On the day of the release of our WAEC results, I checked my results and saw that I cleared all my papers. I immediately called my friend and former schoolmate, and she told me that she managed only two credits. It was a mixed feeling of joy and sadness because I wanted her to pass the exams. Her NECO result wasn’t any much better, so she had to enroll in a private secondary school for the next WAEC examination.
The following year, she came out with “flying colours”; with much better grades than I did. As you would guess, her parents paid twenty thousand naira for exam cheats…. so she didn’t have to study and work for success.
My friend got admitted into a private University the following year, she graduated with a 2:1.
My friend never fails to represent the route she took to achieving her educational qualifications whenever I speak and chat with her. I see in her a victim of a failed society, a product of a failed system of education. Unfortunately, that’s what I see in many educated people of my generation.
Too often, some of us complain and lament about the ratings of some educated people. It still beats my imagination to see graduates who not only cannot construct a simple sentence rid of grammatical errors, but also find it difficult to do some deep critical thinking in almost everything and every topic, or even process some already written or spoken ones. It isn’t overly optimistic to expect that a graduate has acquired a minimum standard level of quantitative and verbal aptitude, and a certain level of critical thinking skills along the educational ladder to achieving a degree or Higher Diploma.
Although the Nigerian educational system is almost at its lowest; the system would still have been capable of producing a certain quality of class graduates if only it were malpractice free. There are many things wrong with the Nigerian educational system, but examination malpractice is the worst disaster that has happened to education in Nigeria.
The thing about a bad system of education is that the host of such a system reaps the dividends almost instantaneously. The thing about examination malpractice is that the disastrous effect keeps building till it gets to an irreparable yield point, at which stage the damage becomes irreversible.
While I was growing up, I heard so many stories about “special centres”. Centres where students wrote exams with a contractual right to cheat. At the worst stage of this rot, people are even issued A and B grades, and certificates for exams they didn’t do as little as appear in the exam halls for.
And yet we still wonder why we have majority clueless graduates being dished out from our universities…?
My NYSC bunk mate couldn’t write a one paragraph application stating why she needed to exit the camp for two days, even after I gave her a quick verbal draft. She just couldn’t because she didn’t know how to do it. A lady who desperately wanted to influence her posting because she didn’t want to be posted to a secondary school to teach Business studies, even though she was a graduate of B.Edu Business Management. I wept in my heart for my dear country.
Whenever I take the time to think about what goes on in most primary and secondary schools in Nigeria most especially, but even up to tertiary institutions; all I feel is fear. I fear for what will become of Nigeria when my generation assume the helm of affairs. Who amongst these quacks will be able to perform? Are the one eyed amidst the blind enough to effect the much needed change and impact?
We need to trace our steps and go back to where is all began, we need to start solving this problem from the very grassroots. The shit we are piling up today will come back to hunt us in the future. Those graduates are the Doctors, nurses, Engineers, Pharmacists, teachers, politicians, just to mention a few professionals who will be handling the system in the very near future, if not already.
Without mincing words, any country that jokes with her educational system is simply heading for a circle of doom. Nigeria is currently basking in a circle of doom. We already know we have problems, we need to start thinking solutions.
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