School reform everywhere is a complex undertaking. The complexity is seen in the politics and processes of school improvement. Those individuals, who believe that education is the key to improving the quality of life and the social class, have argued perpetually that the current system of education in
The new Minister of Education, Dr. Nwachukwu must be cognizant of the internal politics as well as the myriad of problems facing Nigerian schools. He must not only work with these interest groups, but must work within the framework of the Nigerian Constitution and the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) to reform our schools. The NEEDS core values, which are aligned with the Vision 2010 report, offer some hope for school reform. Other reports, which include the Kuru Declaration and the Ezekwesili Vision 2020 report, could also offer guidance. For example, the Vision 2010 report, which recognizes the importance of respect for elders, honesty and accountability, cooperation, industry, discipline, self-confidence, and moral courage, could be incorporated into the Minister’s master plan. The Minister must endeavor to shift emphasis to implementation, monitoring, and commitment to the process of continuous improvement. This will be a sharp contrast in thinking.
To illustrate: there seems to be lack urgency in improving the Nigerian education system. There is a continued widening of the gap between poor and rich children of
The Minister knows that the world we live in today is faced with difficult economic, cultural/religious, technological, environmental, and political problems. Since September 11, 2001, political leaders around the world have adjusted their foreign policy to respond to national security threats, while educators and teachers are adjusting their instructional objectives to meet the needs of their students and respond to the forces of globalization. According to Friedman (1999), nations are responding and those nations not responding will pay a heavy price.
We know that Dr. Nwachukwu will face a daunting task in reforming the education sector, a sector which has been plagued by poor conception, inadequate planning, a weak implementation, a shortage of skilled manpower, limited resources, mismanagement, corruption and malfeasant. We have written countless articles offering suggestions and recommendations for change. State governors must support the federal government effort in reforming the schools. The state and federal governments should implement, monitor and develop strategies jointly to increase student participation and student achievement in internal and external examinations, in rigorous preparatory courses, hold individuals accountable, and ensure students graduate from secondary school ready for the university or the workforce.
The implication for national development, growth and prosperity is clear. The Minister must show national pride and commitment to his vision for education and to the vision of No Child Left Behind Act as expressed in the