INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT IJEM

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Abstract

            Education is generally regarded in Kwara State as her major industry hence the need for its constant re-examination. The paper examined the present condition of education in the State and noted that its dwindling quality as depicted by poor pupil achievements in basic skills and public examinations is inimical to her progress and development. It attributed the situation to several factors such as over-centralization, poor investment by all stakeholders, more especially the lack of appropriate management policies by Government that could engender and inspire to healthy competition for better performance among schools etc. there is therefore a need, it was suggested, for a re-engineering of educational management in the State to bring about stronger accountability and motivation among school leadership, teachers. The state government should adopt strategic planning with statements of vision and mission backed by policies on acceptable standard in reading and computational skills, standardized tests among others.

Introduction

            Educational reforms are not strange, as no educational system is perfect. All over the world, education continues to be subjected to questions like: what should be taught? Why? Where? How? By whom? Education is meant to serve the world. The world, itself, is not static. How can education be

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static if it is to remain relevant?

            The decade 1990 to 2000 has been correctly referred to as the “Decade of World Summit”, because the world witnessed a plethora (about 22) of international conferences mainly devoted to “Quality in Education” for human development. Among such conferences are “World Conference on Education for AH” held in 1990 at Jomtien and another in Dakar, 2000. Several important messages came out of these conferences, among which are: “an affirmation that education is a fundamental human right” and “an acknowledgement that Africa is at the bottom of the world’s educational league table, and the fact that this should justify urgent, concerted, innovative responses” (Obanya, 2002, p.3). it was also noted that “political will is the key to success in all educational endeavours” (Obanya, 2002, p.3).

            Although it has been asserted on some occasions that education is an industry, and indeed a major one, in Kwara State, in thus writers view, the problem of this State’s educational system is so deep and fundamental that it will take a total and radical re-engineering of the system to cure it of its ailment. The problems did not start today. Since the introduction of western education into Nigeria, the education system has been facing myriads of problems but in the last three decades, they have become increasingly complex. In the hurry to develop, the various Governments have made series of omissions and commissions which have continued to cripple the education system, and reforms have been patchy, inconsistent, mismanaged and therefore mostly ineffective. The system failed largely at the level of management. There is no gainsaying the fact that no educational system can rise above the quality of its management. The implementation of the National Policy on Education is a typical example; laudable programme but poorly executed.

            The ultimate aim of educational management is to

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procure and marshal resources (man, money, materials and time) to ensure the achievement of educational goals and objectives. All management functions such as planning, organising, leading, supervising, controlling and motivating are directed toward achieving such objectives. The ultimate aim of education is to bring out the best in each individual for his benefit and that of the society. Education is an investment against poverty. Yet, Nigeria short- changes education to their own peril. It is not just the Government that is under- investing in education; parents, teachers, head teachers and students are equally guilty in various ways. The resources such as energy, time, money and materials committed to education by these groups continue to dwindle. People describe education as a social service (Olele, 1995) but it is much more than that. Nwagwu (1976) succinctly described the importance of education to human development as follows:

  • today, education is universally accepted as a form of
  • investment in human beings, which yields economic
  • benefits or returns and contribute to a nation’s
  • future wealth and development by increasing
  • the productive capacity of citizens (p. 12).

            However, this can only happen where there is good quality education. The present state of education in Nigeria hardly merits that description. Public outcry and indignation about what their children learn in schools, the way they are being taught and their quality after graduation have been on the increase in recent times even from those who should carry out the reform. Education without quality is no education. It is a destroyer and a betrayal of trust.

            The problems facing education in Kwara State today are numerous. This paper will highlight some of them and then show how Government, by making appropriate policies, can improve the qualify of education in the State.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT IJEM