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Teachers To Combat Students’ Under-Performance - Federal Government
Federal Government and Teachers across the country are battling to remedy the situation before it gets out of control.
Minister of Education, Prof Ruqquyat Rufa’i at the 81st Foundaers’ Day organised by the Nigerian Union of Teachers in Abuja recently regretted the mass failure of Nigerian students in certificate examinations.
Certificate examinations include those conducted by the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, which also conducts the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE); the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, organisers of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) among others.
Rufa’i who though blamed the mass failure of students on the poor quality of Teachers among other reasons, was expressly sorry for the massive failure in certificate examinations.
She said: “Over the years, Nigeria has experienced mass failure in external examinations. The poor quality of educational outcome in recent years is attributable to the poor quality of teachers, among others.”
The Minister who centered her lamentations on the theme of the NUT event: The Challenge of Students’ Under-Performance in Secondary schools Certificate Examination- The Way Forward, said “the Federal Government in an attempt to address this problem is leaving no stone unturned at ensuring quality teacher education and development. This is expected to translate to higher Students’ achievement and overall educational growth”
The education minister confessed that the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of redress the situation. “To complement the efforts of government, l therefore urge all teachers, parents, guardians and other relevant stakeholders in the education sector to rise up and support the Government in all its endeavours to enable the country achieve its target of transforming the education sector.”
She added: “Teachers are agents of socialization and are channels of dissemination of knowledge, skills, values and attitudes. Their disposition influence positively or negatively on Students’ self-esteem which could create ambitions in their minds for future academic success.”
From left: Obong Ikpe Obong, Secretary-General, NUT; Prof. Ahmed-Rufai, Minister of Education and Comrade Michael Olukoya, National President, NUT.
But the NUT president, Comrade Michael Olukoya though concurred on the quality of Teachers churned out but identified Federal Government’s constant change of education policies and lack of qualitative books for the mass failure.
He said the Federal Government needed to better the lot of Teachers to get the best out of them by upgrading the retirement age of primary and post-primary Teachers to 70 years just as was done for professors in universities recently.
Olukoya said the primary and secondary education sub- sector is also losing some of their best Teachers to early retirement.
He appealed for the condition of service of Teachers to be nationalized as with other professionals to attract the best brains to the profession.
“The condition of service of primary school Teachers should be such that allows university graduates in the system to rise to the level of their counterparts in all other services,” he said.
The NUT president was pained by the failure of some states to implement 27.5 per cent enhanced pay such as Lagos, Delta, Enugu, Cross River, Abia, Katsina, Benue, Niger, Zamfara, Katsina, Ekiti, Kebbi and Kogi.
He said Teachers in those states would be forced to carry out strike action by Monday 23rd of July if the affected states failed to pay their Teachers before the deadline.
Olukoya who spoke the minds of the Teachers said: “Let me say this for the purpose of emphasis, we are going to issue a statement here today that we are giving states that are reneging on the area of 27.5 per cent enhanced pay for Teachers up to 23rd of this month, which is next week Monday to effect the 27.5 per cent enhanced pay for our members else Teachers will go on strike in those 14 states.”
The NUT president declared: “If by Monday, 23rd of this month, we still have any state that has not paid the money to our teachers, there will be strike in such state and there is no going back on that because it is an agreement that was reached in 2008 and the entire leadership of the union then agreed that it will take effect in 2009.
“So if by now, some states feel that the Governors’ Forum is not legal and if they are saying that because they have paid the minimum wage, they will not pay the 27.5 per cent enhanced pay for teachers, we will let them know that there is a difference between minimum wage and the enhanced pay.
“Whatever any state might have paid to teachers, the 27.5 per cent enhanced pay must be paid as an addition. That is the agreement. And they must be paid because we want to motivate the teachers, we want to guard against brain drain but some states are saying that Teachers should accept the minimum and forget about the 27.5 per cent enhanced pay.”
Olukoya noted: “It is a diplomatic way of dodging responsibility and we have been patient enough. I am saying this with authority because we have been given the mandate penultimate Thursday that if any state is still reneging on the pay, Teachers in such state should begin strike action until they are otherwise directed.”
Olukoya said that Government would have to address the issues that maim the zest of Teachers to put in their best in enhancing the performance of students at all levels.
The last three results released by the council had consecutively been bad news for most candidates, with less than 22 per cent of them obtaining credit in five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.
According to the WAEC in 2008, 23 per cent of the candidates passed; in 2009, 21 per cent passed and in 2010, 20 per cent passed, while many had their results seized due to their involvement in examination malpractice.
The mass failure is alarming, with no feasible solution except that the various stakeholders, including Government and the examination bodies trade blames to exonerate themselves from the failure.
In his argument, the Head of National Office, WAEC, Dr Iyi Uwadiae, noted that more candidates failed due to lack of quality teaching compared to what most adults got during their school days.
According to him: “The standard of examination is intact and it is regularly reviewed to meet up with the international benchmark and even better, but that the poor teaching and lack of interest of many candidates in education, have contributed immensely to the poor results.
He noted that most candidates, including their teachers, rarely read the syllabus, making the council’s effort futile. A random sampling of the opinion of Teachers and pupils on WAEC syllabus by Education Tribune showed that most of them did not use the syllabus as a guide.
According to him, mass failures occur in public examinations because most candidates have shallow knowledge of the subjects they study in school; there is disregard for rubrics, while incorrect interpretation of questions, poor command of the English Language, lack of Mathematical/Manipulative skills, poor knowledge of examination techniques and illegible handwriting are other factors.
Teachers To Combat Students’ Under-Performance - Federal Government
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