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Falling Standard of Higher Education: A Threat to National Security
Abstract National security must not only be focused on ensuring stability of the Nation and the security of our Nation’ But the safety and well-being of the people, since military strength of a Nation is not enough for security. It is in view of this the writer wants to examine the hazard falling standard of education can contribute or has contributed to National insecurity. Specifically, the paper will pin point some problems facing education, its effect on national security and some modifications to our educational programmes.
Introduction There is no single universally accepted definition of National Security since there are some differences on describing National as state and everything consist in a Nation. In this paper therefore, National Security will be taken to mean “the security of the country, its citizens and country allies and partners”. As it has been rightly observed by some people, military aspect of security is not enough for security. Other aspects/elements of security are Economic security, environmental security, political security, national resources security, border security, demographic security, disaster security, geo-strategic security, informational security, health security, ethnic security, cyber security, genomic security, etc (Paleri, 2008). With all the elements of national security listed above, there is no doubt that military security alone could not totally generated country’s security if one or two of these elements is/are not present. In this paper, the works of Andrew, Ishwar and Joseph (2009); Joel and Condoleezza (2012); Kerney, (2007) and Kolesmkov, Kucher and Turchenko, (2005); will form the basis of this paper. In the remaining parts of this paper, the writer will look into how education can affect security of a country.
Falling Standard of Higher Education and National Security
The security of any country is directly linked to its economic development (i.e an improvement in the lives of people, manifested by positive changes in the level and distribution of employment. The state of economic development in any country is equal to its educational development, and the level of educational development is equal to the quality of its teachers. (This needs to be investigated, that is the effect of teacher preparation programme an National security). The wide spread failure of students in our institutions of learning is a national disaster. This is because the frustrated students could manifest their frustration in different hostile ways. In Nigeria today citizens do not have access to quality education again. The quality of teaching and learning in our institutions of learning is so poor that product will not become literate or numerate or fail to acquire critical life skill thereby giving private institutions upper hand at the expense of the nation. Around the world, the most vibrant and stable economies draw their strength from a well stable educated and highly skilled citizenry. School are failing to teach students the academic skills and knowledge they need to compete and succeed. Most schools have also neglected the teaching of civics, the glue that holds our society together. The falling standard of education have made it impossible for the neediest students for whom education is the only “intervention” capable of putting them on track to a better-life as well as on our country competitiveness, readiness and future prospects. Among those managed to be enrolled in the schools, greater percentage do not graduate from the schools and the little percentage who graduate do not have mastery of the little subject, thereby making it difficult to hire them for economic activities of the country. The fear of the writer about this problem is the effect this will have in the coming decade as the existing workforces reach retirement age. Another problem confronting education that may threatens national security of a country is differences in educational standards and opportunities across Nigeria that put students who were simply born in the ‘wrong’ neighbourhood or state at a significant disadvantage and leaves those states-and, by extension, the country-at a disadvantage. The challenges that students faced in the primary and secondary education persist when they enter tertiary institution, they are unprepared, they struggle in their courses, and they begin skipping school. Failing to complete higher education has a range of frightening consequences for students and society: dropouts are more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty, and end up in jail.
Dropouts are about three times as likely to be unemployed graduate and three times as likely to live in poverty as those who enrol in tertiary institution. These sets of people are limited in contributing to the society and too often become burdens to the country. A highly educated workforce increases economic productivity and growth. This growth is necessary to finance everything else that could make Nigeria a desired place to live and a model for other countries. The growing gap between the educated and under-educated is creating a widening chasm that divides Nigerians and has the potential to tear at the fabric of society. Unequal educational opportunities and resulting achievement gap have a direct impact on National Security. The large percentage of under-educated that persist in Nigeria could damage the ability of the Nigeria to physically defend itself, protect its secure information, conduct diplomacy and grow its economy. Education failure puts future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk. Large swaths of under-educated population in Nigeria can threaten to divide Nigerians and undermine the country’s cohesion, confidence and ability to serve as global leader.
The commercialization of higher education in the country will lead to its degradation and threat to natural security. This will also make general and low or medium incomes, owning to their ability to compensate for gaps in their school education or a feebasis and especially, enrolment in an institution of higher learning on a tutorial basis.
HIGHER EDUCATION’S CONTRIBUTION TO NATIONAL SECURITY Higher education has substantially enhanced the security of the most developed nation in the World. In view of this, the writer will examine how higher education has contributed to the security of the United States which can be a model for Nigeria. The five key areas according to Kerney (2007) are; 1 Higher education has transformed the nature of the American economy;In his view, of all the factors contributing to the strength of U.S economy, higher education is the most important in terms of development of professional colleges and research universities.
2. In terms of scientific and social research carried out by the colleges and in the United States, security and quality of live has been dramatically enhanced.
3. Higher education has improved the governances of the city, state, and most particular federal level.
4. Higher education has created an informed citizenry vital to the democratic society; with adequate higher education. It will increase potential for individual to perform as a citizen. Research findings show that the under educated are the most destructive force in America. Because these people could be misinformed and making bad decision, ability to critically examine an issue and articulate a reasoned position about it is equally lacking in them. 5 Higher education contributes to the level of discourse and public debate about the nation’s economic and political future. This could be achieved by contributing the results of their research to the public debate.
Since nurturing ethical thinking is a key component of any college or university education , knowledge and skills provided for students in higher institution, methods of teaching, educational media for teaching and research findings should be able to actualize the keys areas identified above.
RECOMMENDATIONS In order to make higher education stabilizing natural security, the following views are thereby recommended. 1. Facilities should be supported by having access to cash scheme that will enable that will enable them to finance the higher education of their children or government can as well increase their income. 2. Implementation of educational expectation and assessment in subjects vital to protecting national security. 3. There should be a coordinated, natural effort to accesswhether students are learning the skills and knowledge necessary to safeguard security and prospecting in the future. Since most of problems capturing tertiary education are the manifestation of poor quality of primary and secondary education; the teacher education programme in the colleges of education and facilities of education in the universities should be reformed, if truly we want higher education to be relevant in Nigeria, as the two lower level served as the basis for higher education The following are therefore recommended for overhauling of teachers education programme.
1. There should be changes in the populace of people coming into the profession by raising entrance standards to teacher training schools. 2. Efforts should be made to improve the quality of teacher training so that trainees master the subject they will teach, spend more times in clinical settings, and learn how to quickly diagnose and address student problem.
3.Teacher quality should be improve once he/she is in classroom, through membership and showing of best practices and constant feedback from peers 4.Reciting, developing, rewarding and retaining effective teaches and principals REFERENCE Andrew,S; Ishwark, K Joseph, M. (2009). The consequences of dropping out of the higher school; Centre for Labour Market Studies. Northeastern University. http;//hdl.handle.net/2007/d20000596 Joel, I.R and condolezza. R(2012) U.S education reform and national security. Council on Foreign Relation. United States of America. Kerney, B (2007). Forum for the future of higher education. Cambridge, Mass. Pp17-20. net.educare.edu/ir/library/pdf/ff07048.pdf Kolesmkov, V.N ; kucher, I.V. and Turchenho, V.N (2005) . The commercialization of higher education: A threat to the national security of Russia. Russian Education and Society. 47:8 pp 35-48. Paleri, P. (2008). National Security: Imperatives and challenges. New Delhi: Tata MCGraw-Hill P. 521 ISBN 978-0-07-065686-4