Saving Education in Nigeria: Now is the Time|By Itodo Samuel Anthony

I hear Federal University of Technology, Minna rusticated scores of students who didn’t get above a certain cutoff GPA (1.5) after year one. Students who had great UTME scores and distinctions in SSCE but fell flat at the first hurdle of university life. A total of over 700 students were rusticated across board, most for poor academic performance and the school has cancelled the ‘pass degree’.

The evils of malpractice catching up with them quite early already. I think that decision by FUT Minna is a wonderful initiative that schools across the country should emulate. There are students who drift through school, knowing nothing but riding on the strong wings of examination malpractice to get fantastic results and eventually gaining admission ahead of more qualified students with modest results obtained through sheer hard work. And this is one of the reasons I think the new admission policy is silly. Post UTME may have its failings but it was a tool to weed out students with fantastic examination malpractice propelled UTME and SSCE results.

This new method for admission will only increase the desperation of students and fuel more malpractice as it isn’t enough anymore to get 5 credits for admission – – students will be needing 8 distinctions now. Hello malpractice. Those FUT Minna students are clearly mostly the fruits of the pervading culture of brutal examination malpractice at secondary school level in the country. Students who cannot copy notes from dictation are having 8 distinctions and gaining admissions ahead of decent students. My dad is trying to borrow a leaf from FUT Minna. Yesterday he got the names of students who failed woefully from each class and published it on the noticeboards, “advising them to withdraw”. Nice! For a long time I have been advocating this but certain people were more interested in the financial losses the school might accrue. You cannot be keeping students who are not ready to learn because you want to save 4k tuition fees.

To attain a standard, sacrifices have to be made. Cut the dead weight. Let anyone coming to our school know that if they don’t work hard they won’t stay. Again, well done FUT Minna. Nemesis doesn’t have to wait till people start calling themselves “corpse members”. Tertiary education is not for everybody, let deserving students get into schools. And I imagine the students in our school who narrowly escaped the drop would have to take schooling more seriously next term if they hope to remain here.

 

 

17918544_731647293680416_342780664_n   Itodo Samuel Anthony is a Chemistry/Physics teacher in a secondary school in Otukpa, Benue State, Nigeria where he expresses his passion for teaching and seeks to raise a generation of young people with values desirable for a better country. When he is not teaching, his interests cut across agriculture, community service and genuine leadership.

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