THE 6-3-3-4 EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM - FAILED IMPLEMENTATION LET NIGERIA DOWN - Lauretta Onochie
It has bothered me in recent years why Nigeria, a nation of intelligent people is now saddled with many young people who cannot reason rationally with no articulacy skills.
You only have to watch your TV on Father's or Mother's day to see the extent of this problem. On these days, children in participating nations are interviewed about their parents. While four year olds elsewhere, are able to maturely articulate their points, nine year olds in Nigeria would only give mono-syllabled answers to leading questions, and then silence. Until another leading question comes then they answer "Yes" or "No" as the case may be.
I was a National Youth Service Corp teacher in Nigeria when the 6-3-3-4 system was still at its trial stage. At the time, I thought it was an effective education formula that would bring about the much needed positive revolution in our educational system if well-implemented. And because proper and sound education is the bedrock of development in a nation, I had also hoped that other sectors of the economy would benefit from this educational reorientation or transformation in our nation.
But as with all good ideas in our nation, implementation of this great idea, was left in the hands of Nigerian public officers who, in my myopic opinion, did not understand what the system was about. Again, some of the funds meant for the implementation of this 6-3-3-4 system, an expensive system, may have found their way into private pockets.
You see, all fingers are not equal. It goes to say that people are born with different mental and academic abilities, environment and nurturing playing a major role. Some of us were born with little capabilities for academic exercises but with huge skills for things that involve the senses. For instance, there are people who are better at using their hands, eyes, etc., than engaging in pure academic jingoism. One can be deficient in pure academic pursuits but skilled in art. Another may be quite proficient in putting things together, so would be great in carpentry. One with an eye for detail without a corresponding ability for academics might go on to become high earners in the field of bricklaying, plumbing etc., supporting and enhancing the work of the civil engineer and bringing to life, the engineer's ideas.
The 6-3-3-4 formula was aimed at a six year plan for elementary or Primary education, the same in the UK. But this initial formative stage, which lays the foundation for the direction of the child has been turned upside down by incompetent public and civil servants aided and abetted by pushy and egoistic parents.
The funding for this system of education could never be adequately provided for in one year as it was an expensive system. But over the years since its inception, budgetary education provisions would by now, have taken care of all that was required for this system to land and succeed. My take is that most of the monies budgeted and earmarked for the implementation of this noble idea, found their ways into private pockets. Again, those who should supervise the projects went to sleep, not understanding fully, that the future if our nation, laid squarely on this laudable educational system.
They had no idea as to the difference between Pre-school and Primary School stages of education. Private Pre-schools sprang up everywhere and because of lack of proper supervision and clear guidelines, many of these Pre-Schools, transformed into Primary schools, with four year olds in their pre-school stages being shoved into Primary sections of the schools. Pushy and uninformed parents, who were in competition to be the parents of the youngest university graduates in their neighbourhoods and among their families and friends, took advantage of these lapses that had no clear lines or route from Pre schools into Schools. Many of these children, through no fault of theirs, were forced to skip vital developmental stages, leading to the emergence of many young people who are not well-rounded, still needing their parents to think and reason for them, even beyond university education.
Consequently, a system that was supposed to produce graduates who are mature, well-rounded twenty-one year old young adults, is churning out immature youngsters, many of whom are still teenagers, and not quite ripe for adult life.
Our problem is not a system that would transport our educational system out of its current decay as we have one. Its getting people who truly understand the 6-3-3-4 system and who are passionate enough about the well-being of Nigeria to implement this winning formula. That's how our nation will arise. If not, the decay will continue.