An interview with an educational expert, Plato

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PLATO as he is popularly known and fondly call by aspirants and students is an educational expert with the name Balogun Mathew Adeboye.

He is the founder of the Nigeria number one reporting outfit called Team Plato Reports and also the Director of A-Plus Educational Consult.

Being an educational expert for decade, he has a lot to talk on, concerning the issues we are having with our educational system in Nigeria, this compelled our team to have an interview season with him on the state of Education in Nigeria and to also suggest some way out.

 

Good afternoon Sir Plato.

Quite a pleasure to have you around, thank you for granting us your audience.

 

– Thank you. I’m glad to be here too

 

To start with sir, your profile on Facebook shows that you are the Founder and CEO of PLATO services.

 

– Yes. Team Plato REPORTS

 

From our understanding, Team PLATO service is an Education consultant online service.

Can you tell us more about what yourself and your team at Team Plato does in general sir?

 

– Basically, It’s a report outfit that is aimed at disseminating undefiled information to students and the entire public. Most specifically, guiding nationwide students who wish to gain admissions into tertiary institutions.

 

Oh, nice! In line with this, we have heard and seen so many students make better admission choices due to the beautiful and precise advices and tips they get from your team. 

How does this make you feel sir?

 

– Well. It makes us feel intrigued because we also always have students who take out time to give feedback, spot our strengths and weaknesses.

For Instance, A few number of students wrote to us to work on the accessibility of our website and how swift we should respond to students as a matter of urgency.

When we started, we had challenges from students such as being skeptical about our information, unwarranted arguments and all sorts but when they saw our intentions, they have all come to believe our reports and find solace in us.

We’re not the best but we’re second to none.

 

Nice. 

Talking about getting started, from your facebook page and your site [Teamplato.com]. What you do is an online Educational consultancy, to share news and devices more like an “Education blogging site”. 

In Nigeria, over the past decade, there has been many successes with bloggers, the likes of Linda Ikeji, Jude Ogunsanya, Noble Igwe and the rest. 

But most of these guys do Entertainment, Gossip and Political gists, perhaps these are what sell faster.

Sir, why did you choose Education over Entertainment, Gossip, Sport, Politics and the rest?

 

– I have been in Education and Career Guidance for decade now. I understand the right pursuit of students, reasons why a student fails and necessary remedy to give as a support, the right path a student should follow amongst others. I’m an educational expert, counsellor and an educational psychologist, combining various level of experiences, teaching and learning over the years.

Apart from the fact that Education is my field, I have time to explore my field and disciplines through teachings and that has exceptionally made me outstanding.

 

This confirms what your linkedln profile states that you are a psychologist and education expert. 

Can we know a little more about your education background sir? 

You graduated from which University?

 

– I’m a graduate of the University of Ilorin (Educational Guidance and Counselling) and Masters in View (Educational Psychology).

 

This explains why most of your reporters, students and users of your platform are from Unilorin (by my experience). 

I am sure TEAM PLATO wants to expand its tentacles beyond Ilorin. 

Can you please fill us in about any expansion plan you have sir?

 

– Majority of our members are from my alma mater across many departments but we have also tried our best to extend our frontiers by making the platform available to other institutions.

Currently, We have reporters from Obafemi Awolowo University, Federal University of Oye Ekiti, Ladoke Akintola University, Federal University of Technology Akure, Ibrahim Badamosi University, University of Ibadan, Kwara State University and others.

Even today, We absorbed a new member from Federal University of Technology Owerri

 

Fantastic.  

Hopefully the team keeps on wavering on stronger and stronger. Great job

Before we let you go sir, we have a few more questions if you do not mind

 

– No problem sir

 

One of them is that considering that you are an expert in the field of education.  

What do you think Nigeria as a nation can do to better the quality and ranking of her universities worldwide?

What are the things that we currently lack in the countries university education system and how can they be corrected?

 

– Well, As at now, Nigeria Educational System is militate with several hydra headed plethora of issues.

For the first Question, we need to regulate our Educational policies, Provide necessary facilities for each programme and a well structured curriculum. You will wonder a little why National Universities Commission scrap some courses in Nigerian Universities? It’s because they do not have the necessary facilities to maintain that programme.

If a student want to study Optometry and Vision Science in a University and you expose the student to the same Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Physics they have learnt overtime in secondary schools and you don’t have the necessary equipments for them to undergo practicals. How do they learn what they intend to study? We do more of theories than practicals. I have come across a final year student of Electrical and Electronics Engineering student who cannot fix a common line connection. Our methods need to be well structured.

We lack qualified teachers and lecturers in Educational system, Nigeria University sometimes employ patched lecturers and teachers who are unqualified. We employ teachers who do not know what teaching entails.

A lot of issues but I have said earlier that many things must be regulated. Those who are not qualified to be teachers should not be employed at all in the Educational system. Those who are already employed and wish to be better should be retrenched. What’s a law student doing in class? What’s an Engineering student doing in the classroom? There are lot of issues.

  • Unstructured Curriculum
  • Policy Inconsistencies
  • Lack of Qualified Teachers/Personnels
  • Lack of Basic Infrastructures.
  • Nonstandard teaching techniques or methods.

 

To continue with this sir. 

One of the problems of the education system is the structure just like you have outlined

But to get a good structure, one must have a good foundation.  

One of the problems most educationists have with the Nigerian Education structure is the admission process. 

An average Nigerian student is required to write WAEC, JAMB and POST UTME before getting admitted. 

Do you think this is too much to ask of our aspirants ? Giving how expensive these exams are and that Nigeria is currently the poverty capital of the world. 

What do you also think of Nigerian students being required to write UTME yearly,even if they passed the previous ones that couldn’t get them an admission?

 

– Yes. Admissions Process of many Universities is not clear especially for the University of Ilorin. We have continue to clamour that the University should embark upon mapping out the methods in admitting Candidates and especially cut off marks but it’s always swept under the carpet.

Look at what the University of Lagos did recently, They released cut off marks for all courses and it’s made known to the public. University of Ilorin as the most sought after varsity should also take the lead and make the process transparent.

It worth it for a student to write WAEC, JAMB and Post UTME before being admitted. The Post UTME test will worth it if the test adopted is valid and reliable, that is, it measures what it’s expected to measure and access the students properly. All these tests still does not fully guarantee students who are the best, only for University of Ibadan whose tests are normally “objective”.

Even JAMB is not credible again like we use to have it overtime. You cannot see an average student scoring high in an exam where a flank or bright student scoring so low.

We are clamouring for tests to be conducted but it must be “objective”.

 

To end this sir,

Briefly, many freshers are going to see and read this interview, what is your advice for them as regards academic and total excellence as they resume school later this year? 

And also, your advice and tips for people willing to replicate what you have done with TEAM PLATO, sir?

 

– We welcome everyone not to imitate but replicate the goodwill and service to humanity.

What we’re doing is humanitarian and sacrifice is the key. I enjoin everyone to be determined and focus, if those two are ensured at all time, We cannot never stop until we get to the top.

 

Fantastic!.  Great having you around

Thank you for blessing us with your time and your amazing pool of knowledge. Big Pleasure having you for the past hour… 

Thank you and thank you again

We wish TEAM PLATO all the best in your quest…

Read also: Advice to Freshers 

 

– Thank you so much, all the best sir.

 

 

And so, we’ve come to the end of this interview, do you have something to contribute? Lets hear from you in the comment section.

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