In the grand scheme of things, the impact of elementary education runs the risk of appearing more inconsequential over time.
The failure of elementary school administrators to review extant practices in line with prevailing realities compounds this risk.
There is a limit to how far nursery and primary (lower basic) schools can go in preparing children for a rapidly-changing world. Nonetheless, there is a substantial degree of change elementary school administrators can effect.
These changes go a long way in averting the eventual concerns of youth being ill-equipped for employment or entrepreneurship. These changes are also instrumental in making children sufficiently aware of their socio-political background.
A handful of the proposed changes will be briefly discussed.
Technology and Innovation Clubs
It is fairly common for elementary schools to have literary and debate societies, science clubs and drama clubs. However, elementary school administrators should hearken to the prevailing realities by inaugurating technology and innovation clubs.
The local oil boom increased the appeal of petroleum engineering jobs. In a loosely similar fashion, the global data economy and emerging technologies have increased the appeal of software programming and engineering jobs.
While multiple people have succeeded in switching to tech-related careers as adults, elementary schools can ease these transitions beforehand by spurring keen interest in technology and innovation in their students.
Diverse Career Days
While this terrain is arguably changing, career days in elementary and secondary schools alike largely appealed to traditional career paths. However, it is crucial for students, especially at the lower basic level, to be aware of multiple career paths.
Not all students are built for white-collar and technical career paths, which is okay. Human beings should not develop in a box in their formative years. Elementary school administrators should ensure that career days feature professionals ranging from footballers to digital artists.
While medicine, law, and engineering will always be essential pillars, school administrators and parents should refrain from narrowly leading their wards in these paths.
History as a Compulsory Subject
While history remains a subject in many schools, educational boards should endeavour to periodically review the curriculum. It is crucial for formative Nigerian minds to learn about their socio-political environment and deduce lessons from it.
The bigger picture is the eradication of tribalism, coupled with the promotion of peace and tolerance. It would be tragic for young Nigerians to not learn about their country, only to develop and brandish tribalism in online and offline discussions as an adult.
Creative Summer Schools
Summer schools in Nigeria are both an additional income source for schools and a means to engage students before a new session begins. While the intentions are noble, summer schools should be more diverse.
Ultimately, holidays are for rest and recreation. School-age children should be able to partake in a wide range of games during summer school while learning technology and innovation skills in a fun way. This represents a healthier balance.