The educational sector which is one of the basics needed to meet up with the new generation’s updates is not well rooted in Africa. The challenges that the education system in Africa faces are lecturers’ weaknesses, government failures, weak practical background, hindrances from institutions, learning environment, crises, non-patriotism, and sentimentalism.
- Lecturers’ Weaknesses: The most number of lectures we have in Africa are not carrying out their assignments well. They do not know how to offer quality services to the students of many institutions in Africa. . They fail to update their lecture notes, make use of the text books which their ‘’fore fathers’’ used during the time of their study and do not update as the technology changes and advances. Some of them only dictate notes to the students without taking time to explain what the note is all about. This is a big blow on the face of Africa education system. How many African lecturers’ have laptops orcomputers which gives up-to-date information? Do those lecturers in Engineering and other departments know the latest changes in the areas of their specialization?
- Government failures: This is another critical issue that hinders the progress of education sector in Africa. Many governments in this continent have selfishness running in their veins. They are more concerned on how to embezzle the public fund. The question one may ask is this: I think that their children are also affected since they are part of the community? The politicians send their children to foreign continents where their education system is better. Strike is the order of the day in many tertiary institutions in Africa because the governments do not want to add quality to education sector through funding. This is not new in Nigeria as the government of the country overlooks the importance of this sector. University teachers, under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had on July 1, 2013 embarked on an indefinite strike to protest the non implementation of a part of an agreement it had with the federal government in 2009 (Sunnewsonline.com). The government in some cases do not pay the teachers well. The amount of salary paid to a teacher is dependent on the quality of service he is likely to offer. He looks for another source to make ends meet; thereby offering low quality service (Does the Nigeria Education System Prepare Students for the Work Environment?).
- Weak practical background: In many schools in Africa, students are taught with little or no practical knowledge. This problem goes from the primary to the tertiary institutional level. It is hard to enter any educational institutions and see well installed machines for studies. This is one of the reasons for high maternal death in Africa. Most medical doctors in Africa lack practical knowledge on how to handle pregnant women during child birth. The report shows that the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) for developing regions is 15 times higher than that of developed regions. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 56 per cent of global maternal deaths (UNFPA Global Site). Medical doctor in African continent lack good skills on how to handle child’s delivery. The highest rates of child mortality are still in sub-Saharan Africa—where 1 in 9 children dies before age of five (childinfo). According to CIA World Fact book, Niger has high Infant Mortality Rate of 87.98% in 2013 (Wikipedia). This is graded based on the number of infants that dies per 1,000 who are under one year. The Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. Many doctors in Africa do not underwent serious practical training on the kind of treatment to give the infants. This is one of the causes of the high infant death in Africa.
- Hindrances from institutions: This has to do with the attitudes of many African universities to the students. Some universities in this continent do not permit the students to learn more from other sources or environments. They are not taken to some places, for instance, European continent to learn new things and add to the one they already know. Some departments keep their students in a particular area without taking them out to compete with others. When they compete, they bring out what they have and learn from the other party or parties. Visiting most developed parts of the world for further learning will help African students grow in knowledge and self-discovery.
- Learning environment: This is the area where students undergo their daily studies. The classrooms and lecture halls of the students are not well organized. The nature of the environment that students study in matters a lot. The problem with the study environments of the students is that it is jam-packed with students. A lecture hall that supposes to accommodate 50 students has about 150 students in it. This makes understanding by the students void. The lecture hall generates heat, students feels uncomfortable and assimilation becomes problem. In many tertiary institutions in Nigeria, undergraduate students still learn under the sun. This condition makes students to perform low in their individual departments. African students are more intelligent than those of the developed countries of the world. The problem is that we are affected by the environmental conditions.
- Crises: Africa has experienced many dangers for many years. These environmental disorders seriously affect the education standard negatively. These crises involve both political crisis and wars faced by many nations of this region. These crises range from inter-religious and non-religious. These disorders affect the education sector as students are prevented from carrying-on with their studies. During these crises, many equipments and facilities used in the education department of Africa are destroyed. In June, 2013, people including secondary school students and teachers, were killed when Boko Haram gunmen attacked a boarding school in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state. Boko Haram has so far burnt down more than a dozen primary schools in northern Nigeria. In addition, in late April, more than 16 people were killed in attacks on two Sunday services at Bayero University. The administrative block of Gombe State University was destroyed during an earlier attack (Vanguarg News). Boko Haram is a terrorist group that attacks and causes crisis in Nigeria. The challenges and problems that this group has caused is severe.
- Non-patriotism: This implies not being patriotic. It is the situation where a citizen does not support the activities going on in his or her country. This is also the challenge that the education sector in Africa is facing. The qualified teachers and lecturers in this country find joy in travelling to abroad. They do not value this sector. Instead of helping to bring up education department of Africa continent, they are always busy flying abroad. Also, the wealthy and rich people do not offer helping hands to education sector in Africa. They supposed to contribute the small quota of theirs in support of education sector. What they do is enriching foreign nations by investing in foreign banks.
- Sentimentalism: Vice Chancellors, deans of different faculties, heads of department, head masters and headmistresses do not place the right persons in different departments of learning. This makes many departments to produce half-baked graduates. Many who teach as teachers and lecturers are there, because they are related to someone at the top. This makes some lectures to handle some courses they know little or nothing on. This affects the performances of the students in a very big way. In one of the tertiary institution I know, a lecturer that studied Biochemistry lectures students in metallurgical Engineering. How do you see this? What link does Biochemistry has with Metallurgical Engineering?