Stakeholders in the education sector received the news of the release of the 2016 November/December West African Senior School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, with mixed reactions. Some respondents commended the improved performance of the students in the result released by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, in Lagos on Friday compared to the 2014 and 2015 editions. Other stakeholders, however, harped on the need for a significant improvement that would impact on the quality of education generally in the country.
Olu Adenipekun, Head of the National Office of WAEC, who announced the release of the release of the results, said that there was an improvement compared to candidates’ performance in the same examination in the 2014 and 2015 diets. Similarly, Elizabeth Obande, a secondary school teacher, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday praised the performance of the students. Ms. Obande stated that the performance showed an improvement and congratulated students who passed with credits in five subjects including English and Mathematics. According to her, the seven per cent that engaged in malpractice is insignificant compared to the positive result recorded.
“The percentage of students whose results were seized due to examination malpractice is insignificant compared to those who passed. “Comparing this year’s result to that of 2014 and 2015 as announced by WAEC, 2016 result was better and that indicates that there is progress in the education sector. “I want to encourage teachers not to relent in their efforts because the result shows the knowledge they have imparted in the students. “The students also should ensure they work hard by reading, their books and avoid being distracted by the social media; with this the country can record better results in the future.’’ She said that the recent quality assurance training carried out in schools emphasised on the importance of quality students and not just teachers. She noted that the performance was evidence of such training.
Meanwhile, Samuel Ogbe, a parent, noted that though the performance was better than the two previous years, there was the need for improvement.
He said that the government should invest more in the education sector to enable the country to attain up to 80 per cent excellent results in external examinations. Mr. Ogbe suggested that students’ workload should be reduced and that obtaining credit in Mathematics and English should not be compulsory criteria for admission into university. According to him, students should focus on their area of specialisation instead of writing subjects not relevant to their courses. He cited the example of art students writing Mathematics and Science students writing English in external examinations.
For James Ogwu, a post-graduate student, the result was not encouraging. He said that only 39 per cent passing with credit in Mathematics and English was not good for a country like Nigeria. He, however, noted that the performance was not unexpected since most people who wrote the examination had been out of school for a while. According to him, being out of school can affect their performance as the Internet and social media have made students deviate from the tradition of reading their books. “Most of them can spend hours on the phone browsing Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and even playing games on the Net and spend little hours on their books even when they have exams ahead of them.
“The drive for technology has overtaken the need to read by students and it is not healthy for the education system. “Government and stakeholders in the sector should find a way to marry technology and education for a better Nigeria,” Mr. Ogbe said. (NAN)