At What Point Did We Get 1-6-3-3-4 System of Education Wrong
Education is just one of the many stages in the process of nation building. Therefore, whatever discussion there should be must be made from the point of view of the other levels of the system. The nature of education is such that the consequences of whatever knock and bashing it receives may take several years to manifest. It is a life-long activity. So, what exactly has gone amiss with education in Nigeria? Who, when, and under what circumstances has the rudder been rudely uprooted from the ship of Nigeria’s system of education?
The active operators of any system are human beings. In an operation that involves imparting knowledge, the policy makers, implementers and raw materials which are basically the students indirectly benefit from the activities of the second group, the implementers. The dynamism of the interaction among these operators suggests that there is no sharp division in the membership of the three groups.
The 6-3-3-4 system of education and the new 1-6-3-3-4 are all brilliant ideas. The problem has always been the approach to actualizing the rudiments of the system. This is the formality of initiating and entrenching policies, the ways of life or the identities, the modus operandi. An integral part of policy formulation is determining the amount of cash needed for the execution of the policy and it is the responsibility of the sitting powers to ensure that enough cash is made available for the actualization of the policy. Very relevant to funding is monitoring .It means, when a policy is formulated, cash must be released for the actualization of the policy and it must be ensured that the cash is used for what it is released for. That, briefly, is the picture of an effective system.
However, is that the case in Nigeria? It is obviously not. The very day a policy is put in place, the people who championed the course of the policy will be among the first to circumvent the success of its implementation. They explore and exploit all the susceptibilities of the policy to their advantage thereby rendering its essence ludicrous which has become common practice in the system of education in Nigeria.
It is an understatement that the system of education being implemented in today has lost the quality of 6-3-3-4 even though the new 1-6-3-3-4 is expected to work and yield results. If not for a handful of Nigerians who, through a dint of hard work, still reflect the indices of being educated, a total overhaul of the sector should be implemented. A discourse that aims to unravel the root-cause of the decay that has laid a destructive siege on the system should visit each stage of the process, examine it in order to see where the decline began to set in and solutions must be proffered.
The starting point is the pre-primary education, which is given to the child between ages three and five. These schools, otherwise called nursery schools, are run like private businesses, which should yield bountiful profits. As a result, the founders should ensure that they do everything in and out of the books to maximize profit at the expense of rendering service to the Nigerian nation by employing qualified teachers. Emphasis is laid on learning and the youngsters are made to recite stereotype lines day in day out without any regard for correct phonetics and phonology as well as construction of sentences without regard for syntax and semantics.