What can African Institutions do to change? Stop bureaucracies from mainly concentrating on serving elite interests over the interests of the entire society. There is no doubt that bureaucracy generally benefits society as it helps to create structures that help to keep people safe. But when it creates stiff policies and laws, it leads to inflexible rules and regulations that waste time, results in unnecessary costs which lead to extra burden on innovation.
Because of Educational system bureaucracies’rigid rules and regulations in African settings, changes that could lead schools to international and progressive status become difficult. This has historically been the fate of a nation like Nigeria.
Because of bureaucracy, Nigeria continues to struggle to keep up with changing times and that promotes more unhealthiness in the system. As we now know Nigeria schools remain among the worst institutional casualties of difficult disasters, as is evident from the ongoingCOVID-19 pandemic.
Every nation faces disaster periodically, yet for almost 30 years Nigeria for the most part unlike many countries including Arab nations showed its un-readiness and incompetence as its Educational institutions and classrooms fell backward and watched pupils, students and lecturers in helplessness and disarray.
Nigeria in recent times appeared to now understand that it is abnormal to continue to be too into bureaucratization and classical mentality as some of its Education authoritieshave shown. In order not to allow subjective reasoning to stand as continued hindrance,Nigerian Educational authorities must decrease all forms of bureaucratic influences.
Insisting on enormous or some form of pronounced physical infrastructures for long distance learning to fully engage digital Education is wrong. Such thinking is contrary to what is supposedly expected as that is why we have technology to help reduce those types of physical preparations. Moderation in all areas should be an integral part of government Educational requirements as the adoption of technology into the environments of schools under a hybrid model of Education continues to help manage cost better.Technology for the most part, has allowed us to rethink the design of physical learning spaces.
As such, bureaucratic wishes and rules shouldnot always be allowed to determine the nature and quantity of academic programs. Atechnology based open and long-distanceinstitutions should engage in their own unique way, as each school varies in dynamics, styles,and concentration.
Take the American University of Nigeria(AUN), compared to almost all other Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC) accredited schools, AUN is 100% American styled higher Educational system and offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels of Education. Its innovative international technological and in-person approaches should be modeled after by N. U C in terms of guiding Nigeria universities, on the physical, in-person, virtual and technical aspects of modern Educational systems. In a similar vein as AUN, is the Maryam Abacha American University of Niger, while locally accredited by the N.U.C, strongly remain an international and American styled forward-looking institution as evidenced by its certification by the Accreditation Services for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC) United Kingdom and its membership with the American Council of Education (ACE)
Certainly, the government for the safety of its citizens and learners must make sure it has prescribed basic requirements and standards that physical and virtual learning institutions should abide by. However, its system of administration and hierarchy of authority should show flexibility when it comes to Educationalactivities, as each school is different in culture and dynamics. Nigerians must not allow Bureaucracy to continue to hinder the evolution and development of transformative Educationfor the society.
Nigerian and other African Educational authorities and officials should not allow individualized Educational proprietors and innovative Education pioneers become frustrated and abandon their ambitions for society. African nations, including Nigeria are still struggling in terms of basic amenities and individual income, and the staggering cost of higher Education as in many nations remainshigh.
Speaking of innovative and widened Education,Africa should be glad to welcome and embrace innovation like the University of the People(UP). The University of the People is the world’s first tuition-free, online groundbreakinglearning model designed to help qualified students overcome financial, geographic, dogmatic, and individual constraints to higher quality Education. It is an open Educationalapproach that allows people to get quality Education at relatively lower rates.
To African nations and Nigeria especially, yes, technological shaped degree is a “real” degree from a “real” university. Africa has too few universities for its fast-growing population, a daunting problem in Nigeria, and despite the challenges of limited access to internet connectivity, electricity or computers, technology-based platforms for teaching, learning and research is here to stay. AcrossAfrica, especially countries like Togo, Egypt, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Sudan, and many others, like Nigeria are in recent times seeing how Educational technology is making more people than ever to have access to learning valuable information and earning degrees from the convenience of their laptops.
Nigeria, I must say is now empowering and opening more roads for the sustainable development and practice of online and distance Education. The N.U.C continues to enable and support the National Open University of Nigeria known for its evolutionary and transformation of higher Education, in terms of more access to high quality Education. More universities bothprivate and public are providing distance learning programs in their physical settings. It is the responsibility of accreditation and licensingapproval bodies like N.U.C to ensure the financial fitness and viability of institutions including communication technology driven schools for the safety and protection of students, families, sponsors, and staff.
But there is need for some degree of moderation and where possible innovative private schools should be qualified for government supportive funds in several ways. And working capital for unique schools as in technology driven schools should also come through soughing of external investments.
But one thing Africa, Nigeria especially must realize in totality is that apart from responding to crisis and emergency situations with partial online, web or mail-based Education, less intrusive bureaucratic effects on universities of the future such as online and digital Educationwill allow Education to remain as a noble enterprise which should be accessible as a tool for intellectual freedom and opportunity development. Africa certainly needs to develop and adhere faster as at it is currently sluggishlypaced compared to the rest of the globe. A reality we all agree with, right?
John Egbeazien Oshodi is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government Consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional and Career Development. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African settings. In 2011, he introduced the State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and the Nasarawa State University where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. The Development Professor and International Liaison Consultant at the African University of Benin, and a Virtual Faculty at the ISCOM University, Benin of Republic. Founder of the Proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, Openness. Author of over 40 academic publications/creations, at least 200 public opinion writeups on African issues, and various books.
Prof. Oshodi was born in Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria to parents with almost 40 years of police/corrections service, respectively. Periodically visits home for scholastic and humanitarian works. [email protected]
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