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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

1-6-3-3-4 or 6-3-3-4: Does it matter?

I read with utter amazement that the Federal Government has apparently announced plans to ditch the new 9-3-4 system of education and revert to the old system of 6-3-3-4. However, from what I understand it will come in a slightly modified version called 1-6-3-3-4. In simple terms, the 'new' system will just have an Early years element to it. It's amazing that it's taken our politicians and technocrats over 50 years to suddenly realise that early years education should become policy. However, we never fall short of coming up with bucket loads of policies but what has always being lacking is the politcal will, lack of funding or should I say its misapplication.

As an educationist and teacher myself, education is a very expensive business and changes in policy even cost more in terms of planning and for it to have an impact in the classroom. However, judging by our dreadful record in policy implementation, I fear this may yet become another wild-goose chase which sadly has turned our educational system into the shambles it has become over the years. There's no doubt, systems can always be improved but I do not think our current system of education is really the issue. The real issues are to do with poor infrastructure in schools, poorly trained and inadequate teachers which have grave implications for teaching and learning. And to make matters worse, they need a 30-man committee to implement this 'new' system. Educational policies are implemented by teachers via civil servants through local educational authorities and not by politicians and technocrats.

Sometimes I wonder why we choose to do things differently in Nigeria and ignoring what seems to be the obvious. Who stands to gain from this new policy? Is it the politicians or the average Nigerian child? I'm definitely sure it's not the latter but I'll leave you to make your minds up.


The Relentless Builder said...

First off, I have to say that I LOVE your blog because it deals with one of the issues that is dear to my heart: Education.

Secondly, in this post, you were right to ask who stands to gain from this new policy. Clearly, the Nigerian child is not the focus (though on the surface it looks that way). I doubt that our government needs a 30-man committee to implement a new policy that will not solve the core problems in the educational system. I think the politicians and those in power know precisely what needs to be done, and have counted the cost, and have concluded long ago, that they are not willing to pay that price. So, all these "policy changes" are just formalities which are not aimed at changing anything; they are just milestones they can claim they reached during their tenure.

At this point, I don't think Nigerians really care about the structure, i.e. 1-6-3-3-4 vs. 6-3-3-4. I believe if they do not address the problems that plagued the old policy, you cannot expect the new one to work. That's the real problem. Putting new clothes on a leper does not change the fact that that person has a serious ailment.

Thirdly, I like your candor in addressing this issue. Thanks!

Naija4Life said...

@Relentless builder, thank you so much for all your kind words and your very valid contribution.

I'm a firm believer that good education is the key that will unlock Nigeria's future. Until our leaders recognises this truth and start investing in the future of our young people, then I'm afraid it will continue to be case of dejavu

Muse Origins said...

I think policy makers just do stuff to SEEM busy

Muse Origins

Naija4Life said...

I completely agree, Adiya. We'll continute to make our voices heard until things begin to change for the better.