By Our Correspondent
A Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and Entomology, University of Abuja, Prof. Maxwell Opara, has called for an increase in education funding, to actualise real life learning of Nigerian children.
Opara made the appeal at the Annual Graduation and Award Ceremony of Toddlers Haven and Everest Heights International Academy in Abuja.
The Don, who spoke on the theme:’ Real Learning For The Real World’, said for education to take its place, students must actualise real learning through skills.
He said government had a crucial role to play in ensuring that Nigerian students get the right skills through adequate funding of the sector.
According to him, “we are in an environment, especially in Nigeria, where students go to school and they come back home almost knowing nothing.
”This topic is handy, it talks about real learning in the real world. We need to train students that are highly knowledgeable in the things of the world and where the world is focusing on.
Opara added, ”We need students, who will be able to communicate very well, not communication in speaking but be able to write too, communicate and carry people along.
”People should be able to work according to time and deliver task given to them according to time. People who have critical thinking and apply what they have learnt in life,” he said.
Reacting to a UNICEF report that said 75 per cent of Nigerian pupils were poor in foundational numeracy and literacy, Opara said the only solution was funding education and equipping it with trained personnel.
” It is unfortunate, anyway, because the situation in Nigeria is actually a call for serious attention because of the economy of the country.
”People are beginning to ask questions, is it worth going to school really? I go to school and at the end of the day have nothing to do as no work for you and people are getting discouraged, and that is not good.
”It is making people not to encourage their children to go to school.
The government needs to work on our economy.
”Our economy needs to be working in the sense that we have enough funding for education. If proper funding is given to education, schools will be well equipped and children will have better learning environment, and teachers will be better paid too.
”If a teacher is not well paid, a teacher will not be able to teach and impact knowledge with love, but when there is proper funding for payment of salaries, good learning environment, then students will be encouraged to go to school,” he said.
On her part, the Proprietress of the school, Dr Olubukola Dosunmu, commended the students for their outstanding performances in competitions within and outside the school.
Dosunmu said this was a testimony of the rigorous activities developed for the students to make them well equipped for the future.
”We are very involved in project-based activities in the school, part of also what we do is that our children have a lot of self-initiative project that they put together on their own and the school facilitates them.
”That way, communication skills, collaboration skills, problems solving skills are put in place.
”Recently, we won the second best in fabricated project in the UBE JET competition in the FCT. The children put together an automatic water dispenser because of COVID protocols and also we did an automatic change-over switch.
”Some of these are activities we push our children into. We are very glad that we are giving them opportunities to make connections with their learning with the real world,” she said.
Imisioluwa Adebayo, one of the graduating students, pledged to translate the knowledge gained from the school into real world situation.
Also, Ologun Aigboje, another graduating student, said that skills acquisition was the way to developing self and the nation, hence must be strengthened in the educational sector.
Aigboje say that putting the mechanics in place for skills development would make Nigerian youths employable.
The ceremony featured cultural display from primary pupils and recitation from the nursery section of the school.
Awards were also given to best students in the various subjects.
Salihu Modibbo, a JSS 3 graduating student of the school was awarded the overall best student in his set, while Imisioluwa Adebayo was the overall best student in the senior secondary class.