Some public office holders are impressive! In October 2012, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State announced the removal of 41 zonal inspectors and chief inspectors of education and local government education officers over non-performance and negligence of duty in continuation of the on-going sanitization of the state education sector. The decision, according to him, was the outcome of a continuing performance audit. He even went on to demote the Vice-Principal of a particular school for his incessant late coming. BRAVO Governor Adams!
I had to go around for meetings a few days ago and I came back with very many mixed feelings. In some cases, it felt like 90% of our schools are finding it rather difficult to appreciate what education means BUT as an educator, I know that this is not entirely true and there is more than meets the eye. However, there are many schools that are waving the flag of education in spite of the challenging environment and resources they have.
In the coming months, I hope to begin reviewing schools' standards and post ratings and I hope to involve as many Learning Craft readers. This will help in your decision taking regarding choices of schools for your children.
The primary responsibility of Education Inspectors (individuals who are in charge of the monitoring and maintenance of Minimum Standards in Schools) according to our National Policy on Education shall be to:
- diffuse information about instructional materials tested and effective teaching methods;
- obtain information in respect of difficulties experienced by teachers in schools and institutions and further provide advisory solutions through appropriate authorities;
- monitor and document the overall quality of education in schools and proffer practical and positive advice;
- organize meetings with and workshops for teachers when necessary with a view to improving their professional competence;
- provide a strong sense of comradeship and professionalism among teachers.
Now, this sounds all fantastic but I only see Inspector Gadget's tools working...if you get my drift!
Where are these 'so called' inspectors? We can't afford Inspector Gadget's clumsiness in a crucial time when we must take education in Nigeria to the next level! If they have been going about your duties, many schools will not see the light of day. Children are learning under grossly non-conducive environments and parents are oblivious of the right practices as they are unaware of their rights, hence anything goes. Gosh! I have to say that I am not a great fan of the now popular saying.... 'it is well!'
I saw schools with less-than-standard playing grounds, classrooms with incorrect specifications, windows without cross ventilation, teachers absconding classes, an immeasurable number of safety hazards and inappropriate teaching and learning practices to name a few.
These are not a function of lack of funds but of mismanagement, clumsiness, corruption and a general lack of maintenance on the practice of our 'minimum standards'. As worthy Inspectors/educators, the onus is on you to build and ensure a brighter future for the average Nigerian child.
“If the teachers don’t teach, we have no future and your brief is to ensure that the teachers work and yet you failed to do that. “It’s a new Edo, everybody must be put on notice to work and justify their pay. I have a duty to remind you that when you have abandoned your job, you have also lost it.” (Adams Oshimhole to the Inspectors of education)
Can the worthy Inspectors and their bosses (in the form of stakeholders - governors and ministries of education) please rise up to the challenge?