An education consultant in Nigeria, Afolabi Imokhuede, has attributed the decline in the performance of students that sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in the last three years to societal failure.
In the results released few days ago by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), approximately 1.7 million students took the exams while 529,425 passed with at least five credits, including Mathematics and English language.
A total of 145,795 results were withheld, with the performance percentage declining from 38.81 per cent in 2012 to 36.57 per cent in 2013 and 31.28 per cent in 2014.
The latest decline is coming in the same year a summit was held on education to address the issues and challenges in the sector, but Mr Imokhuede stressed that the result of the summit was not expected to have started yielding results few months after the summit.
He pointed out that the decline in the past three years should be a wake-up call for the government, stressing the need for the resolutions of the summit to be implemented.
“We cannot afford to sweep the summit resolutions under the carpet,” he said.
Mr Imokhuede, however, stated that there were some recorded improvements in the performance between 2000 and 2010, but that the stakeholders in the education sector had allowed the improvement to fizzle out.
“It is a societal failure in my opinion. And when I say societal failure, I mean the parents the teachers the government, politics and the students who are also involved. It is a combination of all of these things that is resulting in what we see now.
“We have not done a lot as a society, in front of the younger ones to propel them to want to study. You will see situations where people think they can make money without going to school. They think they can make money from music and Nollywood . We have had societal decline in the value of education and that needs to come up and that is why I blame a lot of the parents.
“Parents have got to make out time to teach their children.
“This younger generation is yearning for a different kind of learning, because on the backdrop of the decline we are still seeing a lot of innovations and these are coming even from the younger generation,” he said.
The consultant also said that the Research and Development agencies had to carry out more researches to “identify the kind of learning process teenagers want”.
“This is the time we should get it right the most and it has to involve all the stakeholders. Our curricular are obsolete and they should be looked into. The textbook and how it is used should also be looked into,” he said.
Other issues he called on the government to address were the recruitment of teachers, improvement of the facilities in teachers’ training schools, remuneration of the teachers and the need to get the foundation – primary and secondary education – right.