Mass failure in Nigeria's National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations

Sunday, April 4, 2010

By Sun News Publishing

Monday, April 05, 2010

The mass failure of candidates recorded in the recently released results of the 2009 November/December Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) has further confirmed the rot in the nation’s education system. It has also demonstrated beyond all shades of doubt that the country’s academic standard is really falling irrespective of contrary opinion held in some quarters.

The appalling results show that 98 percent of the 234,682 candidates that took the examinations failed to clinch five credits, including English Language and Mathematics. Only 4,223 candidates or 1.80 percent were able to get five credits with English Language and Mathematics. Out of 245,157 candidates that registered, 234,682 wrote the examinations. No fewer than 12,197 candidates representing about 5.2 percent got five credits and above irrespective of subjects.

A total of 236,613 cases of malpractices were recorded in the examinations. Kogi, Bauchi and Ondo states led others in the list. While Kogi State topped. the Federal Capital Territory, Abia and Oyo states were ranked lowest in infractions.

NECO Registrar, Prof. Promise Okpala, who gave reasons for the poor performance, explained that the students were not morally and mentally sound for the examinations. He surmised that the colossal failure was due to the fact that the SSCE was meant for candidates, who were not attached to any particular school or state school management board for teaching, monitoring and supervision unlike school-based candidates.

Though, the failure rate is very alarming, the outcome is not altogether surprising. It epitomizes the failure in practically all spheres of our national life. There is need for serious soul-searching and shake up in the nation’s education system. We are not persuaded by Okpala’s argument that the mass failure was because the candidates were not school-based. There have been instances in this country where such candidates performed better than even those in the school system.

Pity enough, many Nigerian homes are not encouraging the reading culture that would translate to high performance in public examinations like NECO. Instead of inculcating in their wards the habit of studious learning, many parents unabashedly aid and abet examination malpractices so as to obtain the required credentials to enter universities or any other higher institution of learning.

Coupled with this is the failing quality of teaching and teachers in the system. As a result of poor remuneration, many teachers are no longer committed to the work of imparting knowledge to the young ones.

There is, indeed, chronic lack of discipline, hardwork, and love for education among Nigerian students. It seems everybody wants the short cut to success, hence the huge failure rates in the core subjects of English and Mathematics.

Failure in these essential subjects indicates lack of scholarly environment and rigours in academic pursuit. It appears that the anti-intellectual aura has enveloped our country, especially the education system. The sense of cultivated education is missing and people are no longer seeing education beyond entrenched cash value.

But things should not be allowed to further deteriorate in the education sector.

Government should as a matter of urgency play a decisive role in revitalizing the nation’s education system from kindergarten to the university.

No doubt, our education needs general overhaul and reorganization in a globalized world with competing needs. Government should give priority attention to programmes that would seriously address the rot. Investing heavily on education at all levels is the magic wand needed now to solve the problems of the decrepit sector.

Teachers should be encouraged through continuing education and other incentives that would assist them improve on their jobs. Their reward system should be reviewed to reflect the realities of the present time. Teachers should no longer wait for heaven before receiving their dues on earth. Parents and guardians should insist that their wards work hard and earn their certificates on merit rather than depending on external aid to do so. Let parents inculcate

1 Feedback:

Centennial College said...

I must admit that this article is simply wonderful! It is pointing out the drawbacks as well as providing suggestions for improvements that can reform the educational system. We surely need to act, in order to impart quality knowledge to our future generation.
Continuing Education

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