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The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 6:03pm On May 16
The Continuous Decline in Critical Thinking among Nigerian University Students and the Role of GenX

I was teaching a first-year class in 2013, it was an engineering class, and I paused to ask this question: "If you are asked to pay the remaining 4 years of school fees and then you graduate at the end of the semester, how many of you will go for it? And about 95% of the class raised their hands. I asked why and one of them was courageous to tell me that they came for a certificate and that if the university is willing to give it at the end of the first semester, then why to wait for 5 years. And Dr. Jean Twenge, a US-based Author in 2017 stated that an iGener is more likely than previous generations to go to college to get a good job and less likely to go to get an "education.

I reflect over my 16 years as a university teacher and I realized how the quality of students and thought have reduced. I used to teach a course that a number of students struggled to pass. It was actually a simple course but my style was such that you need to have a basic understanding of the concept of the course to pass. Cramming the entire lecture note without understanding the concept may not help you to pass. Of course, I got all kinds of names. Then, I had a 6 years break and when I returned to teach the course I observed a sharp difference between the students I taught from 2005 to 2008 and those that I have taught between 2016 and 2019. If I should give the same question paper of the exam conducted in 2007 to the current students, the best student in the class will struggle to pass even though he may even be taught better than 2007 students. To make the students attend class, I take attendance during every lecture. In 2019 I declared that I won't be taking attendance and it was not a surprise that only about half of the students attended my class for that year and it also reflected on their performance.

The kids of this generation are supposed to be smarter, but that does not reflect in their academic activities, especially in Nigeria. So, what are we getting wrong? Can this be linked to their slow and protected upbringing and/or the poor state of early childhood learning and development?

Early Childhood Learning and Development from the age of 2 to 5 years is very important within that crucial age of a child. As stated by Kerry McDonald, a one-year-old is barely walking while a two-year-old gleefully sprints away from you. A four-year-old is always moving, always imagining, always asking why, while a five-year-old may start to sit and listen for longer stretches.

At the age they are supposed to be running around the house and learning to talk, they are enrolled in school and confined in a classroom. And the school has no provision to properly cater for Early Childhood learning and development. At that age, they are supposed to be imagining and asking why, they are forced to learn how to write and read.

Unfortunately, early childhood learning and development is not captured in our primary school curriculum in Nigeria. The respective schools design a program for the kids and it varies from school to school and they use different books. The parents most times influence the curriculum. I had an interaction with the Head Teacher of a private school who said the kids in their Nursery section don't use to write but do more play, but that some parents complained why their kids are not writing while their friends' kids in other schools are writing. They are wondering why they are paying for their kids to go play in a school. I was informed they even want their kids in pre-nursery to be writing to justify the fees paid. That was how they introduced writing in the nursery section.

There are different stages of early childhood learning development. Up to the age of 5, before they will begin to sit to listen and learn, the kids are meant to be aware of their environment. They naturally wonder why things are the way they are around them. That is the reason they naturally ask a lot of questions that the parents are supposed to answer, but they are confined in a classroom and unfortunately, the Teachers will most of the time not have enough time to answer all the kids in the class. They are supposed to learn to identify letters with the sound, be able to put different sounds together, then learn to write them. But instead of developing programs that help the mental development of the kids at that stage, they are unfortunately made to learn States and Capitals, A for Apple, C for Cup, etc., and copy from the board what they don't know. How the learning of States and Capitals helps in their mental development beats my imagination.

These programmed kids with low IQ are then carefully guided through primary school with beautiful end of term results based on how the parents want it, then through expensive private secondary schools, WAEC and JAMB results are arranged for them based on the parents' spec. As far as the parents are concerned, their kids are academically sound following the data in the report card/sheet. The necessary buttons are then pressed to get admitted for any available course in the university. They get to write their first real examination in the University. With reality staring at the faces of some of them, some poor students from some Government Science Secondary Schools will have to conduct Tutorials for them to pass their courses in the Public Universities. They will eventually graduate and the parents press the available buttons to find jobs for them or even buy them a job. Most have no initiative, they are not goal getters. That is the making of our leaders of tomorrow's leaders.

I tried to compare my experience with our students with an experience with a student in a University in Europe. I supervised a Master’s student in 2015 during my Postdoc fellowship and her work was in two phases. A preliminary study and the actual research which was part of my Postdoctoral activities. Somewhere along the line, time was not on her side and the deadline was approaching. The supervisory team met and it was agreed that she should write her report using the preliminary report. I conveyed the message to her and she disagreed with our decision. She said the whole aim of her dissertation is not achieved without concluding the second phase. She said she will do whatever it will take to conclude it. I reported back to the committee and she got a two weeks extension. I took her to the lab to set up the high voltage source for the work and the work was done, published and she is working with Siemens. If she was one of our students here, she will go and do testimony that God answered her prayer and her work was reduced. We are not developing critical thinkers and goal-getters like we use to and i think the damage started from early childhood education.

Early Childhood education is getting worse for the post-iGen generation born from 2013 to date and we all pretend all is well with the kids. We are rather working harder to make more money for their comfort without a critical thought on the mental development of these kids. Their protected upbringing from our perception that we do not want them to pass through the hardship we passed through that actually shaped our world, has shielded them from the reality of the world we live in. With their slow and protected upbringing, independent nature, and weak mental development, what future are we preparing them for in a tough and rough country like Nigeria?

We seem to have little or no time for our kids from age 2 to 5, an age they need their parents most. The kids spend more time with the Nanny and the classroom. And unfortunately, our education curriculum for Early Childhood Education does not make provision for the required mental development from age 2 to 5. Creative thinking and asking questions are not part of the program. We need to find a way to fill in the blank. It is not enough to push them to schools to give us the time to make enough money for them to spend, they need the wisdom to spend the money. We need to give them the tools to make a difference. We need to equip our kids with the confidence and the knowledge of real-life experiences. We (GenX) are tough and the world is getting tougher. We need to raise tougher kids that will bring joy and positive change to our communities and not the quick cash kids.

Abdelghaffar Amoka Abdelmalik, PhD
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

19 Likes 11 Shares

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by NgHotGirls: 7:13pm On May 16
Spot on
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by IyaTola: 7:23am On May 17
This actually true.

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by micxwell(m): 11:57am On May 17
Excellent write-up.

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Dtruthspeaker: 1:08pm On May 17
QuinModah:
The Continuous Decline in Critical Thinking among Nigerian University Students and the Role of GenX...

Critical Thinking tells me that all you said is void! Why?

Because you and the author do not know what giving education and getting education is all about.

The value of Life is good Living! Now, anything which aids good living is welcome. But anything which is a void is a complete waste of other good things eg time, resources, energy, soul, space!

So it is with giving and getting an education.

If it is not Gainful and Profitable, then it is a waste of good things!

So if it is not profitable to acquire certificate/certificates, get educated in another Lawful activity which is profitable for you!

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 6:05pm On May 17
Dtruthspeaker:


Critical Thinking tells me that all you said is void! Why?

Because you and the author do not know what giving education and getting education is all about.

The value of Life is good Living! Now, anything which aids good living is welcome. But anything which is a void is a complete waste of other good things eg time, resources, energy, soul, space!

So it is with giving and getting an education.

If it is not Gainful and Profitable, then it is a waste of good things!

So if it is not profitable to acquire certificate/certificates, get educated in another Lawful activity which is profitable for you!
I doubt if you think critically because any sane rational human will see sense in what the author wrote.

4 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Moblux(m): 6:15pm On May 17
It is known fact that we have dysfunctional curriculum design culture. A student should be a co-leaner cum traveller with his teacher to learn together. Unfortunately we don't have our curriculum designed that way. Eebu a lo ni ti ijapa, abo ni to ana ijapa.

You can't hold meaningful conversation with an average young Nigerian before they drift because it is hard for most to get the drill of critical thinking.

3 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Dtruthspeaker: 6:16pm On May 17
QuinModah:
I doubt if you think critically because any sane rational human will see sense in what the author wrote.

grin lady, foolishness is also a sense but that does not make it good or acceptable!

1 Like

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Whois(m): 10:57am On May 18
Be civilized you don't have to be educated - 2baba
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by NairalandSARS: 12:42pm On May 18
Copy and paste.
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Gabe427: 6:48pm On May 18
Best write up I've read in a while on NL

God help me I've noticed it with myself ....I used to read school materials to understand before but now omo make I just pass with good degree

Honestly the system ain't helping us the teachers we have now won't tolerate some kind of questions that actually reaveals high iq also our university system rewards cram and poor which would eventually reflect on your credentials which would help you get a job or go for masters

I met this system the way it is

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 6:16am On Jun 01
undecided
NairalandSARS:
Copy and paste.
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by choice17(m): 8:37am On Jun 01
The kids of this generation are supposed to be smarter, but that does not reflect in their academic activities, especially in Nigeria. So, what are we getting wrong? Can this be linked to their slow and protected upbringing and/or the poor state of early childhood learning and development?


We are getting everything wrong, how can one justify the consistent strike in our various institutions? That alone will make thousands of student lose interest in the education system.

Nothing is wrong with the Nigeria students, but everything is wrong with the Nigeria education system.

The curriculum they used in teaching since 1960 is the same they are using to teach the present students. Poor facilities, inconducive learning atmosphere everything is just poor with the public institutions in Nigeria. That is the root cause of the problem

Compare a graduate of Covenant university to a government owned school, and the difference will be clear. You know why??

They are innovative, they have good learning facilities, they don't go on strikes, they have access to research fund, their lecturers don't bully their students, if they do they will surely be sack. They have everything, the school does more for its student.

Have you ever sit and think why Nigeria students do better outside the shores of this country?? That will answer all the questions raised in this brilliant article.

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 8:35pm On Jun 10
choice17:
The kids of this generation are supposed to be smarter, but that does not reflect in their academic activities, especially in Nigeria. So, what are we getting wrong? Can this be linked to their slow and protected upbringing and/or the poor state of early childhood learning and development?


We are getting everything wrong, how can one justify the consistent strike in our various institutions? That alone will make thousands of student lose interest in the education system.

Nothing is wrong with the Nigeria students, but everything is wrong with the Nigeria education system.

The curriculum they used in teaching since 1960 is the same they are using to teach the present students. Poor facilities, inconducive learning atmosphere everything is just poor with the public institutions in Nigeria. That is the root cause of the problem

Compare a graduate of Covenant university to a government owned school, and the difference will be clear. You know why??

They are innovative, they have good learning facilities, they don't go on strikes, they have access to research fund, their lecturers don't bully their students, if they do they will surely be sack. They have everything, the school does more for its student.

Have you ever sit and think why Nigeria students do better outside the shores of this country?? That will answer all the questions raised in this brilliant article.
What's your point?
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Fiscus105: 12:49am On Jun 11
Even after spending 4 to 6 years in universities , I think 75% of naija students (now graduates )
are how they were in term of critical thinking and education developments in year 1, most especially non health sciences graduates

Though naija education system caused larger percentage of the rot.

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Login12: 5:14am On Jun 11
For the first time in a very long while I've read an article on nairaland that make me question myself. I truly commend the author of this piece. I just wish this material will be pushed to front page where a lot of people will learn about true parenting

3 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Mindlog: 5:52am On Jun 11
Nice read. Early childhood development is very critical in human growth and development thus my interest in the field.

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 6:21am On Jun 11
Mindlog:
Nice read. Early childhood development is very critical in human growth and development thus my interest in the field.
Nice
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by KingofHearts(m): 9:36am On Jul 02
There many sides to this coin!!

Many students at their foundation level have been introduced to learning through the assisted learning method.

Assisted learning has now become even part of our lives as adults and have also dropped the ability to task and use the brain to it’s full potential. For example our touch pad comes with keyboards that now help to suggest spellings…if you read very well depending on the country (British/US English) where the phone was made the English typed is influenced more by the suggestions by the keyboard as against the users ability to think.
For instance solutions like “Blink list “ an app that allows you have the summary and critical part of any book in 15 mins audio format is the most used app by top global CEO,why? Assisted learning encourages you to focus on the most critical part of learning as against having a comprehensive knowledge of the entire discuss or subject.

The effectiveness of this learning pattern cannot be overlooked however the dangers is what is now very obvious especially in very lazy people.This method makes people more lazy !!
Another example is “google” ,the assisted support from this aggregator of information doesn’t not encourage seeking for knowledge the way we used to..why scratch your head to remember or figure out anything when you can simple “google it”?

In a nutshell,the learning pattern for gen z and gen x (2000-2020) has changed greatly, you have to give them a clue and assist them in their thinking pattern otherwise they are lost.They have access to more resource that challenges the brain in a different way.Their methods are different and need to be understood for effective communication with an understanding that their foundation and today’s culture is based on assisted learning.Attention span too as changed.

Finally,a society that focuses on money as the ultimate goal showing how it does not pay to focus on knowledge and critical thinking as well as rewarding rubbish over knowledge will only regard the process as mere certificate acquisition tournament!!

1 Like

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Hammyaladin(m): 5:09pm On Jul 02
Dtruthspeaker:


Critical Thinking tells me that all you said is void! Why?

Because you and the author do not know what giving education and getting education is all about.

The value of Life is good Living! Now, anything which aids good living is welcome. But anything which is a void is a complete waste of other good things eg time, resources, energy, soul, space!

So it is with giving and getting an education.

If it is not Gainful and Profitable, then it is a waste of good things!

So if it is not profitable to acquire certificate/certificates, get educated in another Lawful activity which is profitable for you!
Are you sure?!

Aside searching for job and what not, knowledge shapes and present a person in a different light!

You know, sometimes not everything is about money!

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 7:15am On Jul 03
Hammyaladin:
Are you sure?!

Aside searching for job and what not, knowledge shapes and present a person in a different light!

You know, sometimes not everything is about money!
Thank you Jare
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Dtruthspeaker: 9:13am On Jul 03
Hammyaladin:
Are you sure?!
Aside searching for job and what not, knowledge shapes and present a person in a different light!

You know, sometimes not everything is about money!

True, knowledge shapes a person but this is the divide you have drawn my attention to.

A person whose belly is full can study any subject in this world, whether it sustains his good welfare or not.

But a person who is in dire need of sustenance, needs to be put in an environment which would give him sustenance.

To live a reasonably good life is a great need and this is where there is Truly no greater need than Food, Cloth and Shelter!

2 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 11:39pm On Jul 03
Dtruthspeaker:


True, knowledge shapes a person but this is the divide you have drawn my attention to.

A person whose belly is full can study any subject in this world, whether it sustains his good welfare or not.

But a person who is in dire need of sustenance, needs to be put in an environment which would give him sustenance.

To live a reasonably good life is a great need and this is where there is Truly no greater need than Food, Cloth and Shelter!




Maslow theory comes to mind
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Ishilove: 12:27am On Jul 04
Beautiful article

With their slow and protected upbringing, independent nature, and weak mental development, what future are we preparing them for in a tough and rough country like Nigeria?
This is why we have more and more of them attempting suicide when confronted with challenges. They don't have the steel of GenX

3 Likes

Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by lavylilly: 12:46am On Jul 04
Ishilove:
Beautiful article


This is why we have more and more of them attempting suicide when confronted with challenges. They don't have the steel of GenX
What do you suggest as the solution?
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Dtruthspeaker: 6:34am On Jul 04
QuinModah:
Maslow theory comes to mind

Yeah, Maslow's Observation!
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Belafonte(m): 7:35am On Jul 04
Dtruthspeaker:


Critical Thinking tells me that all you said is void! Why?

Because you and the author do not know what giving education and getting education is all about.

The value of Life is good Living! Now, anything which aids good living is welcome. But anything which is a void is a complete waste of other good things eg time, resources, energy, soul, space!

So it is with giving and getting an education.

If it is not Gainful and Profitable, then it is a waste of good things!

So if it is not profitable to acquire certificate/certificates, get educated in another Lawful activity which is profitable for you!

I was going to oppose this but you have a point.

While the OP does a good job articulating his observation, I'd say he's looking from the micro point of view
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by Dtruthspeaker: 7:38am On Jul 04
Belafonte:


I was going to oppose this but you have a point.

While the OP does a good job articulating his observation, I'd say he's looking from the micro point of view

I thank you.
Re: The Continuous Decline In Critical Thinking Among Nigerian University Students by QuinModah(f): 10:23pm On Jul 04
cheesy
Dtruthspeaker:


Yeah, Maslow's Observation!

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