The mind of a child at birth is generally agreed to be blank. The child gradually learns from the environment. He picks up traits, behaviors and attitudes that are representative of his immediate society. Usually, as the child begins to develop, expectations begins to increase. There exist a lot of hurdles the child is expected to scale through, these hurdles are generally agreed to prepare the child for the imperfect society. A society that may not necessary cater for the child’s existence.
The child’s first point of contact with the society in most cases is the school. An assemblage of individuals often tagged teachers who monitors, guides and directs the affairs of the child. The school is expected to exist in a building that houses as many great talented individuals as possible. As scholars will say, not everyone qualifies for the teaching profession. Hence, teaching is considered as a profession, since by definition, a profession is an occupation that requires adequate training, a training that in-turns qualifies its practitioners has professionals. Professionals are individuals that possess at least the minimum qualification required for the profession.
Thus, the teaching profession stipulates minimum entry qualification. This minimum entry qualification varies by country. In the Nigerian educational parlance, the minimum entry qualification as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (NPE); (2008) is the Nigeria Certificate in Education, popularly called the NCE. The Colleges of Education are expected to issue the NCE Certification to qualified individuals. Usually, these individuals are people of integrity, people who value, protect and honor the integrity of the teaching profession. Similarly, the NPE recommends that educational qualification can be attained from any of the following: Faculties of Education; Institutes of Education; National Teacher Institutes (NTI); Schools of Education in the Polytechnics; National Institute for Nigerian Languages (NINLAN); National Mathematical Centre (NMC).
The Colleges of Education are the bedrock for the teaching profession, as they prepare the would be teachers for the future. Pre-Service teachers in the colleges are usually equipped with various knowledge drawn from fields such as psychology, leadership, management, supervision, record keeping amongst others. This in-turns prepares teachers in training for versatility. A properly trained teacher is a versatile teacher, one who consciously plans and facilitates the teaching and learning process in the classroom.
The trained teacher can thus decide to aspire for additional certifications, these certifications affords the teacher the opportunity to be well informed about international best educational practices in schools, research methods, test analysis, diagnostics and interpretation amongst others. When the school is equipped with qualified individuals, the nation can easily boast of a reliable economy; for the school is capable of achieving sets goals and objectives. The school produces thinkers, problem solvers, pragmatic individuals rather than dummies who constantly rely on the society to help solve their problems.
The need to constantly equip teachers upon attaining desired qualifications cannot be overemphasized, private companies, parastatals, and many other outfits in the business world concurrently train, and re-train their staffs, this is to ensure that these individuals are well equipped with acceptable practices that meet international standards. Hence, since education is at the center of the nation’s development, avenues should be created for teachers upgrade and career uplift. Teachers in most developing countries are usually superfluous, hence meeting globally acceptable practices becomes a challenge.
As evident in developed countries, learners are no longer dogmatic, learners no longer receive knowledge poured into them by a moving library called the teacher. In most cases, the teaching and learning process can be likened to a negotiation ground. Opportunities are carefully created for the learners to take ownership of the teaching and learning process, with the teacher functioning as a facilitator, for when learners take ownership of their learning, knowledge obtainable becomes real and applicable.
Learning should be an all-inclusive activity, one which fully involves the teacher and the learners, when both parties are engaged, constructing meanings become easy, less time consuming and rewarding. In a dynamic and competitive world, the school should strive towards meeting global standards by equipping the learners with relevant prerequisite knowledge about the larger society. In a similar vein, there should be a synergy between the school and the society.
As globally recognized, the role of the school with emphasis on the key players cannot be underestimated. For a progressive society, the teachers’ role should not be undermined. A society that does not pride her teachers creates room for idiosyncrasy, celebration of fame and shame, fraudulent practices, nepotism and all forms of corruption. With the right education, the common man can easily different between an oppressive government, and a modest government.
Due to the nature of oppressive Governments, having the right education will create a barrier to passage of bills that will enable fraudulent practices, hence the need for the fall in standards of education in most developing countries, once the citizens are rightly informed, a fraudulent practitioner can never triumph, the need to further cripple the education sector manifests. As rightly asserted by educators and the Nigerian NPE, teachers’ levels of education in a country dictate the pace of the nations’ growth. Thus, most developing countries prefer to have unqualified teachers in citadels of learning, for when unqualified teachers teach, learners cannot readily apply instructions at schools to the day to day running of their activities. Learners are thought to be apt crammers, facts regurgitants and people who constantly depend on others.
In a modest economy, avenues are usually created for the well-being of learners, role models are readily available, learners find schooling interesting, since they are fully engaged and thus create a perfect synergy between house chores and school works. In this situation, the school is able to produce learners who think outside the box, problem solvers and achievers. Equal opportunities abound for learners to be successful, learning thus become interesting, creativity is encouraged, ideas are shared and problems are gradually eliminated.
It is therefore imperative for developing countries to imbibe best educational practices. For with the right education, the common man becomes valuable, corrupt practices become a thing of the past, dignity of labor is recognized, the role of the teacher is redefined, the school no longer produces dummies, but problem solvers.