By Mercy Osajiugo
Lapai (Niger) – A Professor of Sociology of Education at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBUL) has urged Nigerians to have faith in the country’s education system.
Prof. Steve Nwokeocha is also an Executive Director at Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities with the African Union, Addis Ababa.
Nwokeocha made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lapai, Niger, on Tuesday.
He noted that many Nigerian university graduates who had their post-graduate studies abroad, made the best results at Masters and PhD levels in the best universities in America, Europe and Asia.
“If no teaching and learning were going on in the Nigerian education system as some claim, how could the candidates fly from nothing to being the best in their classes at the post-graduate levels?” he asked.
Nwokeocha said that he did not belong to the school of thought that tended to cast aspersion and rubbish the entire education system of the country because of challenges that were not peculiar to Nigeria.
“Like any other education system, there are the good, the bad and the ugly in the Nigerian education system.
“Due credit must be given for the good while pointing out and resolving the bad and the ugly in the system.”
He explained that part of the problem with the education system was lack of faith in its abilities and the operation of what he called “labelling theory”.
“In a literary sense, if an individual is labelled as never-do-well by everyone, the emerging social interaction will put the individual in that situation that seem to prove the belief.
“Whereas in reality, the individual is a do-well; without empirical validation, we should not conclude on an individual or regions.”
Nwokeocha said that most Nigerians were in the habit of labelling negatively educational institutions, regions and groups in the country.
“In the past, the best students in the national examinations of the Nigerian Law School, Medical and Dental Council, Teachers’ Registration Council were graduates of not the most famous universities.
“They were from other universities that may have been written off as institutions with no competitive advantage,” he said.
Nwokeocha, therefore, advised critics of the Nigerian education system to be circumspect and at all times get their facts and figures validated and avoid generalisation.