Bankole wants criteria for admission into COEs re-evaluated
According to him, it is only in so doing that the manpower deficit in that sector would be addressed, while the country would have also set itself on the path to raising 21st century compliant teachers.
Bankole spoke while delivering a lecture titled, “Teachers’ Quality, Competitiveness, And Employability: Defining The Roles For College Administrators And Academics,” at the 2nd Distinguished Guest Lecture, organised by the Registry Department of the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The erstwhile lawmaker, who lamented that the current system pre-disposed us as a nation to select poorer academic performers to train as teachers for our children stressed, “If we are selecting poorer academic performers to train and teach our students, how can we expect our students to be high achievers, if all through their formative academic years, they are separated from the brightest minds and not forced to push themselves past the standards and achievements of individuals who are unable to gain admission into universities?”
“We are in a crisis situation, there was a time in this country when teachers were the most respected after kings and queens. Teachers had this incredible power, and they held the future of Nigeria in their hands, but the situation is different now,” he stated.
Bankole continued, “The problems within our education system are many and range from inadequate funds, poor regulation of standards, non-compliance with the UNESCO recommendation of 26 per cent sectoral allocation to education, both at the state and federal levels, inadequate manpower, poor strategies in the implementation of policies, a general plunge in reading culture, all of which culminate in a worrying trend of abysmal performance in general examinations, and the increasing prevalence of examination misconduct.”
Bankole who said, “There was a period in Nigeria’s history where we made significant investments in education and it was evident in our economy. Our agricultural sector was well developed and we had a diverse array of export offerings,” added, “We need to invest in continuous education and training for our teachers and provide them with the resources to teach our students. How can we expect teachers to train students to innovate in information technology and science, when our teachers cannot code, don’t understand programming language, or do not have the equipment or apparatus to conduct experiments and offer students opportunities for practical learning.”
He implored colleges of education to doggedly search for funding from all sources in their bid to innovate instead of waiting for government appropriations, specifically tasking them to apply for grants, implore community leaders and local business to invest in endowments to improve the college’s offerings.
“They (COEs) must demand a review of our school syllabi so that our students’ learning is current and relevant, contextually, culturally; a relevant syllabus would address the opportunities and disadvantages that face our economy, it would examine our historical advantages and elucidate complexity.”
Bankole told the students, “The future is not bright, the future is not looking good but there is hope. It is not the certificate that you are given that matters, but the knowledge, skills imparted in you for you to have confidence and courage to go ahead and create opportunities for yourselves. Don’t let anybody tell you that you cannot make it but you need to get yourselves prepared for the future.”
He added, “There is nothing wrong with this young generation if they are given the opportunity, but if we keep dragging them in the mud, something will be wrong with them, they will look for a way to survive.”
Acting provost of the institution, Dr. Bolatito Adeniji, in his remarks commended the registry department of the institution for organising the lecture, saying, “The Registry Department is the life-wire of the institution.”