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A call for sympathy for our education sector

Following Jamb’s announcement of this year’s cut-off marks for public universities, some people have taken it to the media to poke fun at the board…

Following Jamb’s announcement of this year’s cut-off marks for public universities, some people have taken it to the media to poke fun at the board as well disparage the entire country for the continued decay in its education sector.

I am sure what informed the idea of reducing the cut-off marks to the minimum of 140, is the terrible performance of the students. Even though this reduction calls for sympathy for the nation, those people have gotten it wrong by deriding the board and gloating over the students’ poor performance. 

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We cannot get it right when we only decide to laugh off the dysfunctional system. We are experiencing an embarrassing failure in our education sector, which will take us a long time to recover. Some believe that students nowadays don’t read hard. And that they usually “cheat” their way into tertiary institutions. This could be true to certain ends. While I agree with that, I also agree that the teachers are quite blameworthy too. 

It would be a grave injustice to attribute the failures of the students to their teachers. But there is a point we all must consider before leaping into conclude that the blame lies with the students alone. Like I have said earlier, students tend to do worse than what their parents and teachers expect today, thanks to the advent of TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook reel among other misleading Apps. Yet the parents and teachers are partly the causes of such poor performances. The reason is some teachers don’t deserve to teach because they are either not properly trained or unfit for the teaching profession.

Many of them lack teaching methods. While some of them just got themselves into the profession accidentally. Whenever you hear of accidental teachers, we have a number of them in our public and private schools. They don’t teach because they want to transform the students, but because of the chicken feed they usually take home as salaries.

Looking at the precarious state of our public varsities, plus the long but unresolved struggle with ASUU, you will get to understand that this government is doing next to nothing to refine our rotten education sector. We should, instead of making noise or taunting the students for their low performances, grieve, assist in our little ways, and hope for the best.

Usama Abdullahi writes from Abuja.