, urged the government to create a regulatory body for secondary education in the country and ensure consistency of curriculum and policies.

The Head, Department of Education Administration, University of Lagos, Prof. Stephen Oyebade in his keynote address, identified lack of accurate data on students and teachers, poor training and remuneration of teachers and political intervention as some of the challenges facing the development of education in the country.
Other challenges he mentioned are: poor funding, inconsistent and corruption in schools inspection, poor infrastructure, frequent strikes, and poor reading culture.

Oyebade affirmed that access to education has improved over the years with the advancement of technology, particularly the internet which provides access to millions of reading materials online on daily basis. “Technology has changed the structure of education in recent time. Students now have access to information and gargets that their teachers don’t have. Some are more informed than their teachers, but there are challenges.

“We don’t have the accurate number of students and teachers in our schools; there is no available data for those who will be admitted next. The government needs data to plan for the development of new infrastructure to enhance learning.”

In his remarks, the President of the Old Grammarians’ Society, Mr. AdedapoFashanu, described the school as the symbol of quality secondary education in Nigeria, adding that the school is not only celebrating its 157th founder’s day but also marking 157th years of secondary education in the country.

“The colloquium is aimed at ensuring that CMS Grammar School contributes to policies that will positively affect the development of education in Nigeria. I therefore urge governments at all levels to return schools to their original owners for them to attain the level development that CMS Grammar School has experienced in recent time.”
Fashunu said the school has witnessed tremendous progress over the years since the Lagos State government returned it to the owner. “A lot has been achieved with the support of the old boys of the school.”

Other recommendations at the colloquium included: prompt payment of allowance and salaries of teachers; increase in funding for schools by governments corporate organisations and the missionaries; training of teachers.

Participants also suggested that the government should encourage mother tongue in secondary schools; promote cultural values by governments, parents and teachers; implement laws on examination malpractice; establish more technical schools; and the inspection of schools by uncorrupt judges.