This week, the results of the WASCE May/June 2014 Examinations were released. And has become the norm in recent years our students massively failed the examinations!
A total of 1, 692, 435 students sat the examinations nationwide; and of these, there were 929, 075 male and 763, 360 female students. Addressing the media, the Head of the National Office of WAEC, Mr. Charles Eguridu, explained that a total of 529, 425 candidates, representing 31. 28% obtained credits in five subjects and above including English Language and Mathematics; this indicated that 70% of the candidates failed.
Furthermore, 145, 795 results, representing 8. 61% of the total were withheld in connection with various types of examination malpractices.
The trend of failures in these examinations has continued to haunt us with their consistency. LEADERSHIP newspaper of Tuesday, August 12, 2014, showed that in 2010, we had 75. 06% failure; 44.66% in 2011; 61. 19% in 2012 and 2013 recorded a failure rate of 35. 74%.
Mr. Egeridu attributed the decline in the performance of the students to the parents who he said do not monitor their wards, leaving everything to teachers: “The parents put blames on teachers and government alone while they as parents fail in their own responsibility but rather work from morning till night. Also, the students don’t read anymore; rather they play with their phones”.
These points that he raised are very true. But it is equally true, that the nation’s ruling elite have not woken up to the danger that this trend of failures poses for the future of Nigeria. In many other countries around the world, the day these results are released is a very important day on the national calendar.
Segments of leadership
All the segments of leadership are on the lookout for the trends to see how those who will inherit the future of the country are faring in the examinations that will prepare them for tertiary levels of education and they then project for the future in the realm of work and national development.
There is a realization that mass failure reflects a serious national crisis, related to the quality of education; the training of the teachers and quality of instruction; the nature of the curriculum and the preparedness of the student population. These are also related to the overall patterns of national development and the priorities given to education to unlock the potentials of the children for the possibilities of national development.
Our leaders are too busy fighting over the sharing of the national cake; they have perfected plans to ensure that their own children get the best education in the most exclusive educational institutions, often run by foreigners, or are enrolled in such schools outside of the shores of our country.
So the mass failure which reflects the deterioration of the public school system, does not touch the consciousness of the leaders of the country. But let us make it very clear; no country can build its future on the basis of the excellent prospects available in exclusive and expensive private schools.
The future of the country is directly related to revolutionary improvements in the public schools system, where the entire country becomes the constituency to bring into a national loop the best that can be harvested amongst children from the remotest parts of the country.
We must arrest this rot that facilitates the mass failures in the nation’s school system. That is the only way to have a future as a country!.