THE NEED FOR ACTIVE STUDENTS’ INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR LEARNING

Learning becomes meaningful when students are actively involved in generating their meanings. In most cases, teachers utilize the traditional approach to teaching which places them in a tight corner as one who is an embodiment of knowledge, a working library and a perhaps a walking library. In this mode, teachers are seen as knowledge disseminators, one who regurgitate facts, the sole heir to the throne of knowledge. The students are positioned as dependents. Their skills of discoveries shattered, as most of their discoveries may not necessarily follow the teachers established pattern.

Teachers who operate at the traditional mode of instruction are predominantly talkative, teaching becomes mechanistic, a set of program, with little or no room for input. Information becomes more of memorization, rote-learning is enhanced. Students’ self-discovery has no place in this mode of education. Hence, students are placed in a constant position of dependence. Rather than being active performers, they become passive observers.

As Jerome Brunner asserts, learning becomes meaningful when students take ownership of their learning. In other words, when students are active participants in their learning process, the teacher’s role as a disseminator of knowledge changes to that of a facilitator. He is now seen as a partner in progress, rather than an island. Learning becomes more fun, real and effective. Due to the nature of learners as explorers, the teacher is now positioned in a situation where he or she must strive continuously to develop and improve his content as well as methodologies to keep pace with emerging trends.

However, as pointed out in the works of Brunner and other constructivists, there exist the need for a conscious drift from the traditional mode of teaching to a much more elaborate and all inclusive system of teaching otherwise referred to as the twenty-first century teaching. The stake here is ensuring that students are active participants in their course of learning. Thus, when teachers teach, they do not indoctrinate, teachers try to appeal to the interest of their learners. For the success of teacher’s encounter in the teaching industry, much tasks and efforts cannot be undermined. Hence, the common practice where in teachers are seen as custodians of knowledge, a walking library, a citadel of knowledge, and in fact knowledge itself no longer holds water.

To impact meaningfully in a student may be a daunting task, yet rewarding. When teachers successfully train a child, a nation is trained. A nation whose aspiration cannot grow beyond the educational qualification of her teachers. A teacher is that special being. Special because he has chosen to take the path often ridiculed by others. A path whose take home does not necessarily commensurate with his task. A path whose reward has been tagged to be in heaven. Funny to ask, who will pay teachers in heaven?, wherein the teachers’ job will be defined as a job for humanity that may not necessarily be tagged by an entitlement.

Thus, in implementing the modern pattern of teaching, teachers should not consider the learners as daft, as individual students possess a unique perception to any course content encountered. Students should be divided into groups and assigned with different tasks. Their discoveries should be presented to the whole class. Contribution of every group member should be emphasized.

Teachers should understand and effectively utilize Brunner’s identified types of discovery learning. In this regard, teachers should be familiar with the concept of assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation occurs when a student is able to see, identify and establish relationship(s) between what he has learnt in the past and the present knowledge in such a way that the two knowledge are properly understood and digested.

Accommodation occurs when the new learning, material or knowledge is completely different from what the student knows previously. There is little or no correlation between the two knowledge. In this situation, the student needs cognitive restructuring of the past knowledge to accommodate the present knowledge, to avoid mixing up of knowledge and conflicting facts.

Accommodation is applicable when the learner has just finished a topic in a subject and another topic is about to begin in another subject. In most cases, these topics are often dissimilar, thus, teachers must understand the modes of discovery learning and create avenues in manners which assist students to properly prepare for the disjoint study content. Hence, the need for accommodation time, where-in students logically disintegrate the previous unrelated subject from the new subject.

In addition, schools should be structured in a way that recognizes students’ stages of discovery. By so doing, schools are able to optimize students’ orientation to knowledge, while still creating avenues for supportive learning. In other words, lesson contents become adequately relevant to students developmental stage and learning becomes meaningful. Brunner believed that children of different age represent the world to themselves in fundamentally different ways. Hence, children exhibit cognitive abilities in coping with their learning in different ways. To him, three stages are of importance, these are; Enactive Stage, Iconic Stage, and Symbolic Stage.  

The enactive stage occur between child-birth to one year. At this stage, children (toddlers) and pre-scholars think of the world primarily in terms of the actions that can be performed by them. They move towards things that gain their attention. They want to touch, hold, grasp, move and feel any concrete object within their reach. Hence, teachers are expected to create avenues that stimulate this adventurous nature of theirs, while still monitoring their actions to avoid complications as well as injuries.

The second stage called the iconic stage occurs between age two and three years. At this stage, children make use of images and pictures to represent their environment, i.e. persons, things, events etc. This they do by creating a model image of what they have seen before and as such, they are best taught using pictures, images and diagrams. Thus, teachers saddled with learners at this stage are expected to utilize various activities that encourage learners’ imagery re-representation.

The last stage according to Brunner is the symbolic stage, occurring between ages four and seven. At this stage, i.e. late childhood to early adolescence, children have moved from creating mental images to symbolic representation, they can think by means of verbal symbols. Languages can also replace pictures, and images in their thinking and learning. Similarly, this stage allows for the representation of ideas with the use of verbal propositions, mathematical formulas and logical symbols. This stage is characterized by rapid cognitive development and efficiency.

According to Olajide and Gbadesere (1992), discovery learning can exist in three forms, these are; Free inquiry, Guided inquiry and Modified-free inquiry. The free inquiry allows students the opportunity to generate their knowledge or learning without any form of interference from the teacher. This form of discovery allows students the avenue to explore different learning materials already in line with a specified theme. The guided inquiry affords the teacher the opportunity to interact with the learners with a view of correcting misconceptions, ambiguities and provision of essential ideas. The teacher functions more as a facilitator. The modified free inquiry presents an avenue for both teachers and learners to work as a team. Ideas are presented, thoughts are shared and meanings are formulated.

Thus, from the fore-going, when teachers implement discovery learning strategies in their classroom, teaching becomes interesting, less stressful, activity driven and co-operative. The teacher becomes relieved of his initial position as “Mr know it all,” learning becomes a creative avenue. Students’ interest, team spirit and sense of belonging are encouraged and the whole class scenario becomes fruitful. In this regard, parents get more value for their monies, they are inclusive of their child(ren) education, the teachers’ roles are thus appreciated.

WHEN THE SOCIETY GOES NOT

The theories on evolution make it clear to understand the fact that man and indeed the elements in a society evolve over time. This by no means supports the notion that man originated from apes, because it is apparent that men thinks and creates, apes do not. However, evolution as used here depicts a trend in behavior or a graduation from one form to another.

It is quiet like an epic movie how happenings and events in the society take form, in ways that where many years ago unthinkable not to mention possible, while some of this happenings are commendable, many are disgusting, and one begins to wonder, will this last forever. In a world that advocates unity in diversity, then it’s obvious that the saying; one’s best meal is another’s worst meal. A deity in a town might be the worst enemy in another.

A quick drive around town and you will marvel at what you see. Some gladdens the heart, while some troubles the heart, and makes you query, will this last forever. In many society, indiscipline is fast celebrated as bravery, tactfulness and smartness. Yet, we begin to find relevance to the saying; where there is no law, there is no crime. However, what happens in the reverse scenario where there exist a law, but only effective to a greater minority.

It is quiet shameful that even the progressivesr are quick to find a defence on their acts whenever they are indicted. It is also worth noting that the tactics many employ nowadays becomes quiet planned, systematic and strategized that we begin to envision a season movie. Many a times, developing nations fall a victim of this ploy. The way such nation manage to exist presents a question of doubt and perhaps, one quickly conclude that there is no place for collaborative governance.

Where the leadership is in complete disconnect from his followers, then one expects that, the followers dreams become mere wishes written on white cloud, that disappears once the sun awakes from its slumber, a mere mirage. A dream that may never come true.  A talk with most of the followers clearly presents frustrations in minds, but the usual belief of man as a brave entity makes such an individual hide his feelings. Man begins to suffer and smile, no wonder the lizard praises itself, when no one seems to care.

Back to the issue of evolution, perhaps in the quest to become Mr. White and live a life of Mrs. White, Mr. and Mrs. Black are fast forgetting their uniqueness, their long lasting cultural values that Mr. and Mrs. White will pay a fortune just for a slice. No wonder the saying, we do not value what we have until we lose it. It is quiet saddening to see how worthy cultural beliefs and traditions are neglected at the sight of an offer of a green card. Perhaps, Mr. and Mrs. Black want a good life.

What makes one even confused is the leadership class of Mr. and Mrs. Black, one may conclude that they came without been ready for the tasks ahead of them. They came only to send Mr. and Mrs. Black’s population to the rear of the rear. Perhaps the answer might be found in the definition of Black. What readily comes to mind at the mention of Black? Of course, the answer is not far-fetched, what is not clear, what cannot be easily understood, what depends on others for its functionality. We hear of the black hole, the black spot, and black body amongst others. The only white hole known has a definition. A definition attributable to the big bang, which was responsible for the creating of our universe. These elements are quiet smart. They are fast in making our objects of pride unworthy.

The situation becomes appalling when Mr Black sees any attempt from his counterpart aimed at his correction, an act aimed at dehumanizing his person. This same Mr Black appreciates it when Mr White refers to him as a Nigga, a common element that has been reduced to the lowest of the low. Perhaps, it is crucial for Mr & Mrs Black to have a rethink without any form of bias. He needs to wake from his slumber and regain his consciousness, else the white looking entity will soon sell his culture to him.

What one may find a little incomprehensible is the definition attached to the concept of civilization or perhaps call it modernization. With this new terminology, one is presented with a sense of neglect or a feeling of not wanting to be engaged or involved. A nobody’s duty to correct somebody, all in the name of modernization. An attempt to correct the so called Modernized individuals but with wrong or misplaced ideology earns one a reputation he never begged for. He is inhumane, not accommodating or too demanding.

The growing population of the world is gradually witnessing an advent in the decline of the concept of mutual truth and respect. This is a virtue that clearly differentiates Mr. & Mrs. Black from Mr. & Mrs. White. The latter longs to get this virtue, while the former eagerly throws his traditional beliefs down the drain. This is so because Mr. & Mrs. Black’s ideology has been so corrupted, perhaps needing a re-format. They have been sent into the rear, a position which places them in eager yearning and anticipation for Mr. & Mrs. White misconceived knowledge.

No wonder he is not relevant even in his hometown, his education has been ridiculed, his cultural values have been long lost, his sense of belongings seem so far away. He sees his neighbor as his constant treat. People no longer belief in the biding spirit that once uplifted the Blackman’s nation. Rather than advocating for transmission of the moral values and virtues available in the Blackman’s culture, we eagerly welcome the Whiteman’s culture of no culture.

However, these days should not last forever, for if they do, we may be relegated into the shadows whose location becomes an almost impossible task. Like the saying goes; the sun is still available to dry the wet clothes. It is never too late to cry for our missing cultural beliefs. When the Blackman is ready, he will surely get his cultural virtues back.

INDIVIDUAL UNIQUENESS; OUR DIFFERENCES, OUR UNIQUENESS, OUR STRENGTH

We are uniquely made, uniquely different in our needs. Some prefer the hot weather, while some rejoice in the cold. Our needs can never be the same, what matters is our ability to understand and tolerate the differences in our needs. A child’s need is quite different from that of an adult. Even amongst his peers, his needs seem varied. He may sometimes be seen as an isolate, often neglected amongst his group, he is shown the picture of not been wanted, he belongs where he does not, yet, he never chose his condition, for he is wonderfully made.

Many a times, our expectations about what a child should be able to perform makes it intolerable when he is unable to meet up to our expectations. The society expects more than what the child can offer. Tasks and expectations are usually age ranked. When a child is unable to meet up to the social demands, such child is often seen as been irrelevant, inadequate or one who is not fit for any competitive tasks. Usually, this operates in our homes, schools, workplace and even around us.

It is no news that twins share similar traits and attributes, but usually there exist a slight or noticeable variation. This makes it possible for identification. While one might be highly intellectual, the other might be intellectually retarded, one might be outspoken, the other an introvert, these situations exists. It does not mean, these individuals who possess limited or inadequate skill are not fit, it only entail that they are uniquely made.

Often times, parents and teachers are confronted with these unique being. Individuals enrolled for knowledge acquisition, a raw material brought into the industry for processing. The school in this case serves as the processing industry, with the teacher playing the role of an industrial worker. The aim of any business is usually to maximize profit. However, the school’s structure does not necessarily give room to identification of unique features amongst students, they are usually presented with placement tests, once successful, these individuals are enrolled into the school system. What happens if they are not? They are rejected, often to be neglected, they are presented with an outcast imagery.

The teacher usually is saddled with the task of completing a set of content over a period of time. He visits the classroom only to discover the child’s inability to cope with his peers.  The teacher’s opinion in these situation often times do not count, he is seen as a school’s staff, one saddled with the responsibility of content delivery. In instances where the teacher’s opinion count, how often are his presentations/ ideas utilized in the teaching and learning situation. Usually, he is seen as a toothless bulldog.

However, if a teacher should exist in such environment, he should rather see that as a great challenge on his part. The real question of his teaching should be answered. Is he on the job for the money or for qualitative life improvement? If he can answer this question accurately, the barrier in his workplace is gradually eliminated. A teacher’s happiness is in his products, his impacts on the child’s overall development and growth. He is never discouraged based on the society’s perceptions of his profession. His driving force resides on the smiling faces of his products.

He goes into the classroom, bearing in mind the variations existing amongst his students. He tries all his possible best to ensure that his teachings are well understood and utilized by all his students. These he achieves by applying all the pedagogical skills of teaching. The notion that anybody can teach no longer holds water, for this notion as for many years sent our educational system into years of ancient traditionalism.

Whichever level one operates, it is pertinent to understand that as teachers or parents, the optimum benefits exist in seeing our students/children learn and succeed. To achieve this however is a daunting but rewarding quest, a quest not easily attainable, only available to those who present themselves worthwhile. Even when the teacher becomes readily involved in the overall development of the child, the task should not be limited to the four walls of the school.

This however is the case for most unique individuals. Many a times, they are neglected even at their first point of contact, the home. They are either shouted at or abused. They often forget that even if the child loses public friendship, the home should be there to provide the child with constant re-assurance, a re-assurance that all is well. It is not as easy as it seems, but indeed, it is a situation one must learn to live and cope with, it is essential that one faces reality.

It should be added that some famous individuals whose names now become synonymous with one invention, event or the other did not find it easy growing up. Some suffered from inability to identify alphabets, some could not perform simple mathematical operations, others where socially unfit, while some operated at levels way too high for their ability levels. However, these individuals never gave up but persisted in a path whose leading ways were unsure. Today, we celebrate and recognize them.

Thus, as parents, teachers or anyone involved in the child upbringing enterprise, it is imperative to know that our attitudes affect the optimum behavior and development of the child. We can raise a socially balanced individual from an autistic individual, we can fine-tune the behaviors of an introvert, and similarly, an academically backward child can be encouraged to learn better.

Once we recognize the weakness in a particular child, it is incumbent on us to also identify and find ways that will make the child exist independently as an entity, and also recognizing the need for social interactions. Special or uniquely different children or individuals should not be laughed at, mocked or looked at as socially unfit individuals, they are inseparable, and essential key players in the overall development of any society.

For the fact that he is uniquely made does not make him unfit, misplaced or demanding too much. What he needs is a smile on your face reassuring him of hope. Your smile is the key to his existence, and his existence is vital to your existence. He may hold the key to the platform of our unknown tomorrow.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS

WHAT DO WE SEEK TO ACHIEVE?

Is education really a tool essential for our tomorrow? Perhaps, we have been brain washed to think of education as the only way out of a dogmatic yesterday, but take a deep breathe, how will life be without education? Only if you ponder.

The need to outshine one another is now prominent among individuals, rather than advocating team work, we are geared towards promoting self-glories, praises and achievement, hence the “I” factor syndrome.

The boss sees the subordinate as a threat to his position, the subordinate sees the boss has being too “bossy,” the one who cannot be approached. Where is the place for team work, each existing as an individual unit under the disguise of an organization, yet lacking essential qualities of an ideal organization.

The school is an important aspect of the education process, the aspect saddled with the inculcation of formal education. The one that prepares man for his inclusion into the formal setting, the world of competition, rivalry and perhaps mockery, a system strategically designed to stratify people into strata and stylishly creates a disjoint into our common existence.

The question of what the school hope to achieve needs to be asked, a system of integration or disintegration. A citadel where staffs are in constant disharmony with one another, an instance of perils and gangsters, the saint becomes the villain, just to mention a few.

It is no news that a tree does not make a forest, neither does a book constitute a library. The pathetic situation in a nation’s academic institute has degenerated into a world of cabals, class and clique. If you do not belong to a particular clique or “ruling class,” your aspirations are short lived. When will the message be conceived and not perceived as an attempt on character assassination.

An institution where the ruling class twist popular opinion into their selfish benefits, perhaps they thought, one will live forever, forgetting that our today constitutes the framework for tomorrow’s history. It will be said has they say today; “that road was constructed by that man of blessed memory, similarly, people will say; “that wicked administrator that denied us our fundamental human right and privileges, where is he today?” Only if we ponder do we decipher the message.

Our situation is one in which people are fast at creating defense, we begin to here, it is an attempt by the opposition to upset the “innocent man’s thinking, as if the man ever thought innocently, no man is guilty, the guilty fellow is that one who cannot empower the liars or in this case lawyers. The common man is left to suffer at the expense of the high and mighty.

When people’s aspiration begin to flourish, some begin to think, rethink and form as their hobby the witch hunting tactics. A race for the successful fellows or individual to be cornered into the class of the witch hunters, the clan of the oppressors, the majors of the minors, where is the place of the truth seekers? They are constantly framed, dejected and left to die unceremoniously, oppressors are celebrated at the throw of a few bundles or favors, and we must remember posterity will judge us.

The over reliance and emphasis on self-glories and accomplishments in the society makes it even worse for collaborative efforts and achievement, individuals want accolades, praises and personal gratification. The ultimate gratitude lies within the framework of joint efforts, that is where the joy resides, like the popular saying; “who has your works benefited.”

 

 

REINFORCEMENT; WHEN AND HOW TO USE IT. A CALL TO ALL CONCERN

THE NEED FOR REINFORCEMENT OR PUNISHMENT

The need for motivation in schools and homes cannot be over-emphasized. To some, it is a vital instrument for the intellectual growth of learners/children, while others see it as not necessarily a determining factor for learning, as this group of people see motivation as internal rather than external. Students should self- motivate themselves rather than depending on some external reward/motivation or reinforcement.

However, whichever school of thought one may belong to, it suffice to add that the use of motivation in schools and homes is essential and should be utilized in appropriate situations.

Hence, reinforcement can be seen as a form of motivation or reward which is delivered to children/learners on the basis of merits. This is when such individual performs to expectation or is able to accomplish a task individually or with guidance of a facilitator. It should be added that when reinforcement is properly utilized at schools or home, students or children urge to repeat a desired behavior becomes spontaneous and readily available.

The prevailing circumstance that demands reinforcement and the type of reinforcement should however be identified. In most cases, the deliverer of the reinforcement may misuse it, or may not know when to utilize it, hence rewarding a student inappropriately.

Any form of reinforcement should be commensurate with the task given, and should be awarded at appropriate time intervals. In a school setting, reinforcement should be used to develop and encourage desired behaviors in learners. Hence, a teacher should know when and how to utilize reinforcement.

A key issue in reinforcement in schools exist when a teacher utilize a particular form of reinforcement regularly which in turn leads students to predicting his/her actions or form of reward. A commonly used form of reinforcement in most schools is clapping. However, when a teacher utilize clapping as a form of reward, it should be checked as smart students may easily predict the outcome of their involvement as “clap for him” which may make them uncomfortable and in turn deter them from active participation in classroom activities.

Hence, an attempt shall be made to discuss the types of reinforcement and punishment.

Reinforcement can exist in two basic forms according to the works of psychologists. It can either be positive or negative.

Positive reinforcement occurs when a teacher or a facilitator applies the use of positive reinforcers or rewards to students which make them want to elicit or repeat the action or task with a view of doing it even better. In other words, a positive reinforcer encourages the chance or the likelihood of re-occurrence of a desired behavior. Various forms of positive reinforcers exists, these include the use of rewards, praises, ranking, recognition etc. It is essential to add that the teacher or facilitator must always vary the form of positive reinforcement in use to avoid prediction and decline on the part of the students. Positive reinforcement helps to promote healthy competition in classes and thus assist students learn even better.

Negative reinforcement on the other hand occurs when a negative reinforcer is withdrawn upon the completion of a task. Negative reinforcers are best used for behavioral modification or corrective measures. An example can be seen in an instance where a teacher instructs the students to submit their notes before 8:00am or face the consequence for not submitting at that time. In such a situation, most students will be seen submitting their notes before 8:00am to avoid the consequence for not submitting at the stipulated time. If in such instance, all students submitted their note earlier than 8:00am, then the teacher has no other option than to withdraw his negative reinforcer. Hence, negative reinforcers helps check unwanted behaviors and correct excesses. Negative reinforcers may include; demotion, denial of privileges, grounding etc. it should be added that since students do not want to lose their positions or ranks, they tend to be careful with any activity they engage in.

Punishment can be seen as a consequence or penalty for doing something wrongly. It can also be seen as an instance of occurrence which exist when intended outcomes do not tally with the actual outcomes of behaviors. However, punishment can be physical or verbal.

Punishment is said to be physical when it is corporal, in other words, the physical application or afflictions of pain on the body of the student which in this case; a victim via the use of cane, extremely dangerous physical activities, assault, constitute corporal punishment. It may not necessary solve any problem or modify a behavior but exist to only create fear or withdrawal on the part of the recipient. However, if corporal punishment becomes regular, the victim may develop resistance to such and the intended aim which is corrective becomes defeated.

On the other hand lies verbal punishment which exists when students or victims are orally abused via the use of comments which do not necessarily depict the representation of the victims. In other words, the victims are described verbally without any iota of love. This exists not only to instigate threat, annoyance, or dejection on the victim but also exist to make the recipient of such feel inferior and unwanted. Thus, it leads to withdrawal as it tends to affect the internal or the emotional well being of the child.

From the fore-going, it is essential that teachers, instructors, facilitators, parents or anyone involved in child upbringing must be well versed in the concept of motivation, reinforcement and punishment, as it can make or mar the actual traits of a child. At homes, parents should avoid the use of verbal abuses, corporal punishments, but should rather resort to behavioral modification tendencies. Appropriate and desired actions or behaviors should be rewarded when necessary.

Similarly, at schools, teachers, educators and all involved in the formal education enterprise should be well versed in the concept of reinforcement and should avoid such acts that can impede the optimum growth and development of the students/learners. Thus, it is essential that periodic talks, seminars, programs etc. on rewards and reinforcement/ behavioral modification be organized to sensitize all on the need for appropriate utilization of rewards and reinforcement.

 

 

 

THOSE WE TRUST HAVE FAILED US

In a country like ours, after the completion of an higher institution usually accompanied by so many years of hectic and unending worries and memories then there lies NYSC, a scheme many believe to have over stayed its welcome, a scheme others say should continue, which ever you chose to believe should be a personal decision, perhaps depending on your individual encounter on the journey.

To a great majority, it is a scheme that deprives the average Nigerian the opportunity to progress in whatever discipline he/she aspired except for some few. The scheme whose major aim is to distribute well meaning individuals usually called corp members into “the interior of the interiors”, does not in most cases consider the individual differences of these persons who for one reason or the other may not fit into the lifestyle of the host community.

Though, the scheme to some might be flexible in terms of relocation of some corp members based on health, marital status or other concessional reasons. For these, some invent illness or health situations alien to them all in the bid of not wanting to stay in the environment they find themselves. Life been the way it is, some get lucky and get reposted, others unlucky and as such must settle to strike a balance with reality. Hence the need to survive in a rather unusual scenario.

Then comes the next issue, the host community. They are expected to be welcoming and accommodating, but in most cases that appears to be in fantasy island. The corp member is welcomed to another world of its own. The world of NYSC barricaded by her rules and regulations. A free, yet restricted individual is thus conceived. The race for survival begins.

In most cases, the host community do not really understand the corp member’s plight and challenges in the course of his stay, they see it as service to humanity towards the betterment of mankind. Newly posted corp members usually referred to as “Otondos,” are usually confronted with many challenges.

He goes to the market based on the ideas and lectures from the orientation camp in his full kit khaki uniform or Ajuwayah as it is fondly called 7 OVER 7 only to be approached by the realities of life in the uniform. He realizes that the the prices of commodities all of a sudden sky rockets, this he is yet to learn from his Senior Corper, a retired and delivered Otondo.

To the host community particularly the interior areas, they believe the take home pay of a corp member is something to boast about. However, considering the high cost of education in the country, it suffice to say that the take home pay of an average youth corp member does not commensurate with the expected service he is expected to offer.

Then comes the issue of the place of primary assignment, though corp members are usually advised to maintain a high level of discipline and composure, but what goes to the employers as they are called. Most of these employers in the rural areas do not even possess a certificate not to talk of an equivalent quality to host a graduate, thus, a situation of an S.S 3 student marking the examination script of a post graduate student, “a total disaster.”

Rather than being grateful to the scheme for supplying a corp member, they see that as an avenue to form “bosses to a graduate.” However, being a graduate, he is able to meticulously adapt to the ever changing situations despite all odds. The question that needs answers need be asked; “Must all graduates excluding some selected professions be posted to schools?”

The scheme though trying to cater for education in the rural areas fail to answer the question of standardization in the Country’s educational sector. Some use the avenue of the scheme to run a school system, once they apply to the scheme, they send corp members, nobody cares whether it is an approved or standardized school, corp members are simply posted. Little wonder the standards of education in the country is fast dwindling. “Those we trust have failed us” a great line from the award winning musician Asa in Situation.

The western and developed countries of the world believes in education as a tool for advancement and improvement. Adequate care and priority usually accompanied by monitoring is devoted to the educational sector, but here the story holds no water. Education,  particularly the school setting is seen as an avenue for money making and not advancement. No wonder students in such schools will without apologies offer comments like; “I do not offer Mathematics,” a big fall out from the norm.

A wake up call for the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the Teachers Registration Council (TRC) and others concerned to see the need for drastic and productive steps to rescue the countries education sector from the oceans of sinking waters. Perhaps, a model of the health sector needs be exemplified, replicated and actualized, to avert a situation of square pegs in round holes, that will rather cause more harm than good as it is the case with NYSC.

As a practice, the scheme will never send teachers to the hospitals, neither will it send musicians to the chambers, but will rather send an electrician or a botanist to a school. Then, why is there a need for the Teacher Training Colleges, Colleges of Education and Universities of Education. The scheme in defense would erroneously say an Art graduate should be able to teach English Language and a graduate of sciences could teach Mathematics as contained in the handbook for corp members in schools.

Thus, let all concerned wake from slumber and actualize intended goals and objectives for the nation’s advancement and improvement, not fast track the country into years of yesteryears.

THOSE WE TRUST HAVE FAILED US

THE JOURNEY UNKNOWN; INTO THE WORLD OF NYSC AND THE UNCONSCIOUS YESTERYEARS

In a country like ours, after the completion of an higher institution usually accompanied by so many years of hectic and unending worries and memories then there lies NYSC, a scheme many believe to have over stayed its welcome, a scheme others say should continue, which ever you chose to believe should be a personal decision, perhaps depending on your individual encounter on the journey.

To a great majority, it is a scheme that deprives the average Nigerian the opportunity to progress in whatever discipline he/she aspired except for some few. The scheme whose major aim is to distribute well meaning individuals usually called corp members into “the interior of the interiors”, does not in most cases consider the individual differences of these persons who for one reason or the other may not fit into the lifestyle of the host community.

Though, the scheme to some might be flexible in terms of relocation of some corp members based on health, marital status or other concessional reasons. For these, some invent illness or health situations alien to them all in the bid of not wanting to stay in the environment they find themselves. Life been the way it is, some get lucky and get reposted, others unlucky and as such must settle to strike a balance with reality. Hence the need to survive in a rather unusual scenario.

Then comes the next issue, the host community. They are expected to be welcoming and accommodating, but in most cases that appears to be in fantasy island. The corp member is welcomed to another world of its own. The world of NYSC barricaded by her rules and regulations. A free, yet restricted individual is thus conceived. The race for surviver begins.

In most cases, the host community do not really understand the corp member’s plight and challenges in the course of his stay, they see it as service to humanity towards the betterment of mankind. Newly posted corp members usually referred to as “Otondos,” are usually confronted with many challenges.

He goes to the market based in the ideas and lectures from the orientation camp in his full kit khaki uniform or Ajuwayah as it is fondly called 7 OVER 7 only to be approached by the realities of life in the uniform. He realizes that the the prices of commodities all of a sudden sky rockets, this he is yet to learn from his Senior Corper, a retired and delivered Otondo.

To the host community particularly the interior areas, they believe the take home pay of a corp member is something to boast about. However, considering the high cost of education in the country, it suffice to say that the take home pay of an average youth corp member does not commensurate with the expected service he is expected to offer.

Then comes the issue of the place of primary assignment, though corp members are usually advised to maintain a high level of discipline and composure, but what goes to the employers as they are called. Most of these employers in the rural areas do not even possess a certificate not to talk of an equivalent quality to host a graduate, thus, a situation of an S.S 3 student marking the examination script of a post graduate student, “a total disaster.”

Rather than been grateful to the scheme for supplying a corp member, they see that as an avenue to form “bosses to a graduate.” However, being a graduate, he is able to meticulously adapt to the ever changing situations despite all odds. The question that needs answers need be asked; “Must all graduates excluding some selected professions be posted to schools?”

The scheme though trying to cater for education in the rural areas fail to answer the question of standardization in the educational sector. Some use the avenue of the scheme to run a school system, once they apply to the scheme, they send corp members, nobody cares whether it is an approved or standardized school, corp members are simply posted. Little wonder the standards of education in the country is fast dwindling. “Those we trust have failed us” a great line from the award winning musician Asa in Situation

The western and developed countries of the world believes in education as a tool for advancement and improvement. Adequate care and priority usually accompanied by monitoring is devoted to the educational sector, but here the story holds no water. Education, particularly the school setting is seen as an avenue for money making and not advancement. No wonder students in such schools will without apologies offer comments like; “I do not offer Mathematics,” a big fall out from the norm.

A wake up call for the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the Teachers Registration Council (TRC) and others concerned to see the need for drastic and productive steps to rescue the countries education sector from the oceans of sinking waters. Perhaps, a model of the health sector needs be exemplified, replicated and actualized, to avert a situation of square pegs in round holes, that will rather cause more harm than good as it is the case with NYSC.

As a practice, the scheme will never send teachers to the hospitals, neither will it send musicians to the chambers, but will rather send an electrician or a botanist to a school. Then, why is there a need for the teacher training colleges, colleges of education and universities of education. The scheme in defense would erroneously say an Act student should be able to teach English Language and a graduate of sciences could teach Mathematics as contained in the handbook for corp members in schools.

Thus, let all concerned wake from slumber and actualize intended goals and objectives for the nation’s advancement and improvement, not fast track the country into years of yesteryears.