Bridging the education gap between rural and urban communities

Published Mar 29, 2018
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There is the infamous African proverb that says, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In the case of education within Nigeria, it is not enough to have the minority that is urbanised society, be educated while neglecting to foster an educational environment and system that would allow for rural communities to also partake of the overall sustainability of not only their communities but the country as a whole.

Education is the doorway in which people operate effectively within a society and is the knowledge behind progression. It is the basis in which we acquire the necessary skills to develop our potential and facilitate a productive lifestyle.

In order to minimise the socioeconomic gap between rural and urbanised communities there needs to be a conscious and intentional effort made by those in privileged positions. Solution-driven conversations are a means of addressing the issue of education between rural and urban areas. Facilitating regular impactful workshops and open forum meetings within urban areas is one way. Awareness on the lack of education in rural communities is created and in turn facilitates a platform for solutions.

One of the contributing factors to the deprivation of quality education in rural communities, is the lack of adequate training for teachers themselves. Implementing sustainable educational systems requires that teachers be provided and equipped with the necessary teaching tools and facilities. Teachers cannot produce results amongst students without acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills that consistent, quality and accessible training provides.

Paying teachers adequately and on time provides a better incentive for them to continue educational programs within rural communities. The inability by government to do so, can lead to strikes, relocation and boycotting of the overall government educational system. This affects rural children the most as it disrupts learning and continues to widen the education gap.

It is also important to note the language barrier acts as a hindrance to progressive learning. Finding teachers who are bilingual and speak the native tongues of rural communities and English creates opportunities for better dialogue between them and students. Students can progressively learn to speak a second language. Training of native tongues can be provided to teachers. During that time, locals who can understand English can act as translators for teachers. This creates opportunity for locals to obtain temporary work and potentially lead to more permanent opportunities.

Government needs to take active measures by sending small teams into rural communities in order to evaluate the situation first hand and be aware of the how large the problem at hand is. There is a dire need for a conscious awakening as to the severity of the struggles within rural communities. Not only within government but individuals, organisations and the privileged masses. Education is a basic necessity and human right and must be made accessible to all. 

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Tamara Chizema

Pending advocate of change.

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