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Inadequate Teachers, Outdated Teaching Methods Crippling Basic Education – Ex-principal KC

Nigeria Student Forum / Educational News / Inadequate Teachers, Outdated Teaching Methods Crippling Basic Education – Ex-principal KC

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Aderinola Bunmi
LAUTECH
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

The immediate past Principal of King’s College, Mr Sola Kolawole, discusses the 2019 budget for education and increasing the population of schoolgirls, among others, in this interview with TARE YOUDEOWEI

What are the challenges facing unity schools?

One of the challenges we have been battling with is the inadequate number of teaching staff. We have the highest number of Parents Teachers Association’s paid teachers, about 82; and the Federal Ministry of Education is making arrangements with the Federal Civil Service Commission to ensure that some of these PTA teachers are absorbed on permanent bases.

Another challenge is the attitude of parents who tend to believe their children instead of the school authorities. I advise parents to have little a reservation rather than jump into conclusion and to cross-check whatever their children tell them.

There is also the aspect of funding. I know the Federal Government is trying and I know it can’t provide everything that we need in the school, but there is the need to beef up budgetary allocation to Kings College, knowing that we have two campuses, which by virtue of environmental challenges, are below the sea level.

What is the cause of the challenges that unity schools face?

You may consider it a challenge, but when you look at it, the government shoulders 100 per cent responsibility to maintain these schools and these schools are tuition-free. Apart from some areas that parents come in to intervene, the government still subsidies in some areas like feeding. There is also the need to step-up the maintenance of facilities to take care of most of the dilapidated structures. This particular government is also worried about the children that are out of school and is making an effort to ensure that the facilities in unity colleges are upgraded to increase their carrying capacity.

President Buhari increased the budget for education by 14.5bn this year. Do you think that it will make an impact?

Well, it will make a little impact but by the time you distribute the money to the various establishments under the Ministry of Education, you will discover that it is still peanuts. I, however, believe that the present administration is worried about the state of infrastructure in unity colleges; that was why in the 2018 budget, there were a lot of government interventions and Kings College was one of the beneficiaries, especially in the area of security – provision of Closed Circuit Television. It is this concern for unity schools that made the government advise that we make beautification part of our agenda when we get our portion of the 2019 budget.

There have been calls to have more girls in the sciences. How do we get schools and teachers to encourage more girls to study science subjects?

The way to encourage them is by providing the basic facilities for the teaching of science subjects. Teaching is no longer stereotyped and I am worried that Nigeria is still behind. Now, we are supposed to have an integrated learning approach; with the interactive board, children with tablets, sitting arrangement, and teachers assuming the roles of facilitators. If this is done, girls would be encouraged to do sciences rather than having them being thought abstractly; such makes sciences look unattractive.

What has changed in pupils’ attitude to learning over the years?

Nothing much has changed, rather, what is changing is that the children today are exposed to more knowledge and are engaged with the world unlike before when everything was stereotyped and restricted to the classroom. Because of technology they are more exposed but need to be guided.

It is clear that the attention span and reading culture has reduced, but we know that most of the things they need nowadays need to be seen and interacted with; like the use of modern teaching equipment and methods to retain their attention.

There are a lot of pupils who are athletic; however, because of how the country views sports, they seem not to go beyond college games. What do you think can remedy this situation?

Sports are integral part of the programmes of the school, which is why we have FEDCOL games. There is a missing link between ministries of education and that of youths and sports. In those days the ministry used to send their scouts to fish out talents at competitions, which is what is lacking.

What I advocate for is a synergy between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youths and Sports for the school sports federation to be revived. With this, the pupils could be given scholarships. We need a system, like other countries of the world, where these children can pass through and become better professionals.

What are you leaving behind in King’s College?

Within my tenure, I was able to achieve some results which were mostly at the junior school level because I believe you can easily catch them young and mould them in a way that you want them to behave. Despite some challenges with the dormitory and classroom blocks, I have assured the parents that before the children resumed the place would have been transformed and renovated.

To reduce the emotional tension in the JSS1 pupils, I created another dining block with 60 benches and additional tables and moved them away from their seniors. I equally renovated the JSS 3 hostel and provided 36 new fans for them. The JSS 3 class is currently undergoing renovation through the Federal Ministry of Education developmental project under capital expenditure; so the contractors are on sight. The auditorium is also undergoing some transformation.

I preach the philosophy that only the best is good for me and I make the children appropriate it to themselves so they would obey school rules and regulations, which has produced good results. The annex campus has also undergone a huge level of renovation and development. As I am leaving service; that is part of the legacy I want the present administration to sustain.

I want to appeal to the members of staff to monitor, move closer and supervise these children effectively. These children have their own feelings, perception and thought; so I implore our staff members to listen attentively to them. Let them see reason where needed and not be dogmatic in their approach to rules and regulations.


Source: https://punchng.com/inadequate-teachers-outdated-teaching-methods-crippling-basic-education-ex-principal-kc/

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