“Nigeria requires people with passion, know how, initiative, creativity, resilience and self knowledge; people who can get on with others and who know when to listen and when to lead.”
By Andy Powel
The nation needs an education system that excites and stimulates children, providing them with the learning they need – and deserve – to fulfill their potential. This means providing a curriculum of practical and vocational learning alongside theoretical study. This need for change has never been more pressing. It is not due to the fault of any individual, any school or even any one political party but due to the simple fact the world has changed – and our education system has not changed fast enough. Indeed, it is largely based on a system developed over a century ago; a factory manufacturing model where children are placed on a learning conveyor belt, then sorted, packaged and labelled according to their so-called intelligence. However, in this day and age there is no excuse for such a top-down, one-size-fitsall education system that does not enable all children to thrive in their own way. We must recognise that young people are individuals with different talents and dreams. As such, not all children learn in the same way. We need to move towards a system of mass customisation, based on a strong common core of essential skills and knowledge, which allows young people to develop their own particular talents and aspirations.
Portrait of back – Children are raised hands in classroom.
We must support young people in discovering what they enjoy and are good at – and who they want to be in life. And we must encourage and support teachers and schools in responding to these different needs. Young people will learn if they see learning as important, meaningful and worthwhile. A crucial issue for the recession Revolution in education is a particularly crucial issue in the context of the current economic climate. Young people leaving full-time education next summer will find themselves in the toughest recruitment market in years. The current outdated education system is not making the best use of the most precious natural resource this country possesses – its next generation. Nigeria requires people with passion, know how, initiative, creativity, resilience and self knowledge; people who can get on with others and who know when to listen and when to lead. These skills and abilities cannot be gained in the classroom alone; they come from ‘practical learning’ – learning by doing things for real, working with experts, and integrating theory with practice. Practical and vocational learning is no longer a marginal topic, no longer the option for other people’s children. The seeds of change are sprouting – but they won’t automatically grow. For them to flourish they need to be recognised and nurtured. They need the support of the nation; from parents, to young people, politicians and the business community.
Andy Powell, CEO of independent education foundation Edge.