Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teachers are the key to social mobility and development

Without good teachers, Schools/Universities are doomed to fail.                   Yet politicians in Nigeria seem determined to destroy the standards of the profession to international standard.
Instead of politicians tying themselves in knots about social mobility, they should endeavors on the single most important "agent" for them the politicians doing well in life, the teacher. Children are doomed to fail without enough academically able and professionally competent teachers. Yet politicians and bureaucrats seem to conspire against success when it comes to funding of educational institutions and remuneration for teachers (the university Lecturer inclusive) oat to have. That is one of the key messages deducted from private research, participated and facilitated on Teachers study.
Meanwhile, thanks to the interference of officialdom like NUT/ASUU, teaching is barely a profession: the teacher must follow the strategies, frameworks and tasks devised by semi-educated officials for careerist politicians. The salary scale rewards managerial skills, not excellent teaching. The upshot is that the able avoid the profession or flee it. The entry standards are questionable and poorly appropriated for meeting the challenge of life-thanks to the university commission who is now putting the teacher curriculum on a sound footing; this to reduce mediocrity/attrition rates; our profession (Education) is the most over-managed, demoralized and unhappy.
To help matter, it is better to raise entry standards for all teachers, primary and secondary. Nigeria should require all primary teacher candidates to have high-grades in the subjects of the primary curriculum; and instead of taking an education degree, they should follow a subject course to degree level in some of the subjects they will teach at school (as happens in other countries). This would allow and developed a competent specialist as well as generalist primary teachers to see that their pupils had sufficient foundation before moving on to secondary school. At that stage, the expectation should be for teachers to have taken the subjects they teach to degree level. Meanwhile training, as distinct to subject mastery, should take place in the schools, or in specially designated university practice schools, under the guidance of experienced teachers and training funds devolved so that schools can choose the training model best suited to their needs.

Teachers would be the winners, if only harder entry, which is more competitive, would help restore a sense of pride to the profession. In addition, the benefit to pupils would be immense.