- President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has retreated a more reliable way of advancing secondary school in the country. Rising from a retreat organized yesterday. He said categorically that the 6-3-3-4 system of education introduced in around 1989 has failed woefully to meet the challenging educational needs of the citizens.
However, there are strong indications that the federal government may revert to the former 6-5-4 system which was in practice before the introduction of the present system as reccomended by contributors at the retreat.
While the former 6-5-4 provides six years for primary, five for secondary and four for tertiary schools ,the present 6-3-3-4 provides six years for primary, three for junior education, another three for senior education and four for tertiary education.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day Presidential Stakeholder’s Summit, at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, President Jonathan urged Babatunde Fafunwa, the then minister of education, to apologise to Nigerians for the failure of the programme.
The 6-3-3-4 system of education took effect in 1989 with the primary focus of meeting the educational needs of its citizenry and equipping the youths with life skills that would make them self reliant.
Twenty-five years after, a new system of education called the Universal Basic Education (UBE), otherwise known as the 9-3-4, has been introduced, whose curriculum is expected to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2020.
Florence Fabyan, a stakeholder at the event, said the problems associated with education were not only peculiar to education alone but a general problem that affects the Nigeria society, which could only be solved with good leadership.
She asked rhetorically if President Jonathan was prepared to provide the required leadership to transform the system since that was the needed solution to the education problem.
Faruk Lawan, Chairman, House Committee on Education, also supported joint funding of education and went ahead to advocate parental contributions. He lamented that the value of education and the curriculum that taught in higher institutions had become irrelevant to the overall needs of the country.
In his contribution, Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), spoke on the low quality of entrance into the university and the need for strict regulation.
Okojie said morality on the part of higher education administrators was very crucial, saying without morality there could not be standard in the system.
Dibu Ojerinde, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board’s (JAMB) executive secretary spoke on the issue of space availability, discrimination in course choices and the quality of teachers, saying that if these issues were unresolved, education cannot move forward in Nigeria.
Ojerinde lamented the level of examination malpractices in the education system and noted that punishment must be meted out to culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.
He stated that most of the teachers do not cover the syllabus and attributed the mass failure in the school system to lack of good teaching and teaching infrastructure.
Addison Wokocha, Registrar, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), blamed the teachers at all the tiers of education for the poor education foundation in the country.
He lamented that state governments resort to the employment uncertified teachers to teach in the respective schools, and noted that in most cases, state governments resort to deploying members of the National Youth Service (NYSC) to teach in state schools even when they are not qualified to teach.
The TRCN scribe said the body had taken a decision to stop the deployment of unqualified teachers to teach in any Nigerian school.