…Mason College,Festac students on stage…

HSC pivotal in sound education – Prof Olagbemiro (2012)

Professor Timothy Oyebode Olagbemiro is the Vice- Chancellor of Bowen University and the Chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors and Registrars of Private Universities. In this interview, he speaks on the education sector and the need to improve the system.

Olagbemiro amongst others, stated that university administrators are to face the core business of producing quality and competent undergraduates rather than distracting university education with part-time programmes. Excerpts:

What measures do you suggest as the way forward for education in Nigeria?

The truth is that the base of the students is weak and something concrete should be done to improve the quality of undergraduate education. The Higher School Certificate (HSC) programme is one veritable area to achieve this objective and it should be introduced to revamp the education sector. Students offering Medicine should obtain first degree in science to prepare them before they can now get to the medical school and get matured to become good doctors in Nigeria.

A lot still needs to be done in terms of policy for our educational system. There is the need for us to change a lot of things concerning our educational system. Students secure admission into the university without the commensurate experience and maturity. Students should pass through the HSC programme which is very tough, before gaining university admission. The system also needs more teachers even as more universities are required.

University administrators should face the core business of producing quality and competent undergraduates rather than distracting university education with part-time programmes. The HSC programme should be encouraged in the Nigerian system of education because I observed that students’ base is weak thereby informing their not being fully prepared for university education. Students are not fully matured to effectively go through the university education unlike the HSC system whereby students undertake the advanced level educational programme in preparation for university education.
HSC pivotal in sound education

Higher institutions like University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Nigeria Nsukka and the University of Benin should be focused on training students for post-graduate programmes that should be well funded. This should be the role of the older universities in order to enhance the quality of education in the country……………..


High school is the name used for the last segment of compulsory education in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and the United States. It provides a secondary education for boys and girls. In England, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, it is commonly referred to as a secondary school.

The idea was first instituted in France by Napoleon as a way to train future officers for his military.


Secondary education in Hong Kong is largely based on the British schooling system. High school starts in the 7th year of formal education, after Primary Six, called Form One. Students normally spend five years in secondary schools, of which the first three years (Forms One to Three) are free and compulsory like primary education. Forms Four and Five students prepare for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE), which takes place after Form Five. Students obtaining satisfactory grades will be promoted to Form Six.These are then prepared for the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HIKALE) (colloquially the A-Levels), which is to be taken after Form Seven. The HKALE and HKCEE results will be considered by universities for admission.


SOUTH AFRICA has 15 million learners,450,000 teachers and around 35,000 schools – including 450 special needs schools and 1,200 registered private schools.Of all the schools, 8,000 are high schools (grade 7 to grade 12) and the rest are primary (grade 1 to grade 6).School life spans 13 years – or grades – although the first year of education, grade 0 or “reception year”, and the last three years, grade 10, 11 and grade 12 or “matric” are not compulsory.Many primary schools offer grade 0, although this pre-school year may also be completed at nursery schools.

For university entrance, a matric “endorsement” is required, although some universities do set their own additional academic requirements.South Africa has a vibrant higher education sector, with more than a million students enrolled in the country’s universities and universities of technology. All the universities are autonomous, reporting to their own councils rather than government.

Secondary Education in Japan is split into lower secondary schools which cover the seventh through ninth years, and upper secondary schools which mostly cover years ten through twelve. Attendance in upper secondary school is not compulsory, but most students do attend.Some of the top upper secondary schools, however, graduate their students directly into the top universities, such as Tokyo University.

Students who do not plan to attend university are generally tracked into vocational departments in upper secondary schools: very few lower secondary school graduates forgo upper secondary school entirely, although they are free to do so if they wish.Like elementary schools, most lower-secondary schools in the 1980s were public, but 5 percent were private. Private schools were costly, averaging 558,592 Yen (US$3,989) per student in 1988. The teaching force in lower secondary schools is two-thirds male. Schools are headed by principals, 99 percent of whom were men in 1988.Teachers often majored in the subjects they taught, and more than 80 percent graduated from a four-year college. Classes are large, with thirty-eight students per class on average, and each class is assigned a homeroom teacher who doubles as counselor. Unlike elementary students, lower-secondary school students have different teachers for different subjects. The teacher, however, rather than the students, moves to a new room for each fifty minute period.

By 1989 about 45 percent of all public lower- secondary schools had computers, including schools that used them only for administrative purposes. To improve instruction in spoken English, the government invites many young native speakers of English to Japan to serve as assistants to school boards under its Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. By 2005 participants numbered over 6,000.


The most notable characteristic of the American public education system is the large number of people it serves. In 2002, 86 percent of Americans between ages 25 and 29 had graduated from high school, 58 percent had completed at least some college, and 29 percent had earned at least a bachelor’s degree

After the American Revolution (1775-1783), the founders of the United States argued that education was essential for the prosperity and survival of the new nation. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, proposed that Americans give a high priority to a “crusade against ignorance.”

Jefferson was the first American leader to suggest creating a system of free schools for all persons that would be publicly supported through taxes.By 1918 all states had passed laws requiring children to attend at least elementary school. Not everyone accepted publicly funded and controlled schools as the only way to provide education.The most significant opposition came from members of the Roman Catholic Church, who believed that the moral values taught in public schools were biased toward Protestantism

In 1925 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Pierce v. Society of Sisters that states could not compel children to attend public schools, and that children could attend private schools instead. In 1994, 11 percent of American students in elementary and secondary schools attended private institutions. Most of these attended Catholic schools.

Secondary Schools
Before the 20 the century, only a relatively small number of teenagers had the ability or desire to pursue secondary education. In 1900 only 10 percent of American adolescents aged 14 to 17 were enrolled in high schools. Most of these students were from affluent families.The first publicly supported secondary school in the United States was Boston Latin School, founded in 1635.

The rise in American high school attendance was one of the most striking developments in U.S. education during 20th century. From 1900 to 2000 the percentage of teenagers who graduated from high school increased from about 6 percent to about 88 percent

As the 20th century progressed, most states enacted legislation extending compulsory education laws to the age of 16. Most students found it more enjoyable-and more profitable in the long run-to stay in school beyond the legal limits than to leave, or drop out, before graduating.

Higher Education

At the beginning of the century about 2 percent of Americans from the ages of 18 to 24 were enrolled in a college (i.e. universities). There were fewer than 1,000 colleges then, with enrollment totaling about 157,000 students.Near the end of the century more than 60 percent of this age group, or over 14 million students, were enrolled in about 3,500 four-year and two-year colleges
Some of America’s earliest universities were Harvard University (founded in 1636) and Yale University (1701).




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