A school administrator, Mr Tolulope Ogunlola, has urged governments at all levels to introduce special incentives for youths seeking admission into the nation’s tertiary institutions to study education-related courses.
Ogunlola, who is the Principal of Lagos State-owned Isawo Comprehensive Senior High School, Ikorodu, suggested that incentives such as bursary, scholarship and some admission requirement waivers should be given those who desire to pursue education to teach in schools.
“Governments can provide for special bursary or scholarships for those studying teaching disciplines and the universities can also charge less tuition fees in education faculty programmes.
“The truth is that students’ poor performance in Nigerian schools is because the sector has been besieged by persons who do not have the passion for teaching.
“And majority of those who end up studying education disciplines did so as not second but third or even last option,’’ he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday.
He said:“ Before now, people trained to be teachers out of innate interest and that is why the output of teachers in those days differs significantly in quality from today’s.
“Our institutions of learning will not produce quality products because those who are to train the products are not enthusiastic and passionate about teaching.’’
Ogunlola noted that the number of young people going into teaching profession had declined as a result of zero incentives for education students.
He also said the situation had become worse as current teachers in public schools were not appreciated, adding that the relegation of the teaching profession in nation-building is also a factor.
“Many people still feel that teachers are not appreciated enough by the political leaderships and that their wages are still poor compared to other professions.
“This has affected the younger generation and this has discouraged them to go into teaching.”
“A situation in which the younger generation is not interested in teaching is not good for a country like Nigeria that should be on an aggressive march to catch up with developing or developed economies’’.
According to Ogunlola, the teaching profession ought to enjoy more “willing practitioners” in Nigeria than professions like military, medicine and others.
“We should stop deceiving ourselves to think that we will advance socially and economically without quality teachers in place.
“Socio-economic development is anchored on and only on improvements in our education sector,” he said. (NAN)