(CNB News) – Policy makers and implementers in the education sector should not only subscribe to building school infrastructure (as if that is all there is to do and as if they can solely do that adequately enough). They must more importantly strive to build structures, systems and people to make education more effective so that today’s students can have the best learning experiences — in order to build their own future – something the government and the whole adult generation owe the younger ones.
Any well-meaning administration must know that infrastructure alone is not adequate to solve the education challenges. There must be a much-needed complementary plan geared towards ensuring best delivery and smooth run of education with an effective school system and structure serving as the multidimensional resolution to the numerous challenges facing the sector.
The resolution will afford an education with these 12 atributes and qualities: Pragmatic, Applicable, Well rounded, Illustrative, Tech-driven, Vocation centered, Well managed, Media boosted, Informative, All-inclusive, Collaborative and Capacity enabling.
Taking the attributes one by one, to meet today’s societal demands, education must be:
Enough of impracticables and irrelevances. Education must impact on the bottomline of productivity. School curriculum must be rid of irrelevances that will not aid intended learning outcomes. Also, regarding employability in the future, priority must be given to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) because future economy largely depends on it.
There must be a conceptualised scheme of work that is learner friendly and suited for today’s students. Regarding the sustenance of our local languages, culture and identity, an Indigenous Language Department (ILD) should be set up in every school to greatly aid the understanding and expression of the local language(s) by our students.
More attention should be paid to co-curricular activities leading to total development of the child or student. Also, there must ba an effective library system (not just having a space stocked with books but not being accessed or used by students) in schools to make students’ learning deep and wide.
Each school should be equipped with audio-visual facilities to make students benefit greatly from vast electronic educative materials. No student or school should go on without tapping into such a massive learning avenue.. Also, conceptualised practical classes must be customised and packaged for subjects that require practical set-up to make up for the lack of laboratory facilities and equipment — particularly where such lack exists.
Both teachers and students must have ICT knowledge to the required degree. Also, relevant technological aids must be in use for school management processes.
Education must be tailored towards making students engage with at least one vocation. Also, entrepreneurship knowledge must be woven into the fabric of the education curriculum without it being made a subject.
Proper school database must be kept and updated as at when due for effective analysis and running of the education system. Day-to-day activities in schools must be effectively managed for better outcomes.
Deficiency holes must be plugged in the current education system with effective mass mobilisation campaign. There must be media features and programmes promoting education without any self-praise or propaganda by the government of the day.
Classroom knowledge must be greatly connected with existing realities in the outside world through social awareness. Students must be prepared for physical, physiological and psychological challenges in their immediate environment or entire world by being well informed.
Out-of-school children and physically challenged children must be engrafted the more into the school system to ensure every child is educated. Education communities must be created to make all stakeholders jointly responsible for education.
Private-public partnerships that will aid education must be initiated and developed. In addition, alumni of old schools must be engaged for a joint effort to make their alma mater a model school.
Students must be armed with capacity-building learning experiences through seminars that will complement their learning in the classroom. Also, training and motivation for teachers must be ongoing for attitudinal change and competence at work.
The administration that will actualise the deliverables under these 12 attributes and qualities within the period of its tenure will be long remembered for its work of transformation in the education sector for the good of the people it has come to serve.