No report card culture: How govt is killing education in Oyo
I was overwhelmed with amazement when recently l learned that students in Oyo state public secondary schools are yet to collect report cards highlighting their academic performance since the beginning of the ongoing academic session which is midway into third term. First term, second term no public school in the state has received report card. That’s too bad.
As adults we are quite aware of the significance of report card in education. It is a window to the performance of a student academically, morally and regularity-in-school. Through it, parents and guardians get to know the academic ability of their children/wards, and are informed on subjects they need to buckle up on. It’s a stimulus to better performance, whips students in line and is a means to instil fear in them. The end of third term particularly was always a period of fright for students over what fate would befall them – promotion or to repeat a class. Gone are the days when scores below pass mark were recorded in red ink, all that is abolished now, in the jaundiced spirit students whose report cards reek of redness would become demoralized and be dissuaded from education. Even an illiterate parent knows his ward’s performance merely seeing the colour of the inside of the report card and the ward too felt embarrassed by such. “Baba mo pass, iya mo pass eran lo je kaadi mi” song was popular then.
That students are yet to be given report cards this session for first and second terms (which are not even supplied to schools yet according to my findings) speaks of our attitude to education as a state. It cannot be justified. So, how do we inculcate the attitude of seriousness and diligence to academic into students when the only measure of their progress is held with disdain, ignored nonchalantly? Why the gragra over malpractices during external exams when the students had not been properly groomed to appreciate examinations by not previously seeing the results of their periodic assessments?
Suddenly, when the students (not used to studying because they didn’t see the results of internal exams they sat for and had come to believe exams were mere distractions) face these external exams the urge to pass overrides their sense of decency, and desperately, seek means to beat the system incorporating unscrupulous teachers. Then, schools are implicated, authorities are blamed and supervisors are made scapegoats for an institutional failure.
In Oyo state as l learned government is responsible for supply of report cards to schools. In the past, students paid for them and schools authorities bought from suppliers in open markets. But later, government intruded into it, and began its supply (perhaps to reward certain politicians with contracts) and students were required to pay for the product and schools paid to and collected from the ministry of education in Ibadan. Presently, with the introduction of free education in the state, government supplies free to students, the result is what we are witnessing – no report card for three terms! This cannot be defended. Even if they are distributed to schools today, the damage has been done. Students have been conveyed with the impression that assessment is not significant; teachers will not be able to do a thorough job, as they rush to fill in scores for first, second and third terms with all the calculations in one fell swoop making them prone to errors and evolvement of measures to also circumvent the normal process.
“In schools,” a teacher in a public school who however did not want his name mentioned for obvious reasons, told me that “cards might not be issued to students till the next session and when students are now told they are repeating they resort to violence and the school authorities get slammed with sanctions, blamed harshly for what they didn’t provoke.”
However, I am not sure if the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, is aware of this infraction but the buck stops on his table. Therefore this anomaly should be investigated and remedied to ensure the culture of nonchalance with report card is not entrenched and standard of education compromised.