Edo State students have recorded another mass failure in the November/December 2010 NECO examination, results from the National Examinations Council (NECO) has shown.
Out of the 25 subjects taken by students from the state, none of the participating students had up to 50 per cent pass mark in the examination set for graduating secondary school students.
This has raised concern among relevant parties, with teachers and parents trading blames as to who is responsible for the poor academic performances of students in the state.
Those who spoke to NEXT on the development attributed the cause of the mass failure to many factors, including lack of qualified teachers, particularly in private schools, and the premium they place on money. Others include lack of reading culture among the students, and loss of societal values. Owners of private schools were also indicted in the mass failure of students, as many of them have turned their schools to ‘miracle centres’, where students easily indulge in examination malpractices after paying high fees to the school owners.
Solomon Osarenren, who teaches Mathematics in a private school in Benin City, blames lack of seriousness on the part of the students, lazy approach to study, and lack of infrastructure in the schools, as some of the factors responsible for the decline in the performance of the students.
“So long as students attach more importance to mundane things and spend more time surfing the Internet and watching movies, it will be difficult for them to excel in their studies. After all, students of those days performed even better than students of today, even without those infrastructures that are in schools of today,” Mr Osarenren said.
An educationist, Roland Asoro, who decried the rate of mass failure in examinations in the state in particular and the country at large, advised the government to take proactive steps to address the trend. He called for regular training and re-training of teachers, as well as the provision of learning aids in the schools.
Mr Asoro also admonished parents and guardians to supervise and regulate activities of their children at home, with a view to making them more responsible and serious.
Some parents, however, said that the bulk of the blame should not be attributed to them alone. They argue that teachers are also responsible for the poor performance of students in external examinations.
A parent, Osarobo Asemota, whose child attends one of the private schools in Benin City, argued that teachers can only give what they have academically.
According to her, many of the teachers, especially in some private schools, lack the minimum qualifications required. She also called for consistency in the educational policies of government.
“We want all concerned to urgently address this ugly development. If things continue the way they are, ten years from now, the country may inherit half baked workforce,” Ms Asemota said.
When contacted on phone, special assistant on education to Governor Oshiomhole, Alli Sule, said: “We are still studying the result at the ministry level. We shall come out with our position later.”