Month: March 2018

27 Mar

Children in school are not learning

It is no news that majority of students in school are not learning. Here, we would delve into the reason why this is, and express our suggestions of possible solutions to this issue.

To be clear, these are just our opinions and we would like to know yours 

  • Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences.
  • A school is an institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers.

If you want to find a child who lacks quality education today, one of the best places to find them is in school. It’s quite ironic that the citadel of learning has now become the breeding ground for “half-baked” graduates. The initial good news is that the children are in school getting some form of education in the least. But the bad news is that their presence in school does not translate to acquisition of knowledge. Hundreds of millions of children are starting school, going day after day, year after year, but not really learning.

Schooling without learning is just time served.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is not excluded from this list of having to school without adequate quality education.

Some primary reasons why kids in school don’t learn include:

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  1. Inadequate learning facilities & environment (Such as good chairs, desks, classrooms, e.t.c): Lack of comfort leads to short attention span and lack of proper assimilation and retention of information.
  1. Emotional problems from home and family: Emotionally stressful events that are experienced by some children in their homes causes for them, the inability to focus or pay attention in class. In such conditions, learning cannot take place.
  1. Archaic and Uninteresting method of teaching: Students, especially the younger ones can only absorb and retain large amounts of information when they don’t appear as ordinary words on the board. Audio and Visual tools, as well the use of physical objects in the representation of information.
  1. Lack of interest: The culmination of the aforementioned would lead to disinterest in learning. Then the school stops being about acquisition of information, but rather, a routine.
  1. Medical challenges: such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy, brain tumor, ADHD

 

The Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education), Target 4.1 was set up to address this issue. It states “By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes”.

 

Here are listicles of suggested solutions:

  • Provision of Conducive Learning Environment and Adequate Learning Facilities

Comfort is very essential when it comes to learning. There must be adequate learning facilities provided in a conducive environment to ensure that quality learning takes place. It is important that students are provided with adequate facilities for play, in order to relieve them of stress they might experience at home. Competent counselors that would be available to help the students with issues and develop proper coping strategies are also important.

  • Modern & Participatory Teaching Methods

It is not only essential that the children are able to hear the words of their teachers, but are also able to see examples of what they are being taught. For instance, it would be much easier to remember parts of the skeletal system when one sees an actual skeleton and can reference one’s body parts

 

That is how we can turn good news on schooling into good news on education and ensure all children are in school – and learning.

16 Mar

Situation of Out of School Children in Nigeria

The target of the sustainable development goal 4 is to achieve the overall improvement in the access to inclusive and quality education for all by 2030. However, there has been no sign of any rapid reduction to meet this target. On the contrary, there has been a slow down since the year 2000 compared to the earlier years on the global scale ,  the most affected people are the youth of secondary school age. With regards to gender, the female are the highest out of school on the global scale. Poverty and other structural problems are the reasons behind the challenges. One of the structural problems includes menial jobs that youth find after lower secondary which diverts their attention from education to trying to contribute to the family income at that stage. This increases the number of out of school children. Also, the level of income is one other significant pointer that reflects the tendency of a high number of children being out of school in a given country.

Considering the regional level, sub-Sahara Africa where Nigeria is included has the highest level of out of school children in all categories e.g. sex, age. Nigeria’s plight   in the sub-Sahara out of school children as at 2016 is between 20% and 40% at the primary school level. Another problem that persists at the regional level is the gender disparity which have been considerably reduced in other parts of the world while sub-Sahara Africa remains unchanged.

Therefore, it is evident that poverty should be tackled alongside access to education.

There is about only a decade left to achieve the SDG4- which is quality education. Hence, it is a matter of urgency. The innovation of new strategies and policies as well as a pool of resources to achieve this goal will bring about the rapid decline in the number of out of school children, such strategies include support for helping the parent to invest in a business that could provide funds to send their children to school. Also such business will allow the child to focus on education rather than joining the contributing to the family income through a menial job.

The ultimate strategy, however, is to engage the school and government who are also direct stakeholders to re-examine their policies in view of 2030. While the school can consider their cost, the government can ensure that allocated funds get to the targets in the right amount and time. Social enterprise should be supported as the serve as an intermediary that bridge the distance between government and school while they also accelerate the fulfilment of the access to education which is measured by a number of out of school children.

The SDGs -4 only remain achievable goal if all these stakeholders would create a synergy for the next decade.

9 Mar

Effects of Out of School Children in our Nation

There are several ways of engineering a society. They include laws, norms, rules and procedures.  However, these will remain unfruitful without adequate education which is simply providing an institutional structure for training members of the society. The youth and children are the most malleable members of every society, this is why they are the future of a nation. To determine the future of a nation, consider the education and training given to the youth and children. Therefore, when they are out of school it simply means that the future of the nation is at stake. The aspects that are endangered include economy, security and politics.

Children of today are the human resources that should contribute to the workforce of the country in the future but when they are not educated it negatively affects the future workforce. The problem is not their lack of employment, rather they would be found in menial jobs that do not contribute to the economy of the country neither does it help in its technological advancement. This is why our society suffers from backwardness as it will remain behind the advanced economies. However if the society ensures that children are provided access to quality education, more professionals are then  produced for the benefit of the economy and improved GNP (Gross National Product).

When children/youth are out of school, their idleness  leads to the increase in social vices and community crime rate. Pickpocketing, burglary, drug abuse, destruction of government property. Children lose the cultural fabric of the society making the society chaotic.

Politically, leaders of the country were produced in schools. Hence if these children do not have access to quality education, the chances of getting good leadership in the country is quite dim, the future will be in shambles. Experiences such as not knowing the right principles of democracy will cause wrong persons to come into power. Today youth sell votes, although being out of school is not the only reasons for that, however, lack of education is a major cause of ignorance, and are incapacitated and they cannot change anything

The solution is not just sending them to school, which is a starting point. More to it is the provision of quality education that is effective in reaching the youth to take right steps in nation building.

2 Mar

21st Century Learning

Learning as an act has changed over several central just like a chameleon, leaning puts on the nature of the current century in which it is taking place for example in the classical Greek period, students decide who their teacher should be, Socrates choose Plato and Aristotle admired Plato to be his teacher. The reverse has been the case since the introduction of the University setting. Universities provides the teachers and courses for student today. However learning in 21st century is characterized by variant of learning style and resources which is not limited to a location, hence being influenced by the ongoing globalization process which is integrating the diverse would.

The act of learning can therefore be put into a 21st century category which are

Four Cs of learning

-communication

-collaboration

-critical thinking

-creative innovation

Communication: covers beyond the verbal, written and local patters to the non-verbal, non-written and so on. The following are the new and easily comprehended medium of learning; these involve pictures, sounds, sign- language, body languages and symbols. Furthermore, understanding values and attitudes that can be interpreted in their individual content are necessary for 21 century learning. Media and technology have aided the promotion of these in short videos that are produced to enable easier comprehension.

Collaboration: since all these communication elements cannot be found in similar form in one location, there is need for collaboration. In a diverse team where the teacher is from another part of the world as well as every team player is different, a need arises where every team player is required to work with one another efficiently. School (organization) do not only promote respect but tap from the cultural diversity from the team. A new hybrid of communication element are developed towards the common goal which enable effective collaboration.

Critical Thinking: the 21st century learning has transcended beyond the “yes sir” kind of learning, where every idea is internalized without questioning. Schools and other learning institutions now experience the authority of what they teach, being challenged by new research. Therefore critical thinking is necessary to identify areas that need development beyond the traditional why of doing things. For example there are deductive and inductive research that reflect the practicality and efficiency of critical thinking.

Creative Innovation: do you know how to tell a story? Then you can sell everything. This is creativity. Creativity is presenting ideas that are conventional in an unconventional way, think of the design of a Maserati made into a Jacuzzi. Creativity will be learning mathematics in a computer game or English language in a voice recognition device. These are techniques created through team brainstorming. Creativity comes within environments that are both conventional and unconventional.

Learning in 21st century has therefore taken new shape with pointers to the globalization process. Communication style has led to collaboration that provides critical thinking and creative innovation.