11 February 2013

Nigeria: Our Students Don't Know Enough So They Cheat - NECO Boss

Abuja — Prof. Promise Okpala, the Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO), has urged parents and teachers to build up students' confidence before examinations.

Okpala made the call during an interview in Abuja on Sunday. "People seek help in tasks they cannot perform. If you know the task, you won't seek or accept help.

"So, the bottom line is our students don't know enough to carry them through simple examinations and so they cheat.

"After spending six years in school, they are still not prepared for their final examinations. This is due to the lack confidence."

The NECO boss said parents were only concerned about what positions their children took and paid less attention to their performance.

"All they care about is that their children are in school; they are paying school fees and child is coming first.

"When many people gather for a contest, someone must come first. It does not matter if the scores are low.

"I think parents should concern themselves with the average performance instead of position."

On teachers, he said: "it is one thing to cover a syllabus and another to cover it very well and not many schools cover all the topics effectively."

Okpala said teachers were only concerned with covering the syllabus and in the process, rush students through it, not minding whether or not they understood what they were taught.

According to him, teachers set internal examinations based on the few topics they teach

"When external examinations are set covering the whole scheme of work, they find such questions strange and difficult.

"So, fundamentally, not much learning and teaching are going on in schools. It takes both parents and teachers to achieve this.

"Parents have a duty to ensure effective learning through supervision and discipline.

"Their contribution should go beyond material provision. Since a child knows that his parents would ask questions, they would sit up and not be jittery when exams are coming," the registrar said. (NAN)

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