For the teachers, the environment in which they work; the number of students they have to teach and control per class; the skill gap they have which has not been bridged; and the society which they serve, all contributed to their psychological make up towards their job role. The environment in which they teach is not as conducive as to make them feel they are equally workers like others working in other sectors. The classes are overcrowded to the level they can’t control nor canconveniently teach to the comprehension of the students. Someone said a teacher will spend all of his subject’s period asking students to just keep quiet.
The society treats teachers with disdain. They are not considered as working class. Parents under normal circumstance would not want to give a teacher their daughter’s hand in marriage. Girls on their own too don’t want to date a teacher, in fact they have different names with which they mockhim, such as“Last-card ”, “T-class”, Letter T”, Maici da Alli” among other disparaging terms. Get a teaching job and become a subject of pity in the society. Teachers are,as others, members of the society thus must operate within the dictate of how the society conducts itself. They are not from heaven; they would like to compete and have recognition as others; especially if we take into cognizance man’s desire for recognition in the society he belongs.
Deprive man of anything but give him that recognition, he will be satisfied. Man, as Locke, Hegel, Fukuyama and other philosophers in their class would want us understand, can forsake anything including his life for want of recognition. All these issues culminated to frustrate the efforts of hard-workingteachers. No matter how passion they have for the job, they have to be thinking twice; of perhaps working hard while on the other hand looking for a job (even if they will earn less) from which they will drive that pure prestige.
Our community which produces the school, the teacher, the parent and the student is no longer what it was. We are no longer our brothers keepers and the neighbourliness which hitherto characterises our communal living is fast becoming a part of our history. A community that was before now guided by the philosophy of “ai da nakowa ne” (A child is for all to look after) and “kasonakaduniyatakishi” (you show preference for your child’s well being over your neighbour’s, he likely fails in his endeavours) in its dealings is today living a life of “I pass my neighbour”. Those days a nearby resident will not mind paying school fees for his neighbours’ child. Not long ago mid 1990s elders(men)would gather outside after Isha prayer to eat together from one bowl in the open while we the kids play happily by the side. We eat and play together with Alamajirai without minding their social status.The gap between the Haves and Have-little was closed off by compassion and respect for relationships.
A father’s friend is considered similarly a father by other children. Respect for elders was ourhallmark. This has now become history. we today live a life of individualism: for each according to his needs and for each according to his ability as Marxists would put it. It has become a show up kind of a life style. A father would go to any extent to send his child to an expensive private school for examplewhere he is sure his neighbour will not ever dream of equally sending his. So it is in all facets of our today’s life styles. The values have bowed down to the forces of modernity. We want to have what others don’t or can’t afford, just to show how far we passed them. It is reaction to this change that affects the whole scenario: the schools, the teachers, and the parents and there is no way we can reverse the trend because it was an epoch and has passed forever. This is a point at which we can prove to the world that our brain is fully really functioning.
These all then suffice to mean that, the trouble with Katsina education sector as else where is not at the level of funding, construction of classrooms or recruitment of teachers or even visitation or setting up of committees for now, but at the level of thinking. Thinking of how first we canadjust to the new realities of life because the change in our society that results to all of the above is not accidental but inevitable response to global realities of modernity. And until we close ourselves in a room with all these variables on table while we wear our scientific thinking caps;fine-tuning solutions,we will continue to apply mainly causes of the problems as solution as we seem to be doing right now.
What happens was, the world was fast changing while we were deeply asleep, only to wake up and instead of doing the right thing,adopt the same old ways we were used to and keep having same results we do not want in this generation; and alas, we are repeating same mistake all over again. We can on a second thought continue doing what we do now of funding, renovations and what have you,but keep in mind the need for working on how to adjust to realities of present time while reflecting on our past and values.
Making the system work under this condition is not rocket science. We can do it but only if the state and society agree to come together and embark on a journey in search of solution; each playing its role as restlessly and diligently asthe power of the problems is to pose new threats.Values are meant to be adjusted and at some points reinvented to conform to the needs of the time. So it has been since time immemorial. We can’t deny the fact that we had undergone series of transformations in our lifetime’s history as a society. So, we can onlydeceive ourselves; wanting a different result while applying one methodology over time.When next generation comes, it will not only blame the leaders but the society as a whole. In any case, the question is, at what point will the government as well the society understandthe need for a selfless synergies in solving our problems? Will politics let things work? Is another question for another day.
Meantime, while as patriotic citizens we are day and night exploring ways of helping the government achieve a great height in the sector and other sectors as well, we have seen, to our dismay of course, the sector being politicized or least not being taken serious. The point is, how can the governor visit schools, cry out of, among other issues, broken floors and chairs, only to comeback and paints them to match his party’s coloursand bringssame kind of chairs (that Shema administration had put in) that hardly last for a session? Instead of fixing the problems he had discovered, he resorts to doing something else. These are same kind of white elephant projects which theyaccused past administration of paying emphasise on, and which theyalso make people believe were the means being used to siphon public funds. Why are they now doing the same thing? Can we pass same judgement on them? If this administration is serious about reviving education sector, let’skeep politics and whatever hindranceaside and together work towards ensuring quality education in Katsina. Allah Rayan Jahar Katsina.
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