Monday, 19 June 2017

CELEBRATING AN AFRICAN AMAZON - MAYOR MARY AJOKU "TEEN"


Honorable Mary Lesteen Sutton-Ajoku


I present to you Honourable Mary Lesteen Sutton-Ajoku "Teen" as she is affectionately called by those who know her. The former Mayor of the town of Cruger, Mississippi in the United State of America, Secretary of the World Conference of Mayors and Assistant Secretary National Conference of Mayors Incorporated.



Mary and her father

Mary and her mother

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

CENTRE OF RESEARCH, INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND MEDIA DEVELOPMENT (CRIMMD) LAGOS, NIGERIA.




Presents:
WHAT THE CRIMMD LIBRARY HOLDS FOR MODERN DAY NIGERIA.

By: Ewens Lawson

It is necessary for one to understudy the organic structure of the Nigerian education system before rendering any objective appraisal of the present challenges staring dangerously at us. The history of education in Nigeria is replete with a random change of curricula and policy thrust on education to a theoretical structure that is based on learning by luck; a gradual shift from 6-5-4 system to 6-3-3-4 system in the 1990s.  There was a shift in emphasis from grammar-rooted learning to science-oriented learning but all these efforts were caught in the web of rising religious sentimentalism in the country.







 All these were done in the 1990s by the ruling junta, probably with a view to improving the learning conditions of the Nigerian youth and meeting the global intellectual imperatives of the time. In so far as no one would cynically query the good intentions of the policy makers in this regard, we are unanimous in our opinion that the cardinal spirit of the changes had recorded many effects in the negative direction. We have witnessed an arithmetic growth in number of Schools and universities with a concomitant exponential increase in the rate of graduate-ignorance. Suddenly, we see ourselves becoming victims of falsehood; we are now victims of this false theory on “falling standard of education” in Nigeria. One would not be wrong to ask:  What is this Standard of education and, what is that thing that is actually falling?  The correct answer to this question is what the CRIMMD library tends to provide for us in this piece. Dr. Raphael James, a renowned Information Strategist and Researcher, founder of the CRIMMD Library decided to organize this mini-summit to look into this very notion of falling standards of education in Nigeria. I am privileged to present hereunder the abridged version of the research outcome.




The word “standard” is subject to different interpretations but could be well
understood in a peculiar context. In the education context, one would be correct to define standard as a benchmark to adopt in judging certain behaviour. It is the minimum social, economic and political ingredients required to actualizing certain objective. Standard of education, therefore, is the minimum learning and attitudinal benchmark for judging the performance of students in a particular subject. The primary objective of education is the same all over the world; to enhance human capital development and invariably reduce chronic ignorance. It therefore means that Standard of Education is a variable that depends on some other explanatory variables. Let us reduce the grammar into a simple mathematical function by ascribing symbols to these variables: let SED= Standard of Education, EP=Education Policy, PA=Public Attitude towards learning, GB= Government Budget on Education, TM=Teachers Morale and LF=Library Facility.
The functional model represents:
SED = f (EP, PA, GB, TM, and LF)…………. (i)
No doubt, we are aware that there are numerous factors affecting SED but we have chosen only the useful variables in this analysis, keeping other superfluous variables in a “Big Box” known as the random disturbance box whose explanatory power is minimal and often taken care of by the popular maxim: “Ceteris Paribus” (all other things being equal).











We believe that only the above five explanatory variables (EP, PA, GB, TM, and LF) are the most important determinants of Standard of Education (SED), all other things being equal. We must take note that any variable that cannot be measured with numerical precision is called QUALITATIVE variable while the ones that can be measured are called QUANTITATIVE variables. From the above functional model (i), the first two variables EP and PA are non-quantifiable variables; they cannot be represented in numerical form. Attitude and Policy issues are virtually the objects of human reasoning with its attendant sentimental overhang. The remaining three variables GB, TM, and LF are measurable; teachers’ morale can be represented numerically by monetization of teachers’ welfare package. Library facilities can be measured in terms of cost of equipment and books as captured in various education MDAs budgets meant for this purpose. The Education Budget (GB) is an annual ritual that conveys financial information on education which is easily measurable.

To achieve objectivity in this analysis, the CRIMMD library had shouldered the burden to obtain a 40-year cross-sectional data on each of these variables (1975-2015) from various government establishments (secondary data), and also conducted a clinical research on this subject using advanced statistical package (E-View). We have also run these data on our model and generated a multiple regression equation which encompasses Error Correction Mechanism (ECM), Augmented Dickey Fuller, and Test of significance of the estimated parameters. Since the system contains both qualitative and quantitative variables together as regressors, the model has turned strictly ANCOVA (Analysis of Covariance).  The next stage is to present our findings and make far reaching recommendations as we deemed necessary.


FINDINGS/INTERPRETATION:

We shall first answer the question of “what is falling” taking a cue from the meaning of standard of education as stated above. The outcome of our analysis reflects that the standard of education (SED) has NOT significantly fallen during the period under review. This is shown by the positive relationship between SED and (GB, EP). The education policy has always changed overtime in response to the challenges being faced by succeeding generation of Nigerians. For instance, a careful review of the sample of the various Ordinary Level WAEC/WASC curricula used in the 1970s through 1980s to 1990s would reveal some gradual theoretical improvements in the presumed syllabic-content of learning. The definition of marriage as contained in social studies materials of the 70s and 80s had changed in the late 90s and keep changing till this day; the physics syllabus in the 70s and 80s equally had been upgraded reasonably to capture advanced topics such as quantum mechanics and Nuclear Physics. This trend is seen in all the subjects at same level. Therefore, if standard means a benchmark set down by the authority in order to achieve certain objective (in this case, syllabic-upgrade) we shall have no theoretical ground to assert that the standard of education has fallen.

The benchmark for WAEC/WASC since 1970s had changed positively on paper to reflect the dynamism in global learning and discoveries. In addition, the Federal Budget on education has never remained fixed. It has shifted gradually, quantitatively and positively from the 1970s to 2015. The reason is not far-fetched; increase in oil revenues has so far affected the education sector’s budget positively and, though marginally.

Our inference is: the standard has not fallen on paper works as we have recorded incremental curricula-upgrade over the years but the capacity and willingness on the part of our students to absorb what is/are on the various syllabi into human faculty has fallen tragically. The continuous decline or near total collapse of intellectual zeal towards learning as exemplified by the present crops of students and researchers does not represent the notion of falling standards. Our failing culture seems to have gained entry into the knowledge sub-region. And “know-who” has conspired to replace “know-how” in the intellectual system; the fire of competition is finally extinguished; our libraries have been abandoned for rats and wall-geckos. This is not a case of falling standards of education but a case of falling ethics of learning informed by systemic failure and a successful coup against our values.

You can write Exams and obtain Distinctions without studying; this is what the Holy Spirit can do. You don’t need the library for a research because the Holy Spirit can do it for you as it had done for those testifiers out there……Holy Spirit is the new and authentic standard of education for some Nigerians.  We shall conclude from our findings that the Nigerian Standards of education did not fall and it is not falling as erroneously believed, but has been overthrown through a coup against our values.


RECOMMENDATIONS:

There may be numerous ways to address this and possibly restore the glorious days of education in Nigeria. We, hereby make two basic suggestions which are workable in the short-term:
Government at all levels should strive through practical steps to reduce to the barest minimum the yearning gap between teaching and cheating in all examinations. Once we curb the avenues open for examination malpractices in the country the rats and cockroaches presently occupying our libraries will relinquish their rights of occupancy to human owners without a quit notice. The incumbent JAMB Registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede had demonstrated in the last UTME admissions screening exercise that we have the capacity to do the right thing.

 The Teachers’ welfare, training and re-training must be a constant concern for the government.  Let teaching job be seen as a profession for those who have the flair and enthusiasm to excel in it with pride, not a job seen as being at the lower rung of employment-ladder reserve for those who could not secure a better job elsewhere.  This attitude of “I am just managing it” often exhibited by our plaint teachers must be curbed drastically for us to achieve the desired results.

Finally, we are happy to inform the general public, particularly the intellectual enthusiasts’ amongst Nigerian youth/students/researchers that the CRIMMD Library is open to everyone 24/7 free of charge. Let reading and research continue, let us build and re-build a knowledge driven Nigeria where our inherent differences in tongues and tribes would be reconciled in the realm of knowledge.

The Director General of CRIMMD, Dr. Raphael James is an embodiment of charity beyond religious contemplation. His storehouse of wisdom garnished by a wealth of experience in Librarianship and Archival superiority has turned his office into a beehive for intellectual bees. There are tons of quality materials for modern research in the library begging for readership.

WE HEARTILY WELCOME YOU TO THE CRIMMD LIBRARY!!!!!.

Thank you.









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