Diary of a Teacher (DoT) with Titilope Ogundele

(DoT) Should Teachers ‘Help’ Students During Exams?

Some days ago, I overheard a discussion between a teacher and a pastor. The pastor asked the teacher about the ongoing WASSCE. In the course of their discussion, the teacher said something that really got me bothered.

He told the pastor that his colleague, whose course the WASSCE candidates wrote that day was at the exam hall with his students, then he noticed his students were having difficulty answering the questions, so he had to ‘help them out’. In simple terms, he told them the answers. The teacher led his students in examination malpractice and he saw it as a help!

My concern is, ‘How did we get to this point?’ Why should teachers encourage their students to engage in examination malpractice? Why teach them when you know you will eventually answer the questions for them in the exam hall?

As a teacher, I have taught in different schools and I have seen teachers perpetrating this evil at different levels. Meanwhile, don’t be quick to conclude that only lazy teachers engage in this evil; I have seen hard working and ‘committed’ teachers engage in malpractice.

Often times I hear teachers complain that students don’t read again, but if I may ask, ‘Why should they?’ Why should they read when they know answers will be provided for them in the exam hall? For those that read, their efforts become useless because those that didn’t read end up with better results at times.

We point accusing fingers at the government for the pathetic condition our education system is in today. But in all fairness, teachers played a significant role in the declined quality of education in Nigeria today. Maybe, who knows, we are the major culprit.

How can we salvage the situation? How can we sanitise the system?

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