What Changes to the Anambra Education System Are Needed to Support Long-Term Success for All Anambrarians?
Anambra Education System: What We Absolutely Can and Should Be Doing.
By: Dr. Moses Eze (aka Dr. Moe Eze or Dr. Moe)
Since the pandemic which has not ended, and other factors threaten students’ prospects, Dr. Moe Eze, provides a vision for transforming Anambra education system from one of uneven and unjust results to one that should put all students on a path of bright futures.
Our public education system seems to be falling behind some of the other states in this country in the quality of schooling. This has implications for our future! Our educational problems are social problems without a quick fix. The schools will improve only to the extent that students, teachers, parents, and the local communities commit themselves to educational excellence. The educational system lacks the new ideas about schools that should change the educational landscape in Anambra state.
There are no reasonable commitments and care by the Anambra Government. The methods of teaching need to improve. The teachers are not encouraging the students to think logically and not increasing creativity in students. There are several other challenges identified by Anambra Principals of colleges, who attended a 2-day education workshop moderated by Dr. Moe Eze at Awka in 2011 Medical/Education Mission by Anambra State Association from USA.
Suggestive ideas on how we could improve Anambra Educational System:
To improve our schools, we have to humanize them and make education personal to every student and teacher in the system. Education is always about relationships. Great teachers are not just instructors and test administrators. They are mentors, coaches, motivators, and lifelong sources of inspiration to their students.
The role of creative leadership is not to have all the ideas; it is to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they are valued. Our task is to educate our students whole being so they can face the future. We may not see the future, but they will, and our job is to help them make something of it. The Gardner does not make the plant to grow. The job of a Gardner is to create optimal conditions for growth.
The fact is that given the challenges we face in our education system, it does not need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions. Creativity now is as important in their education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.
Teaching is a creative profession, not a delivery system. Great teachers do pass on information; but what great teachers also do is mentor, stimulate, provoke, engage. Learning happens in the minds and souls, not in the databases of multiple-choice tests.
We have to go from what is essentially an industrial model of education, a manufacturing model, which is based on linearity and conformity and batching people. We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process; it’s an organic process; and we cannot predict the outcome of human development. All we can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.
Teaching for creativity involves teaching creatively. There are three related tasks in teaching for creativity: encouraging, identifying, and fostering. The first task in teaching for creativity in any field is to encourage people to believe in their creative potential and to nurture the confidence to try. There is no system in the world or any school in the country that is better than its teachers. Teachers are the lifeblood of the success of schools. We need well trained teachers who understand the relationships between education, industry, and economic development.
We need to eliminate the existing hierarchy of subjects. Elevating some disciplines over others only reinforces outmoded assumptions of industrialism and offends the principle of diversity. The arts, sciences, humanities, physical education, languages, and math’s all have equal and central contributions to make to a student’s education. The answer is not to standardize education, but to personalize and customize it to the needs of each student and the community. There is no alternative. There never was.
Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement. It is the one thing that I believe we are systematically jeopardizing in the way we educate our children and ourselves. These kids cannot be creative thinkers if we are not stimulating their minds, just as one cannot be an Olympic athlete if he/she does not train regularly. Thus, helping them to connect with their personal creative capacities is the surest way to release the best they have to offer. We cannot just give them a creativity injection. We have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage them and get the best out of them.
It is often said that education and training are the keys to the future. They are, but a key can be turned in two directions. Turn it one way and you lock resources away, even from those they belong to. Turn it the other way and you release resources and give people back to themselves. To realize our true creative potential-in our organizations, in our schools and in our communities, we need to think differently about ourselves and to act differently towards each other. We must learn to be creative. We have sold ourselves into a fast-food model of education, and it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.
What I think that is happening in different states in Igboland is that the governments decide they know best and they’re going to tell the educators what to do. The problem is that education doesn’t go on in the committee rooms of our legislative buildings. It happens in classrooms and schools, and the people who do it are the teachers and the students. If you remove their discretion, it stops working.
People over the age of thirty were born before the digital revolution really started. We’ve learned to use digital technology-laptops, cameras, personal digital assistants, the Internet-as adults, and it has been something like learning a foreign language. Most of us are okay, and some are even experts. We do e-mails and PowerPoint, surf the Internet, and feel we’re at the cutting edge. But compared to most people under thirty and certainly under twenty, we are fumbling amateurs. People of that age were born after the digital revolution began. They learned to speak digital as a mother tongue. My nine-year-old is a good example. He speaks the language better than I do. He designs videos to entertain people. He presently has 72 followers. How many kids under twenty in Anambra State have learned to speak digital as their mother tongue?
Finally, Anambra State Government, the real role of leadership in Anambra education transformation, would not be that of command and control, but climate control, and creating a climate of possibility. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance. What you do for yourself dies with you when you leave this world, what you do for others’ lives on forever. In my dream, I see Anambra kids spread their dreams beneath our feet, and we should tread softly. These kids need our help, and we need to serve and add value to their needs.
Anambra Education system does not need to be reformed- it needs to be transformed. Transforming education is not easy, but the price of failure is more than we can afford; while the benefits of success are more than we can imagine. If you’re doing something you love, an hour feels like five minutes. If you’re doing something that doesn’t resonate with your spirit, five minutes feels like an hour. I am a transformational leader with passion as a change agent. Governor (Professor) Soludo, if you are ready to serve and add value to Anambra community, and based on your responses to those interviews where you responded 100% in Igbo language, I am with you. I will share more of my value-addition with your administration on a 1-1 and f2f discussions.
I believe that this administration, God-willing, and with team effort from subject matter experts (SMEs) will be a solution to several of the Anambra challenges, particularly education system. The administration needs a reliable and honest team of SMEs in different fields to be a success.
Dr. Moses Eze (aka Dr. Moe Eze or Dr. Moe) comes from Umuchu town in Aguata-LGA of Anambra State in Nigeria. He presently resides in USA and works as a Director and Practitioner, Operational Excellence and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt for Defense, Security and Aerospace company. Dr. Moe has also been an adjunct professor for several universities; Assistant Professor at Metropolitan State University at Denver, Colorado. He was also an Associate Professor and Director for Manufacturing and Management Information Systems (MIMS) Program at Missouri Southern State University at Joplin, Missouri. You can find Dr. Moe Eze on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/moeeze. He can also be reached at [email protected]