Education plays a pivotal role in establishing sustainable peace within Nigeria, as emphasised by the National Association of Seadogs Confraternity’s Awka chapter in Anambra State. The group mentioned that it is crucial to prioritise a skill-based learning methodology within the educational system instead of simply focusing on qualifications on paper. They strongly suggested the implementation of such an approach throughout the entire national school system, which would effectively equip young individuals with practical skills. This, in turn, would empower them to be self-sufficient and significantly enhance their productivity.
Dr. Vincent Onwughalu, a university lecturer, shed light on the theme “Learning for Lasting Peace” during a hybrid event held in Awka to commemorate the International Day of Education. The insightful remarks from Dr. Onwughalu left a lasting impact on the attendees. According to Onwughalu, a National Association of Seadogs member, the United Nations acknowledges the global disturbance of peace and emphasises the need for strategic efforts to attain long-term peace. It emerges as a crucial and potent instrument in accomplishing enduring peace.
Irrespective of circumstances, education plays a pivotal role.
The importance of education as a powerful catalyst for peace and sustainable development was strongly underscored by the speaker. According to him, the possession of certificates and the acquisition of knowledge are both indispensable proofs that attest to one’s successful completion of the educational journey. It is undeniable that irrespective of circumstances, it plays a pivotal role in instigating positive transformations and fostering growth. At the hybrid event, a radio host, Ms. Jedidiah Uche, also took the stage to share her remark.
In her address titled “Education, a Means to Development,” Uche emphasised the imperative for it to serve as a catalyst towards national harmony and enhance the welfare of society. She expressed that education surpasses mere certificates, as it entails utilising the acquired skills to make a positive impact on society. She lamented the prevalence of Nigerians who possess certifications they can’t defend, rendering them perpetually influenced rather than becoming influential advocates of constructive transformation. According to her, possessing a certificate does not equate to being educated for everyone.
It will enable individuals to create their own opportunities.
Speaking further on the importance of skills, she said the overemphasis on certificates rather than on acquiring knowledge has diminished the true importance. The essence lies in being able to observe and critically analyse one’s surroundings, identifying flaws and offering effective solutions for transformative change, ultimately defining what it means to be an educated individual. Also, Associate Professor Tochukwu Okeke emphasises the importance of lifelong learning and enhanced comprehension in the process of societal development.
On his part, Emmanuel Udeh, the moderator, emphasised the indispensable role of education in broadening people’s horizons and knowledge, highlighting that those who possess education always bring something valuable to the table. He emphasised that education has the power to transform lives despite acknowledging the existence of a few educated individuals who still face challenges. It goes beyond the acquisition of a mere certificate in the grand scheme of things. Rather, it revolves around the personal growth and accomplishments that enable individuals to create their own opportunities, even in the absence of employment.
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Over the years, the Nigerian educational system has faced numerous challenges that hinder its progress. Inadequate funding, poor quality, lack of vocational training, and insufficient teacher training are some of the prominent issues. Additionally, examination malpractice, regional disparities, limited access, and corruption further exacerbate the problems. Tackling these issues necessitates substantial reforms such as increased funding, improved training for teachers, updated curriculum, and equal opportunities for all students. Addressing these concerns would help improve the Nigerian educational system and contribute to the nation’s social and economic development.