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The role of school’s management on children

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Teaching children should be a social service, a humanitarian venture and not business but it appears to be a business in Nigeria. There aren’t school farms anymore; hardly do you see schools with sports ground where children can play. Children are sequestered in pens in school; they do not play at home for lack of space and in school without the space to and yet approved by government.

As a business, education for children ends with the collection of money from parents but as a social service, it involves the training of little souls who will become great souls later in life so as to contribute their own quota to the development of country, self and society. Teaching children should involve parents and religious institutions, the approach should be all-inclusive.

Many schools in Nigeria aside from having monthly PTA meetings do not call for special meetings to interphase with parents or even invite parents to have a one-day or hours sit-in, in classes to see how their charges are being taught. It is important for parents to be told by schools’ management to be role models to their children, because the pursuit of money by many parents has seen them transfer all responsibility of training children on schools.

When I was a Head Teacher Primary in Port Harcourt I saw parents come to drop off their children as early as 6am and not come to pick them until past 6pm. The school was a dumping ground for many parents indeed. Maybe school management should begin to charge extra fees for this burden.

Teachers have to go for training courses regularly. Many have never gone for such sessions since they were recruited. Children are unique, never the same and do not have same learning skills especially since unlike adults who have a say in what they should learn and even how they should be taught, children do not have a say in what they are taught and their preferred learning styles are not respected.

Teachers must be disciplined in carrying out this onerous task. Background of children must be put into consideration especially if they are not doing well academically. If it is found out that children lack love at home, teachers should endeavor to fill the void by showing them love; this will go a long way into helping the children. I remember Ebuka and the ill-treatment to him by his stepmother and how I related to him with love when he struggled and did badly in class work. I wonder where that young lad is today.

The learning and mastering of subject areas very well cannot be given a lower profile. A confident teacher instills confidence in pupils and a bland teacher teaches children to be tardy. 

Being ill prepared before lectures makes children lose confidence in teachers. It is imperative that while the goal is to teach very well, teachers must be told by the school’s management to closely watch and not neglect the manners of children, because many children pick bad habits from other children in school. The issues of HIV/AIDS, other diseases and pre-marital sex should not be avoided in schools. It must be discussed, the pros and cons.

Although it seems hard but the advantage is that children will be informed about sex and will be equipped to defend their dignity instead of wallowing in ignorance with the attendant effect of diseases and early pregnancy. Knowing the problems of children in school and providing solutions to them will make children better persons.

When a twelve year old began to add her mother’s maiden name as part of her surname in all class work and test and yet the management of the school claimed ignorance when confronted by the father when he discovered the anomaly and the management said it isn’t a problem because the added name isn’t what is on the school’s register then you wonder what kind of management such a school runs. School administration should be complete.

A mother’s maiden as a surname must be frowned at by teachers, shouldn’t it? And how come a management didn’t notice the sudden addition in class work? Management must ensure that the content of presentation and the evaluation in lesson notes must toe the line with the scheme of work designed by the school.

Periodically the management should inspect how the so-designed context of the note is presented to the children from class to class and where possible offer suggestions on how to achieve effective teaching. It is the responsibility of the school’s management to ensure that teachers make judicious use of the limited time at their disposal to teach effectively.

This will include engaging the children at all time and barring teachers from moving from one class to another discussing issues of less importance to children and other class teachers. Teachers in public schools are guilty of this, maybe since they are overburdened by having to take care of too many children. I wonder how any teacher can cope with thirty children and more in a class without teachers’ assistant? All sectional heads must work in sync to ensure effective use of the school’s lesson time. It is tough to be a teacher in a country where the teaching profession is a business and not a social service, in a country where parents are in a hurry to join issues with teachers supported by school owners who are in the habit of indulging parents for patronage and indulging children, jettisoning away hard work and discipline.

The morale of teachers in Nigeria is so low that many suffer from inferiority complex and engage in string-pulling activities with many parents who are not higher than them on all grounds.

It is the responsibility of school owners to boost the confidence of teachers and not dampen it down unfortunately most school owners treat teachers the way mothers discard diapers. Small wonder what we have in Nigeria is the cramming type of education. Aren’t you surprised that despite the numbers of private educational institutions in Nigeria, nothing has really changed. First government destroyed faith-based schools and public schools by introducing Federal Government Colleges, which later paved the way for private schools, all of which have failed woefully. Something has to give.

Simon Abah wrote from Abuja


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