Though there was a slight improvement from previous years in the last final year public examinations, the performance is still below average. With only 30.9% of students obtaining five credits and above, including Mathematics and English in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations and 31.6% in the National Examinations Council (NECO), students are desperate to change the tide.
However, the students stress out that though accusing fingers have been pointed as them as being responsible for the high mass failure rate, other more serious anomalies need to be corrected.
David Emefiele in SS2, says most of the time, there is no practical form of teaching to illustrate what they have learnt in class because materials are lacking: "Even if there are materials in the laboratory, it might not be sufficient for every student to learn with."
He also observes that most times, teachers concentrate more on giving notes to the students without making sure that they understand what was dished out.
"If the students do not understand what they are taught but keep reading, they would not be able to understand and answer the questions in the examination hall," he adds.
He says that it is important if the teachers concentrate on driving the message home for the students rather than giving them the impression that all they need do is copy and read their notes.
But on her part, Gift Nwamadu, SS 1, supports the opinion that most students actually do not take their academics seriously. "Most students are so lazy to read their books so when they get to the examination halls; they are confronted with questions that seemed strange to them and would, therefore, not be able to provide answers to."
But teachers also share in the problem. Beside teaching based on the curriculum which is basic, she suggests that teachers could also pick past question papers and revise with students who are getting set for the external examination. "This would help keep students abreast with what is expected in the examination hall," she said.
She also pointed out that there are parents who do not help their children. According to her, "whenever the school authorities organize extramural lessons for students who are about to take such external examinations, most parents do not allow or encourage their children to be a part of it."