Examination-Maintaining Credible Educational Institutions
Many a times I begin to think about what the word ' examination' mean to students. It appears that whenever they get to hear of it, they feel uncomfortable. It is a usual feeling people get when they are to take an exam. What is required of me? Will I do well? This are some thoughts that always ring in our minds before an examination. Students have developed a fever for examination.
Ranging from Nursery to the Tertiary institutions it is common to see students trying to cheat in an exam. What is more worrying is the fact that even three year old children know about how to cheat in examinations. My tutor at the college who is also a teacher at a senior high school ones told me of his little daughter. He was conducting a test in the class whiles his little daughter was with him, his daughter said to him during the period of the exam that ' Dad let them copy'. This was very strange to him for a little girl of that age to know what cheating in an exam is. The question is, is it from our dear teachers who are handling these students? Or parents and peers?
Pupils in the primary and junior high schools across the country engage in malpractices during examinations. Some go to the extent of writing notes in pieces of papers to copy during an exam. Is it that parents do not train their wards well to study at home after school? You will find a majority of pupils doing all they can to cheat. I went by a Junior High School whilst the students were preparing to write an exam. I noticed that whilst few students were busy reading their books, some group of students were writing notes on pieces of papers to enter and copy.
The Way Forward
Well, the issues emanating from our various educational institutions in terms of examination malpractices will have to be dealt with seriously. The recent one was the 2014/2015 Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) where students had had access to questions of all the papers before the day of the examination. This led to the cancelation of all those papers. My worry is how the students were able to have access to the papers. The West African Examination Council is dealing with the same issue currently. As an individual with great interest in education I think following measures have to be taken to ensure that the value, credibility and dependability of education in Ghana does not dwindle.
Some strict rules will need to be established to ensure that the credibility of our educational institutions is not doubted. Educational institutions will have to be more proactive in dealing with the situation we are currently experiencing. Students will have to be strictly monitored in both internal and external examinations. In order for the value and reliability of the certificates obtained from the various institutions not to be questioned then students will need to be trained well to obey simple examination rules, study under pressure and be able to work independently.
The role of Educators and Parents
What is more, educators need to be honest in performing their duties. There is a moral question to this cancer that is gradually killing the value of education in Ghana. The cancer I am referring to is corruption. Why and how should individuals be able to access exam questions? It burdens my heart to think of spending sleepless nights scanning through my books to write an exam-meanwhile Kofi has already gained access to the same questions we will be writing. So until the bad knots in the various institutions who are willing to accept bribes and allow people gain access to exam papers are pruned out of the system, we will fight without hope to regain the credibility of examinations in educational institutions in the country.
Of course parents have a great responsibility in helping to maintain the value and credibility of the institutions their wards attend. Why do I say this? Charity they say begins at home. We need to instil in our children acceptable moral values to enable them grow to be responsible adults. What responsibility will a child who has engaged in cheating during exams in his days of growing up be able to hold? Parents who are only interested in their wards passing their exam to the extent of buying exam papers to the neglect of the future responsibility of these children will need to reconsider their decisions. Children need to be trained at home to learn how to acquire genuine things they are in dire need of. That will make them better responsible people in the society.
The teacher's responsibility
Teachers have to prove their worth in training students in all aspects of life. The teacher serves as a role model for the student to imitate: but what do we see these days? Instead of some of our role models in the classroom to train children to be upright, they are those who will during an examination prepare answers to teach students in the exam hall. Didn’t they have much time to teach the students in the classroom? I think that is not the issue but just that those teachers do not qualify to be training our children. It’s time for us as a nation to begin to identify people who are not morally corrupted to bring up the future leaders of our country in real honesty and responsibility. Our Colleges of Education and Universities will have to focus more on training dedicated, honest and patriotic teachers to take up the task of education properly.
There is no need trying to pretend that all is well meanwhile things are getting out of hand. People have decided not to speak about the wrongs that are happening in our society but I think it will be better for us to look for solutions to problems that are slowly killing our nation. We must be ready to bear the responsibility of our decisions. There is no other free country for us except Ghana. So therefore let’s build Ghana together and make her a better place for others to want to come and stay with us.