The first reaction of an average Nigerian to this sort of heading might likely be back to sender or it’s not my portion! 🙂 Anyways, did you hear about the reported mass failure recorded in the last WAEC with closer to 70% failing the core subjects of English and Mathematics? I was on Radio One 103.5 earlier today as a guest and argued that “unless we take education to meet the students then we are not yet serious about it.” As far as I am concerned, the world of learning has changed, the Internet has democratised knowledge which means that the mode of learning and delivery also have to conform.
A friend who listened to the show faulted my argument and stated that students have become more lazy and should be instructed to take responsibility. She made a case of how as a student she worked hard to graduate and that it was not easy but she was determined. My response to her is that she cannot compare the level of distractions students have to deal today with what she dealt with it. Where do we even start from? Is it the fact that with a connected device a student can be in class and accessing pornographic content or a student who is supposed to be reading would instead be tweeting and ‘facebooking’? or the fact that most families now have a situation where both parents work leaving the children in the care of strangers?
What my friend failed to grasp is the fact that our societal values as a whole has made it uninteresting to study or work hard. On a personal level, I know the kind of distraction that I have to deal with on a day to day basis. In actual fact, I am writing this article using a distraction-free software called OmniWriter – I had to find a tool to help fight distraction while working. Now this is me, I am an adult and can deal with the distractions much easily. How many 16 years old can? This is why I would go with the strategy of instructing and guiding and not screaming down their throats as I believe that will produce very little results.This system of learning is outdated and has to be changed!
The point is that we have made so many mistakes as a people and it is time to start correcting them. We must start to upgrade our approach to learning and make it more participatory – the erstwhile mode of learning where a teacher does 90% of the talking can only produce students who will pass exams but not students who can think on their feet and solve problems.
Here are some points to consider if we want to turn the tide of failure in WAEC:
- Invest in modern technology that will enhance learning. Terms such as virtual learning, interactive boards or simulations should no longer sound alien to our students.
- Revamp our educational systems completely. So beyond just investing in technology – Nigeria’s educational system is a deep mess what in the world are we thinking? How do we hope to compete when we churn out more half-baked graduates? I am in the Technology space and I can tell you many universities still teach their students outdated languages such as Fortran when the world has since moved on.
- Teacher motivation and training. This is and will always remain one of the biggest factors affecting the growth of our educational system. Government has all the reasons to pay teachers poorly and also has all the right reasons why politicians must earn fat salaries.
- Regulate the sort of content being churned out by entertainers. My point always is that all the glamour you see is nothing but make-believe that is why it is called show business.
- Instill the right values in our young ones. I must admit that I was not faced with this level of exposure while growing up. I listened to songs like Send down the rain by Majek Fashek or Wish you happy birthday by Evi Edna (not exactly sure of her name now) but this where the hit songs of our days. Today, it’s a different ball game as these videos are even scary for an adult like me especially when I remember Apostle Paul’s admonition to Timothy that he should FLEE (not smile or seat confidently) youthful lust.
I received the below message via blackberry messenger;
MTN project fame: N7.5m + SUV; Etisalat Nigerian Idol: N5m + multimillion Naira Contract; Glo Naija Sings: N5m + SUV; Gulder ultimate Search: N10m plus endorsements; COWBELL Mathematics competition: N100k; Spelling Bee: N50k; School scrabble: N25k…Coolfm spelling game: a goodie bag filled with amila drink…. And someone is asking why on earth WAEC results standard is on the decline??? Are you kidding me??? I probably would have dropped school to pursue my musical career if these opportunities where there in my own time.
The above message is so shamefully true. When you add this to the story that Access Bank paid Mariah Carey close to 200 million Naira to perform or the fact that Kim Kardashian was paid 80 million for a few hours performance. My people, who is fooling who?
Many people say Nigeria’s entertainment industry has grown tremendously and that those guys have done marvelously well creating jobs where there are none. So my question usually is but what have we lost? Ladies and gentlemen, we have lost far more than we think we have gained, our musical videos are so stinky and dirty, filled with lust, seduction, sex and money. Now what do you think this will do to the mindset of an average adolescent whose view of life is just beginning to take shape?
We lie! We can’t eat our cake and have it. Let’s make way for the Chinese and Indians because sooner than we expect they will become our scientists, engineers, architects, accountants, lawyers etc. while younger Nigerians will pursue careers in showbiz, entertainment or fashion. I hope this day does not come? Parents and guardians there is work to be done, so get ready to shield your kids from this madness.
I would close this post by stating that if maintain the status quo and do nothing then come next year we should expect more failure in WAEC and that should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts below!