Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The pioneer Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has traced the fallen standard of Nigeriaâ€™s education system to the deterioration of primary and secondary education.
According to Akande, the root cause of the unemployable graduates being turned out in the tertiary institutions in the country is because the younger generations were not exposed to better standards of education at the primary and secondary level.
Akande who called for prioritisation of basic education said: â€œReturns on investments on primary education are much higher and more beneficial to society than returns on investments on higher levels of education.
The former governor of Osun State spoke at the presentation of Chief Adebayo Adetunjiâ€™s autobiography titled: â€˜Struggle to Successâ€™ in Ibadan, Oyo State.
He explained that secondary and higher tertiary education are designed to produce the elites, while elementary/primary school education is designed to inculcate in children below age of 13 years fundamental literary and numeracy skills.
The primary education, Akande noted, is also aimed at nurturing the children in all other dimensions of life which include spiritual, moral, cognitive, emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, social and physical in a continuum, preparatory to further learning in later life.
According to him, â€œI always believe that a good quality education, based on a universally acceptable curriculum and taught by adequately trained, passionate and well-monitored teaching staff, should begin with elementary/primary education.
â€œQuality primary education promotes the training ground for active and effective participation in agricultural, industrial and distributive productivity in standard rural communities. This is why it is sad that most parents and policy makers in Nigeria today do not appreciate that returns on investments on primary education are much higher and beneficial to society than returns on investments on higher levels of education.
â€œStatistics show that in virtually all the developing countries, younger generations are progressively being exposed to better standards of education than the older generations had the opportunity to receive.
â€œBut in Nigerian schools today, learning seems to be more commonly faked in curriculum and standards resulting in the countryâ€™s educational system turning out more and more unemployable college graduates. To me, the faults are in the foundations, namely, the elementary/primary and secondary education levels.â€
The Asiwaju of Ila lamented that it was unfortunate that the Academic Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU) and similar labour unions tertiary educational institutions do not see the need to include the amelioration of â€œthe present ugly plight of Nigeriaâ€™s voiceless elementary/primary education system in their usual demands from our governments.â€