By DAYO ADESULU & Amaka Abayomi
Bothered by the yearly failures of our secondary school students in their Senior School Certificate Examinations, SSCE, the West African Examinations Council, WAEC, has swung into action to tackle the downward trends by organising national trainings for secondary school teachers, beginning with Lagos State.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a three-day teachers’ training, Head of National Office (HNO), WAEC Nigeria, Mr. Charles Eguridu, said the training has become imperative so as to monitor and evaluate teaching and learning outcomes by managing performance indicators, develop and write test items of comparable standard with those of external/international examination bodies and to inculcate in the students, the confidence and right approaches in tackling examination questions.
“We are very worried about the drop in students’ performance in public examinations and from our analysis, we discovered that there is a general decline in the quality of teaching and learning, and even those assigned with the responsibility of teaching are not properly equipped to do so”, Eguridu said.
Continuing, he said: “This is because if teachers don’t have the competencies to teach the students, there is no way students can perform well.
“The Council believes that a better informed and equipped teaching force would greatly improve the quality of teaching and learning which will have positive impact on the educational development of Nigeria.”
On what necessitated the training programme, the HNO said that WAEC management and the Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, were worried by the declining performance of students due to low qualities of teachers, and so they put heads together to tackle the problem.
“We thought of what to do to move Nigerian education forward and save the future. We asked ourselves, why are students not performing? We concluded that one way to address this problem is to address it from the root which is training the teachers that teach the students.”
The general decline in the quality of teaching and learning in schools can be attributed to the fact that most of the teachers are not well equipped for the job, especially as teachers are supposed to be change agents, tackling failures in our secondary students.”
Commending WAEC for organising the training programme, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, said career development is important as it puts emphasis on broader skills which are applicable in a wide range of situations such as decision-making, creative thinking and managing people.
“To this end, the importance of this training can’t be over-emphasized because well trained teachers will no doubt, help in the education and development of future leaders that would be academically sound, financially literate, committed to service and be role models with enterprising spirits needed for a sustainable and competitive national economy.
“I am particularly happy that the training is holding at a time when all hands are on deck to ensure that the results of our students at both internal and external examinations are impressive. We are charging teachers in the state to redouble their efforts with a view to improving the performance of their students in WAEC exams and also justify government’s huge investment in the education sector, especially in the training and re-training of teachers and provision of facilities.”
In the same vein, Lagos State House of Assembly Chairman, House Committee on Education and Technology, Mr. Wahab Alawiye-King, appreciated the efforts of the leadership of WAEC for partnering with the state government to sharpen the skills of its teachers.
Alawiye-King urged the teachers in the state to reciprocate the huge resources invested in human capital development by impacting positively on the students in their care so as to make them compete favourably with their peers around the world. The training programme will feature topics like Curriculum Implementation, Relevance of Chief Examiner’s Report, Standardization of Assessment, Teachers’ Self Development and Item Writing Procedure among others, in addition to practical sessions.