By Nosa Akenzua
Education stands as the bedrock of a nation’s advancement, celebrated as a powerful avenue for achieving equality and upward mobility. However, in today’s educational landscape, discerning those who have undergone formal schooling from those who haven’t has become progressively difficult.
During a recent interview with Benjamin Oyaole, the proprietor of Bay-Flowers School, he shed light on the decline in academic standards within Nigerian schools. He attributed this decline to a multitude of socio-economic and cultural factors, with one of the foremost contributors being the widespread misuse of social media.
“Do note that we have taken cognizance of the educational challenges and have established an institution dedicated to combating the negative effects of the social media age,” Oyaole emphasized.
Today’s education system has an interesting quirk – young kids often struggle to express themselves in good old English, the language in which they’re taught everything. It makes you ponder how they’ll ever become experts in anything else!
However, Oyaole, who is also a clergyman, highlighted that since the establishment of Bay-Flower Academy in 2006, the school has been dedicated to hiring only qualified teachers and administrators, many of whom hold doctorate and master’s degrees.
“We’ve encountered parents who were frustrated by the significant expenses on their children’s education, with no corresponding benefits in sight. However, after a short time with us under the guidance of our well-qualified language tutors, not only do their vocabularies improve, but their hidden potentials are also unearthed and nurtured,” he said.
Regarding the issue of sexual and other forms of immorality that has surprisingly plagued both government and private foundational schools in parts of Nigeria, Pastor Oyaole emphasized that the school’s vision and mission prohibit an undisciplined environment.
He stated, “Students are not simply admitted into our school; the child must exhibit teachability in every aspect. We maintain the highest standards of discipline because we understand that every parent aspires to enroll their child in a reputable school where they can thrive as the best.”
Bay-Flower Nursery, Primary, and Secondary Schools are located in the serene and secure urban area of Pole Street, off Sapele Road in Edo State.
“Our students are dedicated to their studies because we’ve cultivated a strong reading culture within our school over the years. This dedication has yielded impressive results, both in internal and external examinations. They’ve also earned numerous prestigious academic awards and have a spotless record when it comes to examination malpractice – not a single incident,” he added.
He also emphasized a crucial point that every proprietor should heed: “We do not tolerate lazy teachers, and we ensure our teachers receive proper compensation.”
It would be shortsighted to pretend that the contemporary decline in education is solely the fault of students. Teachers and school owners also shoulder a significant portion of the blame. Many higher education graduates lack basic communication skills, yet surprisingly, some are employed as teachers, forgetting that a teacher serves as a significant role model for their pupils.
On the other hand, the take-home pay provided by some school administrations each month does not sufficiently support teachers, which hinders effective teaching and learning, as numerous research studies have indicated. Teachers become demotivated to pursue further learning as they find themselves burdened with additional economic activities to make ends meet.