Many things have gone wrong with Education in Nigeria. In fact, it does not look like there is an end in sight to the series of challenges militating against the course of advancing educational standard in the country. Teachers are not well remunerated , while their so called stipend hardly comes as regularly as expected; thus , not a few number of teachers suffer from the ‘dampened morale complex’. As at April ,2017, over 22 states owed their workers between three to seven months salary.
How about the learners? Are they willing and ready to learn ? Research shows that the present crop of learners in the post Basic primary schools , a very good number ,are influenced by the ” cheat mentality” towards their final classes at the stage when they are required to put in for certificate examination.
To add up to the above listed challenges is the corruption of peer influence and raging phenomenon of cultism in secondary schools. It is common place these days to see secondary schools students flaunt unabashed their involvement in one secret society or the other. They flex muscles over cult related fracas like it is their primary assignment and the basic objective for which their respective parents had sent then to school.
To worsen the matter, very good number of schools do not even have appropriate teaching and learning aids, how much less, state-of-the-art teaching equipment in the field of science .
As a result of all these , what we have
are “students” who merely go to school as a daily routine, involving in a cyclic movement without motion , while their cognitive approach to learning is not worth mentioning.
What exactly am I driving at? The just released May/June 2017 West African Senior Certificate Examination has propped up frank questions about the quality of learning , final year students of secondary schools receive in their various schools. Of course, results of a hood number of students were seized because of their indiscretion in their abuse of “the examination malpractice Technology”. It is no longer news that students enthusiastically and massively indulge in malpractice and all manners of cutting corners to pass examination , the novel approach of which is resorting to internet solutions. This cheating methodology , God knows the purveyors, offers a quick , prompt and time saving and systematic and quite scientific means of cheating by students /candidates in final year examinations. This is how it goes : days or barely 24 hours before candidates sit for a particular paper, solutions to questions on the would-be-subject would have flooded the internet , thus making it an easy ride for students to just flip open the cheat site on their smart phones , beating supervisors and invigilators to it , and copying word for word, the solution from the net; no editing, no retooling , no addition and no subtraction. Examination therefore becomes ” a copy and paste ” exercise ” devoid of the rigorous reading and cramming exercise of yore. It is very amusing to note that the new generation ‘ordinary level students’ in Nigeria no longer read , and the few that do hardly make any clear cut meaning out of the printed word.
Take for instance, how else does one explain the inclusion of this catch phrase : “the site is still loading”, and ” see graph in the next page ” in the mathematics answer booklets of final year candidates ? It goes to motive that for a huge number of candidates across states of the federation to have written that, they had simply resorted to sifting their answers from the cheat sites with reckless abandon and they either evaded the prying eyes of their invigilators or did engage in this fraudulent exercise with the connivance of their supervisors .
Because “the site was still loading” on the internet as at the time they got the solution and these indiscrete candidates munched it directly into their answer booklets , so many results have been “held” note not “withheld” by the examination body. What manner of candidates solve Mathematics questions using computer registers, sign and symbol? What manner of students would see computer give prior information that the site was still loading and would copy such information into the answer booklet? It is students who lack basic reading and comprehension skills or worst still, candidates who do not possess basic elementary reading skills.
These are the manner of students our secondary schools are “producing” in very large quantities . until Federal Government takes an all encompassing , frank and serious pro active measures to curb examination malpractice, our education will continue to nosedive (terrible but frank prognosis) ,while the teaching facilities will only continue to churn out graduates whose result will not worth the paper on which it is printed.
The time to act , by all concerned stakeholders, is now!