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CONTRIBUTING TO NATION BUILDING THROUGH EDUCATION CONSULTANCY; IMPEMENTABLE METHODS AND STRATEGIES FOR EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANCY FIRMS IN NIGERIA

By Nwafor Raluchukwu

Trinidad and Tobago is currently faced with complex and multiple problems. Unfortunately, we created these problems through complacency and reluctance to establish an education system designed to generate innovation, inquisitiveness and a propensity for changeif ever there was a time for a nation to reconsider its direction that time has long passed for Trinidad and Tobago. Through our education system, we now have to try to play catch-up if we are to set things right. Some scholars argue that the success or failure of nations sometimes begin one hundred years before  our problems are the result of our failure to develop a constructive national ideology and a dynamic education system manned by people who refuse to engage only in system maintenance, but instead, are concerned with imperatives of time. This excerpt by R.S Hacket in his brief article titled Rethinking Nation Building is true, not only for Trinidad and Tobago, but also for many African countries. Indeed, Nigeria is not exempted. The glaring need for a systematic overhaul through national actions and policies cannot be overemphasized. Hence, expedite action, aimed at developmental nation building is key to improvement.

Education is undoubtedly, the lifeblood of societies throughout the world. Hence educational planners must be guided by a constructive ideology based on the essential components for educational excellence which are relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. Considering that the role of education extends paper certification, scholars agree that education is a major contributor to nation building. Having stated that educational planners must be guided, it is imperative to mention that alongside state actors, private actors must coexist to achieve desired results. Top amongst the list are educational consultants.

This essay is focused solely on the roles of educational consultancy in nation building and how educational consultancy firms can pitch successfully in African countries and of course, in Nigeria. To this end, first, a brief descriptive definition of the terms educational consultancy and nation building is made to understand the concepts in the light of the context. Educational consultancy refers to services offered by individuals or firms with a view to ensuring quality assurance in higher education. The scope of services thus offered are somewhat vast and varied depending on the nature of service sought. Nation Building is a multi dimensional concept which is better described than defined. It refers to the broad process of developing a shared sense of political community that is capable of binding together the population of a given state. It comprises of three elements in its developmental sense. One, the development of an effectively functioning state accorded legitimacy by the bulk of its citizens, two, a socio cultural structuring and integration process leading to shared characteristics of identities, values and goals and third, a physical social and communi9cation infrastructure that is shared by entire civil society. It is very striking to note that while the state has a central role in this task, nation building also requires the mobilization of a range of non stakeholders, and of course, a reasonable level of international intervention. Educational consultancy serves and aids this.

Education consultancy contributes to nation building in one too many ways. Among others, these ways include the following.  Facilitating educational opportunities, in most prestigious institutions across the world. Although nation building is context specific, it doesnt easily fit into predetermined analytical frameworks or artificial time frames. To be sustainable, it needs to be locally driven. External assistance can at best, facilitate local processes. How does educational consultancy promote local process?  These processes require trained manpower. By providing a safe ground for international study, room is created for a widening of horizons which is indispensable for the nation building process. Enhancing opportunity for study creates opportunity for enlightenment in turn.  Since nation building is geared towards developing consciousness, study helps one to realize the need for unity in diversity. One becomes aware of the need for state building which is equally required for nation building. This is achieved by creating room for exposure to cultures that achieved integration and the needed togetherness that nation building is engineered to enthrone.

Educational consultancy sets academic goals based on merit and financial capacity. These goals lead to setting of standards. It provides aspiring students with knowledge of their abilities and capacities and makes them willing to work towards channeling all of their strengths to end up with the best results. The effect on nation building is to create a set of individuals who attain empowerment through an education that recognizes the need to set goals for themselves and also to set goals for national policies and investments. This includes the goal of multi tasking so as to arrive at qualitative results in various competitive fields effectively.

Perhaps the most important contribution of educational consultancy to nation building is the adoption of a holistic approach through every single step in guiding students and corporate organizations in achieving exceptional academic experience. An exceptional academic experience contributes to nation building. It involves a reform of all current syllabus and curriculum to reflect the need for a civil society that emphasizes skills and practicality over theories.  An experience that focuses on the advantages of national heritage creates political awareness and a shared sense of integration among members of a given community.  For corporate organizations, it makes their outlines tally with the global trends while incorporating a nationalistic flavor that makes for uniqueness

Educational consultancy firms can successfully pitch in Africa and in Nigeria by adopting these strategies. Promising delivery of an education experience that brings individual and societal transformation. Cooperation with governments and other education stakeholders to align curriculums from the get go to reflect global standards necessary to achieve change. Through proper, appealing branding of services , presentation of businesses that show integrity and a desire to achieve excellence. Educational consultancy firms must equally offer services that take into consideration the peculiarities of the continent for aspiring students