PREPARING TEACHERS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF VISION 20:2020AbstractAn unbiased in-depth examination of the situation of things in Nigeria clearly shows that the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and its precursors: the Seven Point Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not achievable by the target dates. They may not even be achievable by the end of this century unless Nigeria goes through a rebirth. The challenges, which are all Nigerian made, are enormous. As regards preparation of teachers for the challenges of the Vision, it is a herculean task because the right people to prepare are not easy to come by; and the right people to prepare them are also not there. The right people left in the teacher training vineyard are very few and on their way out of the system. The proposed possible solutions to the whole scenario include making teacher training in Nigeria 100 percent free with added incentives, clear definition of career patterns for teachers, excellent emoluments, rigorous selection process for university teachers, adjustments in teacher education curricula, establishment of model Universities of Education, and last but not the least, absolute re-orientation of Nigerians.
Text of Preparing Teachers For The Challenges Of Nigeria Vision 202020
1. PREPARING TEACHERS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA VISION 20:2020 BY PROFESSOR ALPHONSO I. IKEOTUONYE, FNAE. FACULTY OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA, ABUJA
2. PREPARING TEACHERS FOR THE CHALLENGES OF VISION 20:2020 AbstractAn unbiased in-depth examination of the situation of things in Nigeria clearly shows that the NigeriaVision 20:2020 and its precursors: the Seven Point Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) are not achievable by the target dates. They may not even be achievable by the end of thiscentury unless Nigeria goes through a rebirth. The challenges, which are all Nigerian made, areenormous. As regards preparation of teachers for the challenges of the Vision, it is a herculean taskbecause the right people to prepare are not easy to come by; and the right people to prepare them arealso not there. The right people left in the teacher training vineyard are very few and on their way out ofthe system. The proposed possible solutions to the whole scenario include making teacher training inNigeria 100 percent free with added incentives, clear definition of career patterns for teachers, excellentemoluments, rigorous selection process for university teachers, adjustments in teacher educationcurricula, establishment of model Universities of Education, and last but not the least, absolute re-orientation of Nigerians. 1
3. IntroductionThe focus of this paper is preparation of teachers for the challenges of the NigeriaVision 20:2020. However, the paper will first define the route to the preparation;and this definition of route includes a detailed assessment of the achievability ofthe Vision itself and its precursors, namely, the Seven Point Agenda and theMillennium Development Goals (MDGs). This route definition is considerednecessary because, as the writer always states, if an individual does not knowwhen he gets into the rain, he will not know when he gets out of it.Vision 20:2020It is stated in the document Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint(2009) that by the year 2020, Nigeria will have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and quality of life to its citizens (p. 9).In order to achieve this, according to the same vision statement, a Gross DomesticProduct (GDP) of not less than $900 billion is required. This translates to aNational per capita income of not less than $4000 annually by the year 2020. It isalso stated that another implication of the Vision 20:2020 is that Nigeriaseconomy must grow at an average rate of 13.8 percent during the period.Another expectation is that by 2020 Nigeria will generate 60,000 megawatts ofelectricity.The objectives of Vision 20:2020 have social, economic, institutional andenvironmental dimensions. The social dimension envisions an equal society thatcan sustain a life expectancy of at least 70 years. 2
4. The economic dimension envisages a vibrant economy whose manufacturingsector can contribute at least 25 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The institutional dimension expects a stable democracy; while the environmentaldimension envisions effective management of our natural environments. It ispretty clear, from the objectives, that the Vision 20:2020 is a grandioseadventure. The question is: Is it achievable?The Present Situation of Things in NigeriaA good question to ask is: Where is Nigeria this year 2010? From Wikipedia(http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/ , the list of countries by GDP shows that Nigeriaoccupies the 41st position, with GDP of $207,116 million by 2008 InternationalMonetary Fund ranking; 38th position with GDP of $212,080 million by 2008 WorldBank ranking; and 44th position with GDP of $165,400 million by 2009 CIA WorldFact book ranking. It is very easy to see the yawning gap between the GDP of$900 billion required by 2020 and the present situation.From recent Nigerian Television Authority news, it is known that Nigeria atpresent generates about 3,700 MW of electricity. The nation had a target of 6,000MW by December 2009, and came abysmally short of that. One can also see thegap that exists between the projected requirement of 60,000 MW of electricityrequired by 2020 and the current capacity of 3,700MW. It was stated earlier thatthe social dimension of Vision 20:2020 envisions life expectancy of at least 70years for Nigerians. The Human Development Index Report 2007/2008,presented in the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Economic Blueprint (2009), shows thatlife expectancy in Nigeria at birth was 46.5 years in 2005. With almost 70.8percent and 92.4 percent of Nigerians living below income poverty line of onedollar and two dollars a day respectively, one may suggest that life expectancy islikely to drop rather than go higher than the present level. 3
5. At present, the growth rate of Nigerias economy is 7. 4%; and the industrialsector contributes only 4% to the GDP.The Precursors of Vision 20:2020In order to get a more comprehensive idea of the present economic situation inNigeria, we need to have a quick look at what might be described as theprecursors of the Vision 20:2020; namely, the Seven Point Agenda and TheMillennium Development Goals (MDG).The Seven Point AgendaThe Seven Point Agenda encompasses the following areas: 1. Power and energy 2. Food security and agriculture 3. Wealth creation and employment 4. Mass transportation 5. Land reform 6. Security 7. Qualitative and functional educationPower and energyEverybody in Nigeria knows that the situation of power and energy is veryworrisome, to state the least. The Federal government of Nigeria promised thatby December 2009, electricity generation would go up to 6,000 MW. Today thePower Holding Company of Nigeria is struggling to maintain the 3,700 MWcurrently generated. It is already stated that for the Vision 20:2020 to be achievedthe target is 60,000 MW. It is clear that with the present power and energysituation, the expected industrial development is a bad dream.
6. 4Food security and agricultureThe Seven Point Agenda expects a 5-10 fold increase in yield and production;which would result in massive domestic and commercial outputs andtechnological knowledge transfer to farmers(httpi//www.nigerianmuse.com/20070930075420zg/spotlight/govern).Thewriter knows that this is an empty promise. The likely thing to happen is that foodprices will continue to rise. Many more Nigerians will go hungry. Thus, the idea offood security is a farce.Wealth creation and employmentOne can observe some efforts here and there to help the teeming unemployedand unemployable youths in Nigeria to acquire some skills and become useful tothemselves and society. However, to the best of the writers judgment, the effortsdo not amount to more than a few drops in the ocean. As regards wealthcreation, Nigerias economy is hopelessly dependent on crude petroleum exports.Abject poverty stays over 70 percent of Nigerians on the face. Nigeria is stillranked among the poorest countries in the world.Mass transportationEfforts in this area are a far cry from the objectives of the agenda. Most Nigerianroads are in a very bad state of repair. Water transport is yet to become a reality.Only God knows when the dredging of the River Niger will be completed. Airtransportation is faltering to the extent that the Central Bank of Nigeria had towork out a rescue package for it. Rail transport is still virtually in the pipeline.Thus reliable, sustainable mass transportation is still a dream in Nigeria.Land reformThere is ongoing discussion of land reform in Nigeria. To the best of the writersknowledge, it is all talking and no action yet.
7. 5 The first term of the present federal government remains about six months; andland reform is still at the discussion stage. The question is: Will the next four yearssee anything concrete in land reform?SecurityWhen the State and Federal governments of Nigeria talk of security, it is only ontheir lips and minds. With each day that passes insecurity of lives and propertyincreases. There are the religious and tribal conflicts which usually leave hundredsof people dead and hundreds of others maimed. I do not think that you havealready forgotten the recurring Jos crises, the recurring Boko Haram onslaught onthe nation, and so on. Violence seems to be part of the political culture in Nigeria.Let us watch and see what will happen between now and May 2011, and in factthereafter. Crimes such as armed robberies, kidnappings, judicial murder, ritualkillings, and so on, are increasing at an alarming rate. Corruption, of course, is anincurable cancer in Nigeria. The latest addition to