A Professor of Sociology of Education, Steve Nwokeocha, says education is in turmoil around the world as 263 million children are out of school globally.
Nwokeocha said this while delivering the 11th Inaugural Lecture at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University in Lapai on Thursday.
Nwokeocha in the lecture titled “Sociological Lens on Nigeria’s Education and Emerging Paradigms” said of the figure 96 million were from Africa and 8.7 million from Nigeria.
The Sociologist said a lot of wrong education policies were made and implemented around the world.
“The word turmoil may seem scary to some people but that is often the actual situation found in the education systems around the world.
“Several tragedies that we witness in the society are symptoms of the failure of the education system.
“The insecurities, brain drain, unemployment, under – functioning civil service and absence of sustainable development are all enough tragedies that may be trailed directly or indirectly to malfunctioning education system,” he said.
Nwokeocha said that as a sociologist of education he would not pretend that all was well and use some other words to mask situations that are dire in their consequences.
He noted that no education system in the world was without challenges but only a matter of relative difference in the severity of the challenge saying that Nigeria is not alone in the crisis.
“Yes, every nation has its own crises as far as education is concerned.
“It is the magnitude and nature of the crises but that depends on the society’s level of development and its geopolitical, economic and social-cultural milieu,” he said.
He noted that crises were inevitable in the educational system of any nation because every society is dynamic and education absolutely reflects such dynamism within the society.
Nwokeocha, however, said that for education to thrive in Nigeria teachers should be treated better.
“Government has to do something new for teachers, no matter our economic status and security challenges without good education we are losing human capitals and will continue to lose.
“The country must give good budgetary allocation and funding to education which must go significantly to teacher education and preparing teachers and the making their conditions better.
“I say this because it takes a good teacher and a learner to make an education system, building structures for teaching and learning is good but when there is no good teacher there is a major problem.
“Some learners have succeeded in learning under the tree because they had a good teacher, this is because they were taught by a qualified teacher,” he said.
Nwokeocha said that no amount of money spent on education will be regretted because education is the springboard that every discipline revolves and the multiplying effect will be seen in all sector.
Earlier the Vice Chancellor Prof. Muhammad Maiturare said that Nigeria as a nation was not doing well at the continental level and by extension at the global level.
“This lecture is not only relevant to present day Nigeria’s sociological context but deeply significant to the myriads of efforts by major stakeholders aimed at addressing the education challenge in the country.
“Just this week the Executive Secretary National University Commission convened a retreat of VCs to discuss the blueprint on the rapid revitalization of university education in Nigeria 2013 – 2018.
“I have no doubt that this inaugural lecture will serve as useful input to this strategic document,” he said.