Address Lapses in Education Sector to Improve the Performances of Students in Exams-Prof. Olagoke

IndexThe April/ May 2020 Senior Secondary School Certificate examinations has been postponed, even though parents, guardians , teachers and school authorities have continued to express mixed feelings over the preparedness of students for the examinations. In most recent times a number of state Governments have expressed reservations over the poor performances of students it registered for the external examinations. This prompted some of these state Governments to withdraw their financial support, in terms of paying for the examination fees. In another breadth these state Governments are working round the clock to ensure that students from their states excel in the examination by all means. Sadly, students of a sizable number of schools in the country focus more on cybercafes and betting centers, while at the same time abandoning their primary aim of attending school. This has to a large extent negatively affected the prospects of improved examination results.

In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says the funadmental issues affecting the education sector should be addressee before there can be an improvement in the performances of students in external examinations. Excerpts :

How do you think the performances of students can be improved on in examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council(WAEC), considering the poor results in recent years ?

The poor performances of Nigerian students in WAEC conducted examinations as a West African issue led to the inauguration of the National Examination Council(NECO) without compromising the standard.

Luckily, the syllabi is based on the general curricula of education which every secondary school must comply with, right from the Junior Secondary School (JSS)1 to Senior Secondary School(SSS)3. I can remember in 1976 when our set were faced with leakages in the examination, other set of questions were made available, but unfortunately 3 1/4 of the questions were what we were taught in Form Three, while the remaining were from Forms Four and Five syllabi. Then, most of us still came out tops. However, it was during an era of institutional discipline, when even illiterate parents supported the cause of the teachers’ efforts in bringing out the best in the children.

Since 1985, things have not been the same for the nation in all spheres of human endeavor because of the man made environment of institutional indiscipline and corrupt practices in the quest to realize the best without putting in necessary efforts.

The core values of self confidence, self esteem and self reliance are no longer there. We have forgotten that the home and the children form the cluster of the micro elements for the society while government and its institutions form the macro, that is exactly the mirror image of the home and its products. From my personal research based on my concern on value deterioration of education I discovered that the time our children spend in school is very insignificant compared to the time they will spend in life, the geriatric period inclusive. What we teach in the classrooms, laboratories and workshops in schools to these children are mere 20 per cent of what they need to survive the ordeals of life without deviating and resorting to committing sins and crimes to be successful in life. The remaining 80 per cent is better learnt based on what they see in their environment, quick money making syndrome without hard work. This is why they fail holistically to learn correctly under mentor-ship and pupil-age interactions for the necessary wisdom.

The materials to teach in faith based houses of god are equally defective, due to the quest to become successful in the quickest time frame, in this sense through diabolic means .The necessary firmness of purpose is no longer there for those who attend the Church or the Mosque. In the absence of a role model, the poverty of knowledge takes over. This is a psychological problem that needs to be corrected for education to become more beneficial to our children. The structure of education is intact for necessary impact, but the way we impart education is defective. For example, the attitudinal value of the affective domain is no more emphasized, hence the disciplinary aspect of the children lives is watered down. We have become robotic in the application of the cognitive domain and Nigerian children are yet to learn anything about innovation which is the essence of the psycho motor domain because of the attitude of our government towards education.

Teachers and Lecturers are rarely motivated and challenged because they are only selective with few lucky numbers, when it comes to the essential training needs. This position is worse for Primary and Secondary school teachers who our government will carelessly claim are too many when it comes to the payment of salaries, but in actual fact there is a worrisome shortage of teachers. It is true that the advent of the social media has resulted in the drop in the reading culture, while parents are not ready to correct this lapse.

These are fundamental issues that must be addressed urgently, before the concerns of the state Governors on the improvement needs of our students in their performances could be resulted oriented.

In the time past, when academic calendars were never toyed with, teachers and students performances were aspects to reckon with, but presently, there is always instability in the academic calendar ,with students most of the session been at home, with all the attendant distractions of the peer group effect and the poor ones among them hawking the streets to make ends meet.

Poverty is equally a great factor that is affecting the concentration of students in their studies. A peep into what is happening in Oyo state, as regards the state Government’s attention and focus on education is commendable. All that will aid learning are already in place. Poor parents are been taken care of and compiled Questions and Answers of WAEC/NECO into booklets have been given to the final year students, the teachers’ copies based on the subjects been taught are been photocopied for them by each school to digest well in order that they would be authoritatively fit to put the students through.

It should be emphasized that the students should not be robotic about the past Questions and Answers. There are 12 reasons why students fail examinations : 1) Inadequate preparation by the trio of the parents, teachers and students 2) Overconfidence by some students . 3) Examination anxiety. 4) Examination misconduct and malpractices. 5)Memory loss. 6)Time management and control. 7) Bad gang effects of negative peer groups and probable hard drug effects. 8) Bad sleeping habits 9) Lack of access to education materials such as books, due to lack of funds. 10) Lack of good reading habits. 11) Intrinsic property of an introvert that may lead to shyness in asking questions. 12) Ignoring instructions in Question and Answer sheets.

The parents, teachers and counseling psychologists must be able to help the students in order that they overcome the need for positive mindset with respect to positive mental attitude for ease of taking right decisions most especially in their quest to learn, for them to be able to pay back positively to the concerns and efforts of the state Governors in their belief that with adequate preparations no students must fail WAEC or NECO.


Education Nigeria Prof. Sabitu Olagoke

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