Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thoughts on my first class as a (NYSC) Teacher


Today, I taught my first class as a Corps member.

I wish I could tell you of a priceless moment where my students responded “go down low” when I happened to say “first of all”, but I would like to explore a different line of thought linked to Corps Members, Teachers, and Nigerian Education.

My friends posted to villages in the far ends of Nigeria tell of schools that experience a dearth of qualified teachers. Many of these schools are permanently staffed by Corps members – batch on batch, year on year. In most cases, with little training and in the face of strenuous conditions, Corps members rise to the challenge and leave their mark on the sand of times; in other – fewer – cases, they leave their seed in the wombs of students.

Throwing Batch after Batch of Corps members at the underlying problem is a quick fix, but Band-Aid does not heal wounds. We need more and more Nigerian students going into University to study Education. We need a Joint Admission and Matriculation Board that sets high standards (i.e. cut-off marks) for students applying to study Education. These two are in direct contrast to the present system that feeds students with the lowest UTME scores into the Faculty of Education.

NO ONE deserves the obscene salaries that our top politicians and lawmakers earn, but if anyone deserves a fraction of it – it would be teachers! We need to reward teachers proportionately to the immense job that they do every day in classrooms across Nigeria. Teaching is a noble profession – yes, but nobility does not pay the bills! The younger generation needs to see that they can enjoy a great quality of life if they choose to pursue a career as teachers.

*sigh*

To my friend, Iyabosile Anthonia – who courageously chose to study Education in Ife and hopes to be Minister of Education someday; to all the Corps Members standing in the gap in classrooms across Nigeria – every batch keeping our schools running for one more year; to all the Teachers working in the many Public Schools in Nigeria – doing a great job in the face of all the odds… YOU ROCK! God will keep you.

Koye

11 comments:

  1. Exactly!!! In most universities, it is those that didn't meet the cut-off marks for other departments that get into the faculty of Education! And to think that they are the only ones (I think) that graduate with two degrees after undergraduate level. An overhaul of the 'image' of the teacher in Nigeria is the solution to the educational crises, not posting clueless corps members to schools year in, year out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, very true. At least I can speak for OAU, most people who found themselves in Education were people who typically had applied for other courses, but did not make the required cut-off marks. This should not be so. I think the same also applies to Colleges of Education. It is wrong, wrong, wrong! Rather than rebrand the image of the country, government needs to work on fixing its systems and the people... :)

      Delete
  2. Awesome writeup. I love to teach. I hope to teach someday...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mofesola :). I also hope you get posted to a Secondary School when you go to serve.. Your students would adore you - you're such a great teacher!!!

      Delete
  3. First of all! I say amen to the prayer! Nice write up, Naija will wake up someday. I believe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ayileka :)... You're one of the many Corps Members 'standing in the gap across the country'... You rock!

      Delete
  4. Short and to the point. Well said, Koye.

    Now tell us about that priceless moment :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehehehehehehehehehe Myne. You know, the thing is I actually started this post in an attempt to tell everyone about 'that priceless moment' - but then the thoughts about education took over at some point. So, I'll tell you here:

      I ordinarily arrange my thoughts 'numerically' (e.g. firstly, first things first, second of all etc), so when I started to show them how to solve a problem - it was only natural that I started by saying "first of all"... Their response was so natural, and evidently better than what would obtain after rehearsals... The ENTIRE class shouted in unison "GO DOWN LOW"...

      I was so shocked, I burst out laughing!

      Delete
  5. Awesome piece! You need to come to the North and see things from another perspective. I'm serving in a state polytechnic in the North where there's a huge reliance on corp members ( over 200 corp members are currently serving there). Can you imagine a corp member handling up to 10 courses and at the end of the month he/she is paid #1500 with no accomodation! I could go on and on. I love what i do! I love to teach! .We'll keep on serving meritoriously. We remain undaunted! Our service is unto God. This piece is really encouraging. You rock too!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes Koye, we Rock!. Good one as always :*

    ReplyDelete
  7. First of all, (please don't bend down low oooo lol)...i believe the Education Sector in our dear Country presently is in a state of bismal abismal(thanks 2 Hon Patrick..what ever that means) I don't even want to start with the Higher Institutions now!

    The public primary and secondary school teachers of years back that i know of, made it a point of duty to add to their C.V by selling stuffs in school; be it food, wears or whatever! I wonder what they are selling now!

    I really don't want to start with our government right now. Another day! But hwere do we really come in as citizens, and individuals? I know of someone who is priviledged to serve in a secondary school. What she does? Read novels and ping while a senior brother helps her to teach!

    I have been trusting God 2 send me 2 a place where i can develop my self and not my C.V in service. What does a law graduate teach though? Biology? Yoruba? Government?

    But really, in the long run, its not about the subject taught! Its about what you do for that one sunbstancial year! Its about the one student or 100 students touched,motivated and steered toward greatness.

    Some of our corpers can be extremely lazy though! Seriously! All we want is a multi-national company,Chevron,Shell n bla bla bla! God help us!

    ReplyDelete