EFFECT OF CORRUPTION ON NIGERIA EDUCATION
1.1 Background of the Study
One of the greatest threats to Education, social, economic, and political development of any nation is corruption. Therefore, the challenges of corruption remain a major devastating issue facing Nigeria since the colonial period, although, this phenomena has become a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of our system. The United Nations Global Programme against Corruption (GPAC) defines it as “abuse of power for private gain”. The Transparency International has chosen a clear and focused definition of the term as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. It can also be defined as a pervasion or change from the general accepted rules or laws for selfish gain (Farida, 2010).
The World Bank however defines corruption as: The abuse of office for private gains. Public office is abused for private gain when an official accepts, solicits or extorts a bribe. It is also abused when private agents actively offer bribes to circumvent public offices and processes for competitive advantages or profit. In view of the above, Agbu (2003:3) observed that public office can be abused for personal benefit even if no bribery occurs, through patronage and nepotism, the theft of state European Scientific Journal February 2013 edition vol.9, assets, or the diversion of state resources. Given this development therefore, corruption connotes any behavior that deviates from an established norm with regards to public trust. It also means theft of public trust whether the person concerned is elected, selected, nominated or appointed and it does not matter whether the person affected holds office or not since anybody can be corrupt.
The problem of education emerged from the neglect which the sector suffered from the 1980s leading to the gradual erosion of the system. Inadequacy of funding, lack of teaching tools and modern classrooms, poor numerations and the acute shortage of qualified teachers, have all contributed to the fall in the standard of education in Nigeria. Westernized Nigerian society which is a high source or way of distribution to students instead of studying, students (pupils) spend their time watching television, playing video games, listening to music channels (Channel O) and the present calamity face book, hi5, on line media etc. which prevent them from reading that’s necessary for knowledge acquisition. Lack of dedication and punctuality to duty by the teachers has contributed to the fall in the standard of education. The teachers show divided loyalty to the teaching job; most teachers pay lip-service to their job, spending more time and energy in other businesses and less time in the classroom. Parents also share in the blame; most of them simply do not care about their children’s education. They put all their attention towards money-making, leaving the children’s guidance and motivation to the house maids and drivers, as a result, the children’s projects, home work will not be done, neither will they be reminded to study at home. Some children derail and drop out. Government is largely responsible for the falling standard of education; they change policies concerning education so frequently, leaving both teachers and students confused. They also do not equip classroom and laboratories appropriately to make for effective learning.
Corrupt officers who misuse institutions’ money/funds go unpunished. Exam malpractice which is one of the major causes of falling standard of education has not been tackled by the government. Look at the TSS issue, frequent strikes and the present universities’ school fees increase. To gauge the seriousness of a society, especially its seriousness about attaining national development goals, we need to appraise the nation’s educational system. Can we harvest the critical/creative minds necessary to manage the democratic process if we do not invest in human capital development? Or compete in the globalized world of the twenty fifth century; if a nation does not face its education development seriously, then there is a lot that is wrong with such society. To revive the educational sector in order to help in building the individuals to be able to assist the process of developing the society, government should make sure our schools are equipped with functional libraries and laboratories, with classrooms having modern instructional technologies; computers connected to the internet, projectors audio-visual and video conferencing equipment etc.
Teachers cannot perform miracles without the necessary teaching aids (tools). Primary and secondary schools, which are the foundation of education should be properly built, funded and adequately staffed. It is also the duty of the healthy learning environment which also aids the teaching and learning interaction. That is why the United Nations benchmark is that countries must put 26% of their budgets into education. If the government provides or educates its citizens through functional education then the people will take their right places in the social, political, economic and even religious life endeavors so we can reach great heights and be among the first twenty countries by 2020.
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