Standard of education is a multi-dimensional concept, but generally however, it entails the best of practices, status, products and contributions of education. This truism is observable in the variegated perspectives of authors and authorities discussing the indicators of falling standard of education in Nigeria. Some of the indicators include the decreased number of Nigerian graduates considered for admission in big universities in the developed world (Babalola 2006); the lower rank of Nigerian universities among other universities in the world; the unsettling lack of proficiency in written and spoken English by students; the massive failure of students in external examinations, etc. The central thread that ran through these varieties of indicators is that they have worsened from what they used to be, pointing to the fact that the standard of education in Nigeria has fallen. The reasons are attributable to the following:
#1 Parents’ Failures: This is our first port of call because education starts at the family level. Parents have contributed to the failure of standard of education in Nigeria on many grounds. Many parents have not cared for family planning. They had as much children as were possible for them. This led to a situation where they gave birth to children that were left to auto-socialization. The family is designed to be the first institution of socialization (education), and as such has the onus of instituting the foundation of education of their children. When the family derelicts in this job (as is rampant in the Nigeria today) the education of the child will ever remain groggy and weak. Few could be salvaged only by a process akin to passing through the crucibles of fire. It is the job of the parents to ensure that their children and wards attend to their studies rather than staying glued before the screen of a television, computer or phones; and to see that their children did not cut corners in gaining any academic qualification especially the O’Level certificate. It is saddening that parents abet instead of discouraging the ugly practices such as paying for malpractices in “Special Centres” in pursuit of excellence in O’Level examinations. The totality of these identifiable parental failures contribute to the fallen standard of education in Nigeria.
#2 Government’s Failures: The standard of education in Nigeria also suffers in the hands of Nigerian government. The government has failed in their duties in ensuring high standard of education in Nigeria on many grounds. The government has budgeted lower percentage of fund for education instead of the internationally recognized 26 percent which was suggested by UNESCO. For instance, Premium Times Newspaper reported that in the 2017 budget proposals presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, N448.01 billion was allocated to education, representing about 6 percent of the N7.30 trillion budget, contrary to the recommendation by UNESCO. This lower budgetary allocation is tantamount to poor funding of education in Nigeria and this leaves school laboratories, unequipped; the infrastructure, underdeveloped; the staff, poorly remunerated; the students’ welfare, disregarded; and the tuition fees, exorbitant. It is needless outlining the impacts of these negativities on education in Nigeria. The incessant disruption of the academic calendar with strike actions from conflicts between the staff in education sector and the government bothering on poor remuneration remains a locus in quo.
#3 Education Institutions’ Failures: The failures of the institutions for teaching and learning is another reason for the fallen standard of education in Nigeria. Schools in Nigeria are permeated with corruption, and ineptitude. Admissions into institutions of higher learning in Nigeria today are hardly by merit; it often goes to the highly-connected or the highest bidder. Many teachers engaged by the education institutions are not qualified; and one wonders how they can possibly give what they don’t have. The resultant effect of the anomaly is the nosedive of the standard of education in Nigeria.
#4 Teachers’ Failures: Many teachers in Nigerian schools are not only unqualified, majority of them are not productive and corrupt. This breed of teachers in question don’t go to classes, and when they do, they use the lesson period to tell jokes. They seek gratification of various kinds in exchange with marks. They don’t read, research or undergo routine training and retraining in teaching skills. These failures of teachers reflect conspicuously on the quality of graduates they produced. There was a pitiable case where a graduate of a university in Nigeria was not able to fill her form in an NYSC camp. It has been observed overtime that the generation taught by colonial masters were far better than what is obtainable now.
#5 Students’ Failures: The students are also culpable in the fallen standard of education in Nigeria. Most of the students don’t read or go to classes. They while away their time on frivolities such as surfing the social media networks or attending social activities such as clubbing; and at the end, they would induce the teachers in one way or the other for good grades. This ugly trend results in a situation where the face values of their certificates don’t reflect the content of their brains.