By Happiness Ifiok
The Governor of Cross River state, Mr. Ben Ayade on Thursday donated over 500,000 uniforms sewn at the state garment factory to public schools in the state, disclosed that a ternary factory would soon be set up to produce Cortina shoes for pupils and students.
The governor who made the presentation during the formal opening ceremony of the 56th annual meeting, of the Nigerian National Committee of West African Examination Council held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital added that 10 percent of the uniforms will go to private schools in the state, “500, 000 uniforms from the Cross River State Garment Factory donated to pupils in Cross River State public schools even though I’ve asked that 10 percent should go to private schools. For the public schools, we intend to gear them up, clothe them properly. The ternary factory is coming, where the Cortina shoes for pupils will also be manufactured. So we are focusing on the young people”.
The state governor who took pains to explain the anatomy of a human brain, and better ways the examination body can ensure that learning is made easy for the betterment of the students and the African continent, urged WAEC to focus more on the practical aspect of teaching, “You are the real consultants, the real architect, the real engineers that build the future. Because you train the young people who become those doctors and those engineers, the first thing is you must be an absolute quality of reference to be able to impact reference and quality on the younger ones. The process of administering examination and the critical subject of this course in the academia, some argue that questions and answers is a physical regurgitation of knowledge and therefore empirically speaking, is not a true reflection of one’s capacity. If this theory is true, it means your questions and answers and who comes out as best or not the best is a function of how God created you. So an African child with a small sharp head will have capacity to learn better, absorbs and assimilates better. If that is true, your test is not test of knowledge, it’s not a test of the physical nature of a human brain, which is hereditary.”
The governor reasoned that the examination body should concentrate on the best way of passing academic information to the African child, “the question is, how will WAEC manage examination to show the true reflection of knowledge not based on nature, but based on learning?” He challenged the examination council, to reconstruct its examination questions, “has WAEC ever thought of this, have you ever seen this as the biggest challenge? The new college of thought therefore is positing that examination setting is not the true way to test knowledge. As administrators of education, I therefore call on WAEC to learn from this advanced argument, and reconstruct your questions. The assessment of knowledge and its ultimate applicability in society is not a reflection of the organic nature of our questions. Therefore, what is the right thing to do? WAEC must realise that we must shift from question setting to practical implementation of knowledge, don’t take a child into a biology class and spend time teaching biology, let him have the experience of biology by emphasizing more on the practical aspect so that exam will be experiential”.
The State Chief Executive went on to explain secret of success in life, “I have realise that for you to be successful, it is not the book knowledge, it is the life knowledge. So we must inculcate life experiences in our curricular to encourage our secondary school students who are preparing for WAEC to have vast experience. It is only when this is done that they will excel in the international community. And so the practical exposure of pupils is the key unfortunately, there is no practical anymore. There are no practical in our school. A student makes A1 in geography and has not been outside his local government, which is not good. WAEC must realise that every subject that you subject your students for examination has practical component. Let’s emphasize more on the practical component because that is the only reason why the whites have advancing over us. So your teaching, learning and examination must change to reflect the challenges of today”.
Earlier in her speech, the Chairman, Nigeria National Committee of West African Examinations Council, Lami Amodu said WAEC would present the three best schools in WASSCE for School Candidates 2017 in Cross River State with the WAEC Endowment Fund Book Prize worth 5000 US dollars, also three best students in the WASSCE for School Candidates 2017 in Nigeria to be honoured with the National Distinction Awards accompanied with cash prizes.