The Oyo State Government has announced that public schools teachers will henceforth be promoted based on the external examination performance of students. This was contained in a statement issued by the State Commissioner of Information, Wasiu Olatunbosun, on Wednesday.
The new arrangement has been communicated by the Chairman, Oyo State Post-Primary Schools Teaching Service Commission, during a session of interaction between school stakeholders in Saki Zone Oke Ogun.
“The promotion of teachers will no more be business as usual as the Governor Seyi Makinde administration has concluded plans to award excellency, based on measures of efficient and productive input by teachers to make their students excel in external examinations.
“You can see that our government is a listening one, we are here today to have some feedback, tell us which area we need to improve as government and I can assure you that era of unpaid salary has gone forever as this administration will continue to make prompt payment of salary its priority.
“In the last promotion that we did where over 800 teachers got promoted, there was no report on the beneficiaries, everybody was just moved together at the same time, though we believe our teachers are noble, good and hard-working but we may have some bad eggs who are lazy and might have sailed through without been qualified and the hard-working ones will be feeling cheated.
“This is why we are contemplating that at the end of every year, there must be reports on our teachers’ conduct and activities; teachers that are sanctified to be good and efficient need not to wait for a general promotion, they will be promoted and honored as at when due,” he said.
This development has disrupted the promotion norm in public schools in Oyo State, and set a precedent that may stir such rules in public schools in other states, or even in higher institutions.
Examination failure by students in all schools in Nigeria has been attributed to students’ unseriousness with their studies. The teachers have always had little or no blame to bear whenever there is mass examination failure, which in real sense is an evidence of the measure of education given and the impact it has on the students.
In 2018, out of 11,307 candidates that sat for West African Senior School Examination (WASSCE) between January 29 and February 12, only 1,937 of them (17.13%) obtained a minimum of five credits and above including mathematics and English. The story did change in 2019 but by 8.5% only. The head of WAEC’s Nigerian National Office, Isaac Adenipekun said that only 3,102 candidates out of 11,892 obtained a minimum of five credits and above on subjects involving mathematics and English. That’s 26.08 % of success and over 70% failure in the minimum credits required from compulsory subjects.
A further look at the result showed that 8,782 candidates, representing 75.15% obtained credit and above in two subjects, 7,332 or 62.74 percent obtained credit and above in three subjects, while 5,850 or 50.06 percent got credit and above in four subjects.
The 17.13% success rate of 2018 and 26.8% of 2019 are more of an indication of a system failure than students’. The previous years were not better, and the teachers have always been exempted from blame.
In the higher institutions, the trend is the same. The number of students who excel in their studies are remarkably getting intimidated by number of those who fail. That has seen malpractice and sex-for-grade businesses rise significantly in the campuses. Lecturers would even threaten to fail students over little differences or refusal to oblige to sexual advances.
But in real sense, the mass failure should be a shame of the teachers instead of the students. In developed countries, teachers resign when their students massively fail their courses because it seen as indication of ineffectual teaching.
The approach adopted by Oyo State Government appears like a solution to the lingering lackluster attitude of many teachers in Nigeria toward their teaching profession. But it may also breed further corruption in public schools. In a bid to get promoted, the teachers may likely rely on exam malpractice to ensure that their students pass. And if not checked, there will be successes in results while the failure will lie in the capabilities that quality education should impact.