Azariah is showcased at La Soiree: A night of benevolence.
March 13, 2009
Azariah Newsletter May 2015
May 4, 2015
Making the Case for Discipline in Nigerian Schools
March 2, 2015
by Lolade Obadina
Gone are the days when kids mixed up their roman numerals in algebra or used the wrong tense in grammar, and got away scot-free. Indeed, swats were quite common! In recent times, education has evolved from ‘instilling knowledge so that kids can learn’ to ‘promoting kids to the next grade/year so that everyone is happy’, regardless of whether they actually earned these promotions.
Many years ago in primary school, I once got all the sums in my math homework wrong, even after several lessons. At the time, my tutor was the ‘meanest on the block’, so I knew I was in real trouble when she sent someone to bring me to her classroom. My-oh-my! The fear of getting punished again made me concentrate long and hard enough to excel. Since that memorable experience, my love for algebra and mathematical analysis has known no bounds.
Some people might argue that the methods of delivering education today are different from those that were used in the past, and that is okay. However, I believe that education goes beyond attending school and bagging good grades – of what use to society is an intellectual with no manners? Education is about becoming an all-rounder – i.e., being intelligent in and out of the classroom; it’s about knowing what to do, at the right time, and without being told; it’s about respecting those in authority. It’s simply about having common sense! Discipline could help students become well-rounded. Mind you, I am in no way endorsing or advising corporal punishment as an effective teaching tool. However, it is important to find a disciplinary action that works and stick to it. Consistency is key.
In most private schools in Nigeria, educators are not allowed to discipline students – whatever their offences may be. I remember having a student in my class who never did her homework. Ever! She always had an excuse – there was no power (i.e., electricity) at home, the dog ate her homework etc. Her reasons were endless, and sadly, her parents had no clue, as they were too busy working. At best, students are disciplined by being sent to the Head Teacher’s or Principal’s office. And even then, nothing happens. Yet, parents still expect educators to perform ‘miracles’ with their kids. Teachers are blamed if kids do not obtain high averages (e.g., 90%).
Which way forward Nigeria? That’s something to think about.
The author obtained her undergraduate and post-graduate education at the University of Surrey and the Univeristy of Manchester respectively. She recently completed the National Youth Service Corp program in Nigeria, where she worked as a teaching assitant in a secondary school. The opinions expressed in this article are solely hers and are based on her experience while teaching in Nigeria.