A SOLID BASE TO SUPPORT TRUE TEACHER EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: COI P4C
A SOLID BASE TO SUPPORT TRUE TEACHER EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: COI P4C
The study was inspired by the current issues confronting the Nigerian education industry, particularly the lavish and unregulated bureaucracy that the government and policymakers have enthroned above and beyond the profession of teaching. The excessive respect given to bureaucratic systems, which place an inordinate emphasis on office managers rather than instructors working in classrooms.
Teachers were underpaid and dissatisfied with their jobs. As a result, teachers' animosity is transferred to the work they do and the way they do it. Again, the teaching profession was not first recognised as a profession. This is clear from the abuse meted out to teachers and their union.
COIP4C is an authentic educational technique that helps to boost children's cognitive capacity and motivates them to reason. Everyone is an inquirer or philosopher in the P4C technique. The primary purpose of P4C is to pursue truth and clarity of thought. There is no absolute truth, and this way of educating students in the classroom is what will help to connect the missing link in the educational chain, which is reasonableness.
Nigeria requires a better educational system than what it now has. There is no getting around the truth that authenticity has evaded us as a people, both personally and collectively. Artificiality has poisoned our environment. We disregard nature's gifts within and around us in favour of a synthetic existence. We prefer to imitate other people's work and lives, regardless of our own background, nature, or nurture.
We thrive on abandoning authenticity for the sake of conformity. We have observed cultural upheavals and disillusionment, political and democratic imbalances, socioeconomic disequilibrium, and intellectual backwardness in our nations and communities as a result of these concerns and misconceptions.
All of these individuals, social lives, and values are submerged in a sea of falsehood. The situation in which we find ourselves, as well as the state of circumstances in the country, is utterly perplexing. It has been stated numerous times that the education of a nation determines its life. No one appears to have any correct answers to the numerous difficulties confronting the country's education system.
The administration is hampered in finding a long-term solution to the nation's education difficulties, instead opting for a remediation approach.
From the beginning, a lack of authentic education has been the misery of Nigeria's existence: there are innumerable incidents of inauthenticity il our society.
There are many situations of schooled people who have yet to be educated. Engineers who are unable to repair their vehicles' engines will seek assistance from roadside mechanics. There are elites in our society who have received a white man's education based solely on theory, with no practical application of technical know-how or in-depth understanding and expertise in the discipline they have chosen.
This explains why we have many lettered but uneducated people, certificated but uncertified graduates, roaming the streets of our urban cities in search of scarce white-collar jobs rather than being able to generate or create job opportunities for themselves and the less privileged members of society.
What is the point of education if it is not authentic? Where and how can one evaluate education that does not assist its recipient in being self-actualized, self-realized, and self-fulfilled? Doesn't the holy book mention that the superiority of knowledge/wisdom is that it aids in the owner's survival? “Everyone who lives ought to be wise; it is as good as receiving an inheritance and will give you as much security as money can,” says Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verses 11 and 12.
The benefit of intelligence is that it keeps you safe. Thus, the worth of a good education is represented in its ability to make one self-reliant, self-realized, self-actualized, and self-fulfilled.
Though many educationists and authors have written extensively on Nigeria's educational problems and proposed numerous solutions, both workable and unworkable, the very Ref. Fr. Prof. Stan Anih has distinguished himself as an author par excellence through his numerous education theories and write-ups. He has discussed true education and what Nigeria should be in the third millennium.
He has written about the characteristics that a future teacher should have in order to fulfil his goals in the classroom. In order to legitimate education in Nigeria, he has written about the need to teach philosophy in pre-primary, primary, secondary, and university institutions. He has also addressed the issues that teachers face, both individually and collectively, in their teaching career, in a book titled “The Anatomy of a Professional Teacher”.
In reality, Rev. Prof. Stan Anih has synthesised a number of topics pertaining to a functional and innovative approach to education. This study is intended to review the highly rev Fr. Prof. Stan Anih's synthesis and to bring out how and where they could be utilised in addressing Nigeria's education difficulties.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is at a crossroads in its growth and hence requires decisive action to save it from catastrophic collapse in the face of political, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, ecological, religious, and communication challenges. It has been said many times that no nation can advance above its education, and Nigeria is no exception.
The method of education used by any country says volumes about how far the country will go in resolving domestic or internal problems, as well as her relationships with others, particularly her external neighbours.
Each country has challenges and needs that are unique to her and her surroundings, and as such, she must tailor her education philosophy to meet those demands. In Nigeria, education is the most effective tool for achieving national development (N.P.E. 2004:4).
Individuals, communities, non-governmental organisations, and the government have all actively participated. As a result, it is preferable for the country to state unequivocally the philosophy and aims that underpin its investment in education.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that the country's educational goals shall be clearly spelt out in terms of their relevance to the requirements of individuals and those of society in accordance with the reality of our environment and modern world for the benefit of all citizens (ibid).
Unfortunately, Nigeria's education system is still in the woods as a result of her former British colonial master's strict adherence to the conventional pedagogical method of education, which does not consider the implications of such education philosophy to Nigeria's political, socio-cultural, economic, environmental, and ecological needs.
Because the British came to Nigeria and other African colonial dependencies not to develop them, but to saturate their economic and political ambitions, their educational objectives are based on how to maximise profit and expand their territorial ambition.
They introduced to the colonies the type of education that ensured their continued dominance over those colonies, focusing primarily on the “3Rs” – reading, writing, and arithmetic – through which they produced those who could read their letters or directives (Anih,s; Igwe, S. and Igwe, C. 2004: 110). This educational method lacks the 41h R rationality, which is the missing link in our educational system.
Because the system does not teach reasonableness, it lacks the ability to empower citizens towards self-actualization, self-fulfillment, and self-emancipation. The system was only capable of producing local teachers, catechists, interpreters, clerks, and other small workers, none of whom are capable of playing any leading role in their nations' economic or socio-political arenas.
The colonial masters tended to cling to their leadership roles indefinitely, while keeping the population of the colonies in servitude. It therefore became evident that no education philosophy could more appropriately handle a country's problems than one created by its own residents, because only the person who wears the shoe understands where it pinches him.
It is important to note at this point that we know our problems better and should solve them better using our own indigenous resources.
Nigeria's educational goals in the twenty-first century are vastly different from those of 18th-century Britain. Because the two countries' spatiotemporal views differ greatly, educational philosophy planned by the British and for British purposes in the 18th century cannot be applied to tackle Nigeria's challenges in the 21st century.
The main purpose of the British venture into Nigeria was to assure a stable supply of raw resources to their businesses back home, not to train the indigenous people of Nigeria. They toiled for profit rather than grace.
Thus, it can be stated unequivocally that the educational system handed to Nigeria by the British people was utterly pedagogical in practise, dehumanising and depersonalising in intent, and servile in execution. Any pedagogical education system emphasises competitiveness over cooperation, meism over wehood, egoism and monocracy over democracy.
Even as stated in the 1981 national policy on education (updated 1998 and 2004), pedagogists' education policy always gave lip regard to the teaching of introspective, critical, and creative thinking.
When we examine the input and output of the nation's education system, we will see how much we have fallen far short of expectations “due to misapplication of priorities associated with the pedagogical stance of education.” The Nigerian education system has failed to meet the wide educational goals outlined in the national education strategy.
Most of our secondary school leavers lack the capacity and abilities to reason correctly, they do not appreciate the dignity of employment, and all they live and hope for is to pass their final exams through cheating and “expo 419.” They, like school officials, are solely concerned with the ultimate result. They are unconcerned about the methods used to obtain such goals.
The values and conventions of honest life had always escaped those children, so how could they be expected to live honest lives after being trained and graduated in dishonesty? That is why we demonstrate bitterness, rancour, and turgery in our political lives.
The school curriculum is designed and given in such a way that students are not encouraged to think. They are expected to replicate exactly what the teachers have given them, which encourages laziness among the pupils/students and results in a severe lack of inventiveness.
Our educational system has been greatly harmed by the pedagogical method. As a result, we are dealing with cultism issues in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. Students vandalise school property, kill and maim their classmates and teachers, pose a threat to themselves and the society in which they live, and, most importantly, have consistently performed poorly in academics.
According to Anih, S. (2004: 109), disregard for reason results in the loss of everything. He emphasised the importance of rethinking Nigeria's educational ideology. To overcome Nigeria's national difficulties, we need an authentic philosophy of education.