Lagos—Some university lecturers have described the reported mass failure of school leavers in public examinations as “grossly exaggerated”.
The dons said that the examinations bodies used faulty criteria in determining the pass rate.
West African Examinations Council, WAEC, and the National Examinations Commission, NECO, have consistently announced a failure rate of over 70 per cent in final examinations conducted in schools.
The scholars said: “How can you determine pass rate based on the number of candidates who made credits in five subjects, including English and Mathematics?
“This is faulty as it would definitely exclude those who did well in other subjects apart from these core subjects.”
“Although English and Mathematics are very important, it is unfair to say somebody who made eight credits without English and Mathematics has failed,“ said Dr. Abdul Raoof, a lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, National Open University.
The lecturer also accused examination bodies of blowing up numbers in order to create the impression that the ‘bad results‘ were reflective of falling standard of education.
He noted that although the results of the various examinations had not been impressive, they did not translate to falling standard of education.
“I do not agree that the standard of education is falling because there is a difference between standard and quality.
“In fact the standard of education is going up because knowledge and expectations from learners are expanding.
“What has nosedived considerably is the quality of instructions coupled with the near absence of the requisite education infrastructure.
“That contributes greatly to unimpressive performance of students,’’ he said.
Another lecturer, Dr Francis Falako of the Department of Educational Foundation, University of Lagos, said examination bodies should evolve a standard way of determining pass and failure rate in public examinations.
He said this would ensure that performance in external examinations were correctly interpreted as against the trend of creating “unjustifiable” panic about failure rate.
While admitting that students‘ performance had been unimpressive lately, the don said the problem was beyond the students, pointing out that it was symptomatic of the crisis in the education sector.
He urged government and stakeholders to work together to address the problems in the sector for improved performance.(NAN)