By: Niyi Adeyemo
The Minister of Education, Dr. Ibrahim Shekarau announced on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) network news on Friday 15th May, 2015 that, at last, the long sought for review for the curriculum of trained teachers, especially at the level of the Nigeria Certificate of Education (NCE), have finally been achieved. This is gladdening to say the least. We at the education sector knows the damage that low quality teaching and learning is doing to the country’s development. Where a teacher who trains children at school misinforms the children concerning grammar and spelling of name, the damage done can affect the generations of Nigerian unborn (Governor Oshiomole, 2014).
According to a legal maxim: nobody can give what he/she doesn’t have. How did illiterates found their way into the school classroom? Maybe with fake result, relation to the officer in charge of employing teachers or just a compensation to the cronies of the political party in power (Mohammed. L. 2013). Mohammed narrated how some teachers go to school only on pay days. On the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria FM 96.1 programme “saying it as it is” on 20th April, 2013 at 17.35 hours. JAMB – UTME CBT and Prometrics are two excellent reforms to safeguard illiterates being admitted into the Tertiary institutions, how is it possible for someone who cannot operate the computer pass the standard UTME examination through CBT? This is the big question. Can we say impersonation does the magic?
Year-in-year-out WAEC and NECO final examinations are being passed by illiterates, when will someone ask questions as to how this is possible? Will somebody ask question today on how illiterates with primary six certificates pass NCE final examinations? Or better still how can teachers who intend to teach children cheat in his/her final examination without being caught? Is it a case of collaboration?
Who will help us in Nigeria to tame this huge monster called ‘malpractices’ in examinations at the Educational Sector? According to experts on the field of education – if a Doctor makes a mistake, it is to one person, if an Architect/Engineer makes a mistake, it is to damage few bridges/houses, but if a teacher makes a mistake, it is to damage the life of millions of people present and unborn. Curriculum review is long awaited at the education sector, but Dr. Okojie (NUC boss) has just admonished the Private University and Polytechnic proprietors not to deviate from approved curriculum. How will the authority ensure this? In this age of scrambling and partitioning of Nigeria for what can be made through education, who will police the sector to stop cutting – corners? Hear Chief Ike Onyechere of Exam Ethics speaks to Alhaji Buhari in the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday, May 26, 2015; Page 27. “Start the anti-corruption war in the education sector”. According to Chief Onyechere. “too many schools have become breeding grounds for potential fraudsters, exam malpractice and where the processes of admissions, training, examination, certification, registration and regulation are hopelessly compromised”. Therefore, the writer of this paper is in agreement with Exam Ethics and the collaborating organisations to implore the government under the leadership of our amiable friend of the talakawas Alhaji Buhari to lay the foundation for a full-scale war against malpractices at the Education sector. We know you have the pedigree to do it. It has been said that “corruption in the sector points to clear, present and urgent need to first rebuild the moral and ethical infrastructure of education”. If Nigeria had caught its citizens young out of corrupt malpractices, maybe there will be no need for EFCC & ICPC operations by now.
Adeyemo College, Kaduna.