Opinions Mon, 4 Sep 2017

Teacher trainees cry over loaded and unstructured curriculum.

Teacher Trainees currently undergoing training in Colleges of Education to become teachers to help educate our future leaders at the Basic Schools are faced with numerous challenges. One of these is the loaded curriculum we have in the recent times. Can you imagine this semester the least number of courses students are studying is eight (8) within four months?

For instance, in the science department the following courses are to be studied this semester; Biology, Chemistry, Vector and Rigid motion, English Language, Research Method in Education, I.C.T, Educating the individuals with special needs, Statistics and Probability.

It will interest you to know that aside all these, we are supposed to do On- campus Teaching Practice as a separate programme on its own for a period of six(6) weeks involving writing lesson plans, designing Teaching and Learning Materials to teach, just to mention a few, which supposed to be done alongside the methodology we did last semester.

My worry however is that, the On- Campus Teaching Practice will take place soon after school ( the structured instructional time) where students are exhausted and need some rest to continue their next day's activities.

As at the moment of writing this notice, it is a tradition that all Teacher Trainees go through this system because it is awarded 25% out of 100% mark. Failure to do so, you will have yourselves to blame.

My concern has never been about only the loaded curriculum but about how weak the educational system of Colleges of Education will become if this practice continue?

I personally think that, the On- Campus Teaching Practice should accompany the first semester year two programme where students were prepared on how to use the curriculum materials such as teaching syllabi, how to prepare lesson notes. It is at that time that we were taken through some classroom rules, principles and methods of teaching in the Basic Schools.

It is amazing that, the practice of all that we learnt last semester will come to play in this semester where we are studying contents but not methodology.

The loaded or clustered curriculum at Colleges of Education makes us not to learn for the future thereby imparting it into our younger generation but rather study to pass examination and forget. If this practice should continue, how do we expect our training to be considered with the fact that, it is the " professional" training that we should receive? How can a doctor be trained to inject patients while learning how to perform surgical operation?

For the past few days, l have been boiling within about the curriculum structure at Colleges of Education. Mine is not war but a mere plea to the various stakeholders of education to review our educational curriculum. Well, l do not really know how long this has gone on but l know definitely that we shall as well serve as prey to others.

As it stands now, l believe no Teacher Trainee will disagree with me. On behalf of teacher trainees and on my own accord, l humbly write to appeal to all stakeholders of education, Teaching Practice Coordinators, National Council for Tertiary Education ( NCTE) and many more to come to our aid.

I pray to see changes in the system soon.

Columnist: Agboni Nicholas Kelvin