THE Delta State government has announced plans to hire the services of its university at Abraka, to monitor teaching in schools across the state as part of efforts to curb examination malpractices.
The Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Prof Patrick Muoboghare, disclosed this in an interview with the newsmen in Asaba. He said that negotiation with the university’s (Delta State University, Abraka) Faculty of Education had already begun, in that regard, adding that the services would be on consultancy basis.
Muoboghare lamented that teaching in public schools in the state was quite poor in spite of the high salary paid to the teachers and government’s insistence on good qualification before recruiting them.
He said the involvement of the university to monitor teaching was to shore up the quality in the system, pointing out that cheating in examination was “booming” because teachers were not doing their jobs effectively.
According to the commissioner, if teaching is right and the students are well prepared, they will not go to the examination hall to cheat.
Muoboghare regretted that private schools in the state “even with lower grade of teachers, in terms of qualification and experience and poor salary, compared to what government pays”, performed better in external examinations than public schools.
“The question is ‘what is wrong in the public school system’, and it is in our attempt to answer the question and find solution that we have decided to assess the quality of teaching.
“Checking teaching has become necessary due to our conviction that if the teachers show commitment and do their jobs well, the students will have confidence in themselves and face examination without seeking all kinds of assistance.
“The worst situation is that, rather than teach the students and ensure that they pass examinations, the teachers, and even principals, assist them to cheat and collect money for such shameful acts.”
Muoboghare said government would continue to collaborate with university and agencies to improve on the quality of education in the state, saying that much money was being spent in the sub-sector without commensurate returns. “We believe that these external bodies, especially the university, can help us. If professors get it wrong, then we are finished, ”he said.
The Commissioner announced that henceforth, any student admitted into any public school in SS III class would not enjoy government’s enrolment fees for external examination.
He said that such students had been discovered to be those who ran away from their former schools where there was serious check, to look for another school where they could cheat in examinations. Muoboghare said that due to the “dubious” acts of some school Heads who admit unknown students into final year classes, “our ministry will now begin to collaborate with WAEC and NECO to screen candidates’ list presented by schools for external examinations”.
He also said that learners in the state’s Adult Literacy programme, qualified to sit for WAEC or NECO examination, should do so as external candidates in Nov/Dec series.