Education

I was having one of those conversations and discussing with an older parent as regards the Nigerian educational system and her response actually had me thinking.
After a school has satisfied the bulk of your requirements, what do your kids actually learn in school? I have always argued that we value book intelligence over emotional intelligence in Nigeria. This of course is merely my opinion. For instance the average three year old in Nigeria can read and write basic things, while the average American three year old knows their name, they are just learning to handle a pencil but can help serve the food, tidy up etc. 

I have two nephews that are 10 months apart. The one in Nigeria is in primary 3, the one in America is in 1st grade. There is a difference in how they both relate – one is very cerebral and the other is more process oriented- I can make breakfast for the house, help wash off baby bro in the shower, assist with groceries etc. I spent a lot of time in America in 2016 and had the luxury of spending a lot of time with Americana and I would ask what they learnt in schoo and it would be totally random stuff like how to make a cake. And when you ask him what the lesson was – he will tell you so they can learn that in life many things follow steps. Nigerian on the other hand comes home with a backpack full of homework and you wonder when he has the time to be a child.

So we got talking further how as kids we knew our neighbors, rode our bikes outside, played hopscotch etc. 

Make no mistake- Nigerian teachers graduate from the same system irrespective of where they teach. So is the teacher in that high end school necessarily better than their counterpart on the other side of town?

We essentially came to the conclusion that we pay for our children to socialize with a certain set of kids. Lagos especially is segregated along socio economic lines so my guess is folks are looking to make sure their kids socialise with the “right set”. 

Are you in agreement with this? Please share your thoughts…

9 Comments on Education

  1. Hmm Ms Pynk! What I think.

    First off, it’s true- paying for social class, tag and associations majorly. Majorly because they’re some curricula kids are being exposed to in high end schools that the others aren’t. Thing is do those automatically beget a ‘well presented’ child? Nope. One guaranteed thing though – posh accent! Lol, then maybe connections, even the later is fickle.

    I believe the best thing for a well rounded child is smart parents – book wise, streetwise, Character and a hands on approach plus God o. Unless parents opt to pass off everything to teachers, care givers, etiquette trainers etc.

    Of course there are some schools that are just not what the fuel or walk you take to drop the kids. So, I’m saying this within a good measure of academic, environmental and any other standards…not merely cost.

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  2. Chrisyinks // December 1, 2016 at 06:59 // Reply

    To talk about the difference in the educational system between Nigeria and America would take more than a comment for me, and frankly, I’m not willing to critique the many failures in our system.

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    • Ahh Chrisyinks why now? Mamy of us are interested in this dialogue

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      • Chrisyinks // December 2, 2016 at 02:51 // Reply

        Pynk, didn’t mean to whet your interest.

        The short version of my opinion is that our education lacks the practical/application side of the knowledge for the benefit of one’s life and the society….pretty much what a decent education is meant to achieve….and also what the kid in America was being taught.

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      • Yes oooo. I’m interested too. 🙂

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  3. I like the system of the school my children attend. Nursery section close by 1:30pm, primary by 2:30pm. No lessons. Unlike some schools that close by 4:30 and I wonder if the children are workers or pupils. And my daughter is 4 in Nursery and can’t read yet, though she’s very eager to. At first, I was concerned but that’s the way their curriculum is. I can’t even remember when my son started reading so I’m assured in due time, she will too. For me, they are not in any competition with children from other schools.

    About the socialising issue, thats true to an extent, though.

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  4. Too many differences.

    Naija system forces you to cram your life away. Yankee system allows you to understand so you can apply same logic when situation isn’t exactly the same.

    Naija schools teach you how to summarize, while yankee school teach you how to analyze.

    Naija you cant really question your teachers, yankee schools you question your life away and actually get bonus points for participation.

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  5. #long post alert, pls bear with me.

    Most Nigerian schools just want to drill the knowledge into kids without them understanding the principle. I am thankful to God we decided to do a bilingual nursery school for our child. He was able to learn this other type of teaching. Had no homework, was quite creative and enhanced his love for music. Fast forward to 5yrs, we decided to send him to a British-Nigerian curriculum school, homework every day. However, I must quickly add that it’s usually just a page of work. He still has loads of time for his play and his other activities. He could bearly read books in English at age 5 or write a story but now at 6 he has adapted. Kids are like sponges, they soak up everything so why not expose them?
    I met other parents at the school once, who compared the school with another complaining their kids had so much time to play after homework, boy was I shocked? They claimed at the other school, they were always busy with work then had tv time for less than an hour before bed time. This started from nursery school, that got me wondering when the child has to be a child?
    My husband attended one of those schools in Ikeja GRA and still feels our kid’s school lacks in art & creativity (can’t compare to his nursery). They did all sorts, those teachers were patient. I marvelled at the things they got up to sometimes, you may wonder how helpful all these is but it helps them process, think through things thereby learning properly. We still have a bit of an issue in school because he is the one to ask all the questions (most of the kids in his class attended the nursery school so understand the system). He still doesn’t just swallow or accept blanket statements especially if he doesn’t get the process. He will ask you how the “That” was made and all. I prefer an average kid who has lots of other soft skills, so that is how we are bringing up our kid, these days anything and everything brings in the dough so why not support drumming, swimming or whatever skills? I’m not for an All A kid (i don’t mind but won’t sweat it) all I want is an all-rounder.

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    • Mrs A long post welcome. Your husband either went to Abbey, Grange or st. Pauls. Lol. I am an Abbey baby and I remember having tons if time to play. I learnt math mostly from going to kingsway and i dont support the whole loadof homework either. I admire you sent your son to a bilingual school. The new school parents complaining about homework is something else. I think we place far too much emphasis on book knowledge vs soft skills- it maybe a reason why we have more phds than actual inventors in Nigeria.

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