Ahead 2023 WASSCE, need to sustain Anambra’s impressive record in education
ANY clime desirous of rapid development must prize her education sector highly. Perhaps, the ladder to societal growth finds strong balance in the saying that “education is the bedrock of all developments.”
Nigeria has been on the course of national growth since independence in October 1960 and current development level tells the functionality of her education program.
AS 2023 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination(WASSCE) sets to take off, issues jostle for a vantage place on discussion table.
SOME pundits have asked and continued to ask: “How prepared are Nigerian students for the exams every year? How well had the educational system prepared the students not only for them to pass their subjects in the examinations but to fit into standards required of their qualifications as school leavers in the larger society?
ARGUABLY, good academic foundation helps pupils transit seamlessly from one level to another level in the educational ladder and every basic education provides solid platform for transition into higher institutions level without much hassles. In fact, designers of current academic curriculum looked towards pupil’s acquisition of necessary skills to help them (pupils) live independently in the plural society, where readymade jobs are becoming nonexistent.
MANY Nigerians celebrated the world over today are products of Nigeria’s school system. Nobel Laureate, Wole Shoyinka cuts a global figure today not on basis of foreign degrees he acquired but by the intellectual excellence he acquired from Nigeria’s education system before advancing abroad to further polish his faculties.
ANAMBRA State boasts of many of such big names of great achievers in education that time hallows. The father of modern African literature, Chinua Achebe, is from the state, Ogidi precisely and had his basic education in Igboland before proceeding to Ibadan, for his university education. Achebe’s famed novel, ‘Things Fall Apart’ was entirely a product of the local education system, though under the British authority at the time. For all the academic heights Achebe acquired in life, credit must be given to Church Missionary Schools (CMS) and Government College, Umuahia, for preparing him worthy to ascend to the zenith through humble steps in the ladder. Chimamanda Adichie is another prolific writer of Anambra nativity. She had her basic education at the university town of Nsukka, and studied Pharmacy and Medicine at the University of Nigeria Nsukka before proceeding to America for the rest of her academic pursuit. Arguably, Chimamanda would not have broken into stardom if the local schools did not shape her for future greatness. Chimamanda represents modern Nigeria’s education product and the system that produced her is still in place for others to explore.
ANAMBRA has consistently demonstrated her prowess in the education sector – amassing feats in various academic meets both locally and internationally over the years. It is on record that the state won the 2016 assessment of schools by the Federal Ministry of Education in both senior and junior secondary schools categories and capped the feat with another first position in primary school cadre.
IN JULY 2022, 10-year-old Ifunanya Nwanegbo, a pupil of Mabel Divine International School, Nnewi, became the best young mathematician in Nigeria by winning a prestigious national mathematics competition, defeating over 200,000 pupils from schools across the federation to win the competition.
ANAMBRA teachers have won different national awards, including the Presidential Teachers Award. In 2019 World Teachers Day organised by the Federal Ministry of Education in Abuja, Anambra teachers won four out of available 24 prizes.
THAT Anambra pupils won the overall best in 2014 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), came second best in 2015 edition of the exam with 61.18 per cent and third in 2022 with 92.2 per cent is no longer news. In 2015, pupils from an Anambra secondary school won Bronze medal in World Mock Debate in Singapore. In 2018, the state won Gold Medal in Technovation Championship in San Francisco, United States. In 2019, she won Bronze Medal in International Festival of Engineering, Science and Technology (IFEST) in Tunisia, among many other feats achieved in the past decade. These all attest to the strong platform the state’s her education is built upon.
SURPRISINGLY, recent events show that a few bad eggs have emerged and are out to rock the boat of the state’s many educational successes but the authorities in the sector have risen swiftly to tackle the compromising tenets that unsuccessfully rose against the policies and practices the achievement of the feats. The state’s Ministry of Education’s study have revealed that despite the brilliant performances in the best schools, there are some schools that fall short of expectations in their responsibility of imparting sound knowledge on the pupils. Given that despite the widely known success of the state in the sector, she still craves higher grounds and the standards the ministry pushes to get to the root of the matter and weed the bad elements in the system that impede government’s efforts at improving on set standards by undermining quality teaching of pupils and involving in exam malpractice . The goal was to ensure that pupils that make good grades totally reflect their true ability. Schools found complicit were punished. Teachers in the act were shamed. It is on record that some school principals in the state who were adjudged complicit in exam malpractices in 2022 WAEC exams were sanctioned .
ANAMBRA STATE Commissioner for Education, Ngozi Chuma-Ude, while sensitizing pupils recently on the state’s expectations from them after investing heavily on the sector, informed that Anambra products remain preferred brand amongst her contemporaries across the world. The professor and renowned writer threatened to deal decisively with any school authority compromising government’s efforts by encouraging misconducts. The questions that beg for answer are : “How much do these corrupt elements in the system care about building the society, and are they aware of the damage they do to the future of the society when they aide examination malpractices? Where is their pride if their products (graduates) continue to fail in the larger society and competitive arenas?
NATIONAL Light believes that there are potential Achebes, Chimamandas, Chike Obis, Kenneth Dikes, Philip Emeagwalis, among others in notable academic and non-academic walks of life in the current generation but what they need is competent hands to help them hit their potentials.
IT IS equally our belief that given the support of government and exposure to information and communication technology (ICT) at the people’s disposal, pupils’ knowledge and potential had been widened further to beat the past generations if only the new generation can be guided aright.
THE onus is on teachers, parents and guardians to bring out the best in character and learning from these young minds. Those entrusted with the light must not cast darkness. Therefore, the activities of a few moles shall not be allowed to obfuscate the ‘Light’ associated with Anambra.