Head of school, Heritage House School, Jibowu, Lagos, Olayinka Somoye, has said that the country’s academic curriculum is abstract and only allows students to cram for examination and forgetting a large percentage of what they are taught after exams.
Somoye stated this when Heritage House School donated some items to Lagos Mainland Local Government Primary School, Onayade Nursery and Primary School and Community Nursery and Primary School, Fadeyi, Lagos.
Countries such as Singapore, Finland, Korea, China, Canada, Netherlands and United Kingdom rank as countries with the best system of education and the reason for that is not far-fetched.
She noted that these countries use creative education, which allows students to exercise their independent form of imagination and critical thinking, making them take practical and out-of-box perspectives at finding solutions to problems, coupled with systems that allow divergent approaches to learning.
According to Founder, Create Naija, Lekan Dauda, the Nigerian educational system has built a reputation in producing robots that have no knowledge in handling practical systems. He said it explains why mainstream and emerging industries are discrediting certificates emerging from the system.
Speaking with The Guardian during the donation, Somoye said: “The Nigerian academic curriculum is abstract; teachers come to school chanting 1 to 1,000 and a four-year old child will know one to 1,000 but can the child concretise the 1,000? That’s the difference between Nigeria and British curriculum.
“The British curriculum is not in a hurry to teach everything at once, they take it step by step, stage by stage using life experiences, they take it concrete before abstract, the students see and touch but the Nigeria curriculum is more focused on abstract.
The Nigeria curriculum teaches a child that there is a tree but it’s not showing the child the tree so, the student start imagining what a tree looks like but with the British curriculum, the teacher will show the children a tree or bring an artificial tree to the classroom.
The British curriculum leads the child but in the Nigeria curriculum, the teacher gives the teaching to the students. With the British Curriculum, the children discover the learning, lead them to discover what they are learning, and when you use the British style, the children own their learning and that’s why they don’t forget.”
She added: “In Nigeria, our children cram for tests and exams and they forget when they finish. They pass their exams but they can’t remember again and that’s not right. Education is beyond passing exams and that’s why we are not solvers of problems. Nigeria don’t have thinkers, the education system is not supporting them.”
Speaking on the importance of the school’s adoption of both the British and the Nigeria curriculum in the school, she said: “We are Montessori school founded in 1998, we run the British and the Nigeria curriculum. We believe that education should be total and not just about the academics, every Nigeria child should be taught to be total. We use both curriculum because we believe so much in the Nigeria culture, we don’t want to raise our children to be foreigners in Nigeria who do not have the pride of their own country but at the same time, we cannot belittle the fact that the British educational system is quiet good. The world is a global village so, we want to ensure that the kind of education we offer our children will make them fit in with their peers anywhere in anywhere in the world and they will come out strong, that’s why we have blend of both the Nigeria and British curriculum.”
On the donation to the school, she said: “we need to learn compassion, love. We are trying to let our children know that no child chooses his or her parents, every loves to be born into a rich home but God decides where He takes us. If our children as young as they are know the value of caring for others, it won’t depart from them when they grow old and Nigeria will be better place and we will not have leaders who only think of their own pockets.”