OPINION: Falling Standard of Education in Nigeria and The Way Out

The quality of education in Nigeria has dropped to an alarming rate. This is really sad and portend great danger for the future of our country. Even worst is the fact that we have borrowed digital computer and yet the future is still filled with uncertainty. Unlike in the past that teachers were the repository of knowledge due to the fact that information were not evenly distributed, these days, the information is at our finger tips, and yet the colonial education products are better. Our fathers who passed through it were able to write, and speak boldly in the public at the elementary school stage. Those of us that know those scholars will bear eloquent testimony to this. It took some of us going to tertiary education to outsmart them. Their sentences do not deviate from the syntactic and grammatical norms of contemporary English at the elementary school level. Anyway if one were not informed, you would never know.

These days pupils need help to write formal letters, as it is staggering a task if they were to do it themselves, thanks to their self admitted surrender. From my findings, I have discovered that the multiple choice questions popularly called ‘objective’ is not the right way to assess the exam candidates. There is no doubt that one can scale through it by luck or by making an intelligent guess. This is not obtainable in theory which is practical in nature. In theory, you cannot give what you don’t have provided the exam is devoid of palm greasing and abracadabra. I took time to compare these days exam with the past exams of both primary and secondary schools, and I discovered that the difference is clear. The former
is cheaper than the latter. Infact the most recent common entrance exam conducted by the Lagos State Exam Board was self explanatory. It is only a slothful pupil that will not have a field day writing it. This is not to cast aspersion on the exam body, the content of my piece is clear. The questions cannot be compared to the past ones. It has reduced quality. Imagine an examination without theoretical questions! How can one know the candidate’s ability to express himself? We cannot continue to sacrifice capability or accountability on the altar of sympathy if we must take our educational standard to the next level.

I solicit the support and cooperation of all our stake holders, relevant ministries and agencies of government to ensure that the education reform process is looked into. The curriculum should set a standard that should be adhered strictly to knowing that no sector is immune from collapse once quality is compromised. Curriculum implementation should not be more than the sheet of paper it is written on.

Reform should be extended to the teaching staff. Charlatans to be weeded out and entrust the pupils care to capable hands.

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