Education is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction especially at a school or university. Education in my country Nigeria is valued and highly cherished mainly because of the end product which is securing a job and having good earnings.
If I had the opportunity to change one thing to improve the standard of education in Nigeria my country, I would like to change the motives and orientation of most Nigerians as regards education. Most Nigerians’ aim of pursuing education is to get a certificate at all cost no matter how. This motive has endangered the quality of graduates produced in the country.
I would like to change the orientation and motives of most Nigerians and make them understand that the beauty of education is to understand fully what one is being taught in school and to be able to put it into practical use when need arises for it. The certificate should be viewed as added advantage to secure employment to put into practice what one is taught in school. It is important to change people’s orientation on having certificate at all cost because this motive has lead to much misconduct and violation of certain laws which has lead to the production of half baked graduates who become inefficient and unable to handle the job that they obtained.
Let us take a look at some of the misconduct that this motive of having certificate at all cost has lead to, and how they violate the laws of the country. One common examination malpractice people engage in today is impersonation, a process whereby an examination candidate will pay someone else to sit the examination because the person has better knowledge of the subject. This has made examination lose its value all for the sake of getting a certificate. Impersonation has accounted for more than 35% of examination malpractice in my country. Other forms of exam malpractices are giraffing, life wire, dubbing, contract, tattoo, computo, missile catch, swapping, lateral connection and so on and so forth. Definitely when students opt for any of these examination malpractices, they reduce the worth of the examination in knowing that students are capable and have a good understanding of the subject, and in effect this reduces the quality of education. And when such students escape being caught, and earn the certificate they have been craving for, they then go and search for a job. Most of this set of students becomes a problem for the company they are working for because they are inefficient and the certificate they have is not earned through their hard work. And this in turn has a negative effect on the development of the country.
Another motive of students I would like to correct is cramming to pass an examination. Cramming according to Collins English Dictionary is “to study or cause to study (facts, etc), especially for an examination, by hastily memorizing.” Cramming is not a good way to study because students stuff in too much information in a short period of time without really processing it. Cramming most times is a result of poor time management and it teaches students the wrong outlook on studying. Such students viewed study as something to be rushed, but in reality, it is something to be savored. Luckily some students who cram actually pass their exams because they simply memorize things they think will be asked in the examination without having proper understanding of the subject. It has been scientifically proven that cramming has a short-term memory storage which means that after a few weeks or just days the information is already forgotten. So this makes education a waste, because it will be difficult for a student that has forgotten what he crammed to handle a job in which he had to put what he was taught in practical use. Imagine how disastrous it would be for a medical practitioner to cram stuff all through his stay in the university and to be employed as part of a surgical team! Surely people’s lives will be at risk.
So, I implore government and well-meaning individuals in the country to organize seminars, training or programs that will bring to light the purpose of education. Nigerians should also try to have a change of orientation and the motive behind having certificate at all cost especially through the aforementioned methods so that the country can look forward to producing intelligent, responsible and well-equipped graduates who will be able to carry the country to greater heights. I have personally done my best in contributing to changing the motives of people as regards education by enlightening my colleagues and younger ones on why knowing what one is taught in school is very important, and not to be viewed as necessary for exam alone. This is what I would change to improve education in my country.