The Leader of Opposition, Hon. Matthew Wale has expressed grave concern over the huge drop in the pass rate for students in the 2020 academic year, and cautions that drastic steps must be taken by the responsible ministry.
The concerns were based on the school results for 2020 released recently by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources.
Hon. Wale said, he is really concerned about the fall in the overall pass rates for all students, adding that while girls have registered a higher pass rate than the boys, which is an achievement that must be encouraged, the overall drop in pass rates must also be seriously noted.
“It is truly heartening and important for our nation building that there are indications that our girls are registering higher pass rates. However, the drop for boys and the overall pass rates are also indications that there will be a lot more of our young men leaving school early. This can be a problem if their training does not prepare them to face the real world.
“It will be easy to lay blame on the disruptions caused by Covid-19 on school programs for 2020 and the obvious lack of capacity to adopt alternative learning methods besides face to face teaching for the drops in the overall performance of our students. The danger in doing so however is, we overlook a major gap in the system which results in the release of ill equipped very young men and women into a world requiring a completely different skill set. With the current economic difficulties, this is a concern that must be seriously looked at,” says Hon. Wale.
The Opposition Leader therefore caution the government and the responsible ministry to start collaborating with SINU’s School of Education to review the pedagogical teaching approach generally taken in our education system.
Wale says this is a fundamental weakness in our education system for it only caters for the mere regurgitating of content from text books or teachers notes.
Hon. Wale goes on to say that he is concerned that exam performance from a content-driven pedagogy approach does not show what our students have actually learnt during the academic year.
“The implications of this for further training and entering the workforce are significant. Our future education system and teaching therefore should be focused on training our young to be able to critically think and find solutions to problems.
“Life in the 21st century and beyond demands that we encourage critical thinking skills and creative problem solving in our students. If we are to meet such demands, our teaching must change also. This is very important for the improvement of our economy, governance and society in general,” the Opposition Leader further adds.