Essay submitted By : Chidiebere Nnachi- Department of Demography & Social Statistics
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TOPIC – THE NYSC: A COLOSSAL FAILURE OR A VITAL INSTRUMENT OF NATION BUILDING.
Student welfare refers to the promotion and maintenance of good learning, good mental and physical health, as well as social well-being of students, and conditions, which are conducive to these. Student welfare is integral to all aspects of school life and school must aim to ensure that a safe and supportive environment and culture is created and maintained so that the experience of teaching and learning is enhanced for all students.
Over the past years, the Nigerian student has been affected by lack of support in their welfare. Scores of conferences at national and international levels have been organized to assess the impact of lack of support on student welfare. The challenges and opportunities of student welfare at the dawn of the millennium present a venue for yet another reasoned discussion on the affair of student welfare in Nigeria. We cannot ignore the views of lack of support on the student welfare, however let us briefly review the roles of government, the management and the student role as this will help to situate our discourse in Nigeria tertiary Institution.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT ON STUDENTS WELFARE:
Government is widely believed to be an instrument through which a society is organized in order to maintain law and order as well to advance the necessary social amenities in a community. The government has an important role to play starting from law making, education, technology, transportation, social amenities development, job creation, health sector etc. Every day we turn on the news, we discover that what it contains consists of what government around the world are doing. It seems that if we did not have government to amuse us, there will be no news at all. Without the beneficence of government, life might become so boring as to not be worth living at all. Even with all this talk about government, it is amazing that the population in general does not have a clear idea of what government is and what they do.
When people are asked what the purpose of government is, or what the essence of government enterprise is, they frequently shrug their shoulders. That is why so many students see this (lack of government support) as an opportunity to cause mayhem and anarchy in their institutions. It is true that there are legitimate issues of poor services and maladministration for which students should feel genuinely aggrieved, but it has since proven that violence is not a solution to any problem. Instead of violent protests, peaceful demonstration is definitely a more viable option in getting authorities to listen to student’s grievance and explore opportunities for dialogue so that the role of government on student welfare can be fully implemented.
An essential function that is too fulfilled by the government is providing all levels of educations to the people, right from small kindergarten schools to universities. Education is a profound need of any human society as it makes humanity rational, intellectually enriched, and thoughtful. Hence, to complete all the elements of society, one of the most important roles of government in society is providing adequate education. In addition, it is generally accepted that government should control the education system. Education is today largely paid for and almost entirely administered by governmental bodies or non-profit institutions. Government can help the poor and the less privileged by reduction of school fees so that they can be able to pay at a low and subsidized rate.
In addition, government can help in the adequate distribution of educational amenities and donation of textbooks to students to provoke the curiosity of students and reduce failure rate in the society. ICT (information and communication technology) is not left out; it fosters education and learning processes. Government can help in the employment of qualified and experienced teachers to provide quality and sound education to students. They can also develop local libraries to encourage student to study well. They can also build school clinics, as these would reduce the rate at which people get ill and the rate at which disease is spread. Government play various roles in the school clinics such as: free health care service, free health education, use of advance technology in the hospital(ICT), provision of safety materials like (mosquitoes nets, help conducts free health test). Inspection of the school should be carried out frequently to ascertain the developmental rate at which the school has exceeded expectation. This proactive role by d government suggest to achieve peace, protection and improving of institutional arrangement, that way, the students welfare are being taken care of.
THE MANAGEMENT ROLE IN STUDENT WELFARE:
Management is the act or skill of controlling and making decisions about a business, department, sport team, etc. it is also the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. It is the organization and coordination of activities for accomplishing a goal. Good management of student welfare in school is inextricably linked to students’ performance. Student’s welfare is integral to all aspects of school life and school must aim to ensure that a safe and supportive environment and culture is created and maintained so that the experience of teaching and learning is enhanced for all students. Two important components in the establishment of management role in student’s welfare are:
(a) The provision of guidance and support to students
(b)The provision of advice to school decision makers to ensure that curriculum and organizational structure provide the opportunity for all students to develop their potential and to actively take their place in the world. The provision of welfare is essential to student’s sense of self worth and development of their identity and in the achievement of the goals of the school. It fosters the personal and social development of the individual and it is a pre-requisite for student to be in an effective learning situation. Student who has achieved a sense of belonging and acceptance are well placed to apply him or herself to the learning task.
In Nigeria, they are basic principles that have not been identifies which is slowing progress in the management role to students welfare. Here we discuss the following principles been identified:
- Recognition by the school that d wellbeing of its students is linked with the school curriculum and social organization. This involves an acceptance by the school that it has a responsibility to provide an appropriate curriculum for all students.
- An acceptance by staff that a concern for student welfare is a function of their teaching duties.
- An organization within d school which;
- Recognizes that student welfare is a total staff/school responsibility.
- Support teachers in carrying out their welfare function.
- Promotes and coordinates government and community inter-agency cooperation and collaboration in the provision of welfare services to students etc.
While the nature of the organization varies from school to school, an effective operation occurs when a welfare committee coordinates and support the particular welfare structure the school has established. Concern for the moral and welfare of staff is demonstrates through the recognition and provision of democratic decision making and communication systems within the school. The existence of support structures, which assist teachers in both the curriculum and students welfare of their role, is essential. A collaborative working relationship with teachers from neighboring schools. Districts and the relevant senior education officers. The active involvement and support of the school administration and management is essential for the growth of student’s welfare.
THE STUDENT ROLE IN THE WELFARE:
Students must realize the important of the relationship between an individual and the society. Man belongs to the society and students are an important part of it, students cannot live in complete isolation from the community life. Students can play an important role in improving and strengthen the society. The simple fact is that “United we stand, and divided we fall.” Therefore, student should do their best to serve the society. Studying is the main occupation of students but, being youthful and energetic; they can engage themselves in various forms of social work in their spare time, and in moment of crisis. The student role in the school welfare can be realized in different ways; Students should take an active role in literacy campaign. They can teach the illiterate to read and write. They should be enthusiastic about opening blood donation camps, health centre’s, libraries etc. such enterprises benefits a large number of people and help in maintaining the society in a good condition.
Funds can be raised through subscriptions, lottery and through government help. Students, urged by the spirit of social welfare, can be arranging for charity shows to raise the necessary funds. The student should undertake the responsibility of fighting anti-social activities of a few corrupt people. They must solemnly vow to eradicate drugs and drinks from their localities. Whenever there is a general crisis like the outbreak of malaria, or flood or violence, students are expected to come to the aid of the distress. If students In Nigeria are doing such measures, there will be peace, progress, and growth in students’ welfare. The students of today lay the foundation of future society. The society (Role of government and management) should give students the love and encouragement due to them, and see that their studies are not unduly hampered.