A university don, Dr Dipo Akomolafe, has dismissed insinuations by some scholars and stakeholders that the standard of education in Nigeria has declined.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Okitipupa on Friday, Mr Akomolafe said that the standard of education was still intact, but only needed to be sustained by government at all levels and stakeholders in the sector.
He attributed the general insinuations that the standard was declining to the neglect of education by successive governments at all levels.
Mr Akomolafe, who is the Chairman, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, said that government’s inputs, policies and implentations had great impacts on education.
According to him, public schools have experienced government’s neglect, manifesting in low budgetary allocation to education, decaying infrastructure, inadequate teachers, lack of welfare package for teachers and lack of conducive teaching/learning environment, among others.
He further said that all these had had far-reaching impact on education.
Mr Akomolafe said that the lapses in public schools were responsible for the upsurge and proliferation of private ones in the country.
“Ability to talk, count, retain and retrieve are learnt from parents as the first teacher, while exposure to addition, subtraction and multiplication in their native languages prepare them for the future.
“The standard is not declining, as widely believed but the inputs, policies and implementation in education have great impacts on the sector.
“For instance, budgetary allocations to education are grossly inadequate and this is responsible for infrastructure decay, inadequate number of teachers, lack of welfare and conducive learning environment.
“Virtually all public tertiary institutions are under-funded, with most of them relying on Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, for funds for capital projects.
“Most vice-chancellors in state-owned universities have turned to beggars, running to different places to look for money or in the alternative, hike tuition fees for their institutions to run. Otherwise, they will be tagged as uproductive by their owner-states.
“Most parents are finding it difficult to afford the fees in these institutions, while many students voluntarily withdraw because of their inability to meet up with the financial demands of their schools.
“Most students resume late, while some are on off-and-on basis in order to make ends meet. The end product is what we are seeing today.
“This is what some people believe to be a decline in the standard of education,” Mr Akomolafe said.