The issue of examination failure in Nigeria has become a characteristic of great concern to parents, teachers, stakeholders in the education supervision, and even to the students. This calls for drastic harnessing to attain international position compared to what obtains in continents like the United States of America (USA) and Europe. The problems bedeviling education in Nigeria are either unattended to or haphazardly been looked into by the authorities. And there are factors concerned with the failure such as decaying infrastructure, lack of finance, insincerity on the part of the superintendents of education in the nation, amongst a crowd of other features.
The home is supposed to be the stronghold for the development of a child in term of Informal Education and Formal Education. But it is very appalling how the home has lost its role in molding the child for a better society. Many parents would say that they want to build leaders of the future, but it is however amazing how they cannot allow the children really involve in studying assiduously.
In many homes today, the child is supported with money to bribe his or her way in an examination hall to make good result. To this end, the child only hopes on passing the examination he or she never read and prepared for. This is the rot, mot, mouse eating into the fabrics of education in Nigeria culminating into moral and educational decadence. And unless these menaces at the homefront are headlong tackled, the nearness of putting the education system right in Nigeria will only be a tall dream.
The axiom that teachers salary is in heaven is no longer obtainable in the contemporary times. Teachers in the present-days are hardly conscious of their calling. Many of them even aid the students to malpractice in examination for lucre. As a result, the teachers lack the confidence in the teaching profession. They are not aspiring to see the student walk his or her talk.
Therefore, the Nigerian authorities must put every strategy in place to curb this hydra-headed monster of malpractice-relationship between the students and teachers. Nigerians have always said that teachers engage in the ugly trade of collecting money from students to pass examination due to poor salary. This issue of poor salary is not the problem, but the teachers. They are no longer concerned with covering the education syllables yearly as prescribed by the Ministry of Education, even though that in international standard, the education curriculum in Nigeria is overloaded and the 'chalk and talk' system in many of the schools is outdated.
Conversely, computer and its studies should be a national curriculum since the modern-day students are hardly appealed to reading books; they are glued to watching television and browsing the phone or laptop. So, it will make a tremendous success in enhancing education in Nigeria if the studies go digital than analogue and the curriculum made less tedious.
Education in Nigeria can never make the sun of the day again if the teachers continue to follow the successive governments that didn't see education as a necessary priority, which has given rise to the appearances of private school racing to fill the vacuum, but to no avail.
The students can make a difference and be impressed with college's scholarship scheme. The teachers must represent the government in the school and make teaching their compulsory priority. They must set a goal of genuine success for the students and allow constructive criticism from different quarters and not embark on strike when admonished by those whose job is to do so. Teachers must translate the ideas in the school curriculum into their visions and into training the students. There must be a good teacher-student relationship where discipline will be strong but soft. This increases the students' confidence for their teachers training and the teachers to be aware of the students feeling.
Except the authorities and the citizens are able to see education beyond book learning, the tide of education failure in Nigeria will continue to be prevalent. Thus, all hand must be on deck to inculcate innocence of childhood for moral and principled values in the society. For example, respect for elders, community and selves must be paramount. When a child respects self there will be respect for elders, home and the enlarged society.
Nigerians as a result should comprehend that education is not based on the provision of solid infrastructure in schools, but on a conducive-effective-teaching and learning where people will apply their education to their lives and not in seclusion degenerating into extensive and expansive creative people challenging and exposed to their potentials and international opportunities.
Myth and Reality:
Brainstorming over the ways of stemming the deluge of failure in education in Nigeria, it is a fact that many Nigerians believe so much in the unconventional ways of scaling through, like praying and fasting for education success. Instead of reading, many people resort to divine steps to reengineering their scholastic fortunes. The negative sideview of this unconformity approach is that students especially engage in the praying and fasting exercise in making sure that their teachers do not distract them when malpracticing in the examination hall.
The belief that those spearheading education in Nigeria are inept and insincere and hardly provide the needed books to read perhaps implored the 20.04 per cent of 310,077 candidates, who sat for the Nov/Dec 2010 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to obtain five credits in English Language, Mathematics and three other subjects, while over 70 percent therefore were not qualified to apply for admission into Nigerian universities and polytechnics. This spate has not abated to this day. Those in the university are also not spared in this anomaly as lecturers hardly embark on research but photocopy works of others and sell same to the students christened handouts.
In Conclusion: Reading Culture:
It was the lack of reading culture and the book to read that has informed President Goodluck Jonathan's desire to engage, communicate and learn from Nigerians through his pet project, “Bring Back The Book” that was officially launched before the April 2011 elections. For Mr. President, bringing back the books, and indeed, bringing back Nigerian books, is what Nigerians desperately need to make their education today count and to have a firm grip on their future. Nigeria's dying publishing industry must also be encouraged for a steady rise of young and talented writers.
Nigerians must know that they have attained a period when illiteracy wouldn't be for all, but educational “opportunities” should be. Nigerians must eschew the promotion of materialism over the promotion of education. Book culture must be put in place “properly” in the minds of all, for a new Nigeria that is in dearth of education woes to be certain. The ministry of education in Nigeria should particularly be literacy friendly.
There should be national funding for the education to enable the impoverished people to concentrate in their studies instead of combining schooling with trading. There must be government-run grants-awarding body to support education and the production of books.
Education opportunity should meet with responsibility where the Ministry of Education should ensure the success of national reading contests from local government, progress to state competition, and then to regional and the national, to motivate and encourage schools, local government, state, region and the national education system.
The spate of crisis in different parts of the country is also of great concern to many Nigerians in achieving education. The stability of a people gaining education in a “destabilized” environment is in doubt.
The actual government departments dedicated to ensuring that there is stemmed failure in education in Nigeria should wake-up because Nigeria since 50 years has remained one of the countries dealing with poor education system in the world in spite of all these institutions that we have always had.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: [email protected]