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Sunday, April 9, 2017

INFLATION AND ITS RESULTANT EFFECT ON THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION IN NIGERIA



Let me start, ab-initio by construing to the concepts of “inflation” and “quality education.”

What is inflation? Inflation is the increase in the general price of goods and services resulting from the devaluation of currency. Inflationary problems such as high cost of living, arises when there is an increase in the price of goods and services without any equivalence in salary.

Quality education on the other hand, according to Professor L.J. Ogbadu in the forward of open secrets in academic excellence, is that whose product has sound education which can be defended by its graduate product.

The free education policy of the Western region government led by the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo had set the pace for a revolution in Nigerian educational system with great optimism of qualitative output. Not quite long thereafter, this hope was dashed after successive governments buried the special attention/priority education used to enjoy.

Looking at the situation in Nigeria today many of our graduates , even those with first class degree honours are shadow of what they profess to be. Nigerian engineers can’t invent, also doctors who have succeeded in compounding their patient’s problems are the graduate products we have.

African news V.O. A of 15th February, 2009 reported that only 20% of Nigerian graduates have quality education. By implication, it means the quality of education has been declining before the crescent inflation, of which its resultant high cost of living is also encouraging.

Consequently, its effects have also encouraged: Shortage of qualified teachers; it's incontrovertible that competent and qualified teachers are essential ingredients for quality education. Qualified teacher produces qualified student. Many schools in Nigeria lack qualified teachers. Most of these qualified teachers are unwilling to take up the teaching job even when offered, after considering, comparing and discovering the worth of their salary to its purchasing power and the cost of living as a result of inflation. They therefore prefer self employment and other jobs with better wages, whereas the education sector is suffering a major setback.

 Another contributive factor is the inefficiencies of available teachers. Teacher’s efficiency can’t be overemphasized , as it contributes to qualitative education . Teachers now justify regular habit of late coming, missing classes and in some cases absence from school with the menace of the current inflation. Many can’t even feed well let alone transporting themselves to school, since their salaries are no longer commisserable to the purchasing power.

 Also, the Shortage of materials for students is another point we must enumerate. Learning materials are essential to quality education.

 Materials such as textbooks, dictionary, written notebook e t c helps student to study on their own at home or in the hostel. But the relatively high costs of these learning materials have become unbearable as many parent/guardian can’t afford them, since they also need to survive despite the high cost of living. Of course the effect is a declination in the acquisition of quality education
Likewise, the negative attitude of students towards leaning.

 According to callaham J.F. (1972), “A person who is emotionally upset, irritated, sluggish, restless, tired, indifferent and saddened is usually not ready to learn. Some of these children are in this shoe, some have to go to school starving due to their parent’s inability to provide three square meals daily, which is resulting from the skyrocketed cost of getting food caused by the present inflation.

Finally, examination malpractices: Schools are supposed to fight against examination malpractices, so as to encourage quality education, as students will have no choice than to read their books, study hard and do research which help produce qualified students. But currently in Nigeria reverse is the case as teachers now collect bribes from their students with an agreement to permitting them to cheat during examinations all because they want to survive the exorbitant cost of living resulting from the current inflation, thereby producing students who can’t defend their results.

 Conclusively, we can’t talk about quality education without the efficiency, availability, provision and willingness of the above listed factors. The current inflation and its resultant high cost of living in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is affecting the quality of education in Nigeria negatively, as it has reduced the efficiency of the above listed factors among others.

 I hereby implore the students, youths and other well meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of our educational system.


OYENIYI IWAKUN (NATIONAL PRESIDENT, SAVE NIGERIA YOUTH VANGUARD SNYV) Writes from Abuja.

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