Alagi Yorro Jallow
Mamudu: The 2018 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination results were as revealing as they were astounding in exposing the nakedness of the future of the Gambia. Check the statistics: Out of 13, 335 candidates who sat for the (WAEC) exams out of 13, 335 candidates that sat to the exams only 475 had five credits including English Language and Mathematics. Minimum requirement for admission into a university. Many others who had six, seven, eight or nine credits but didn’t pass either Mathematics or English Language.Mass failure! Ninety- six percent total
How do you make a nation great with a failed youth population? I checked the statistics over and over and wondered aloud who should carry the can of this national calamity. Reading the report was not enough shock as the reactions I got around me from a generation that sees tomorrow only from the prism of cash, real cash.
A society cannot be greater than its leaders’ values. A society mirrors its leaders. And by leaders, I am looking beyond the political leaders who are already beyond redemption.
I am seeing teachers as a special class of leaders, gate-keeping for the nation in the education sector. Students rarely excel where those who teach need to be tutored on the correctness of what they teach. Teachers are like launderers of the linen of the future. Woe betide that future that is washed in mud waters.
I blame teachers, especially those in the public schools, for the mass failure as I blame the government for providing manure to grow a generation of sterile brains. My friends who chose teaching won’t be happy at this conclusion of mine. They will spare me their anger. Is it not said that no one celebrates growers of rice bereft of grains? And the teachers can do better if only they would know that learning is a life-long task. Sedentary intellectualism does not just stagnate, it puts the habitual laid-back on reverse gear.
Teachers will do better teaching if they continually add value to themselves. They can learn from even WAEC which annually puts its examiners and markers through the crucible of refresher courses. And the result shows in the seamless manner it has been conducting its affairs.
Mamudu: We cannot blame a specific group for the mass failure, it is a collective responsibility. We are all guilty and we need to look for a way out to solve the problem. We need to work harder to ensure that students at that level are well catered for by the government, by the system, the school and teachers
Mamudu: A concerned parent pilloried that students were no longer encouraged to take their studies seriously since they believed that there were other ways of succeeding in life. Seeing what the entertainment industry has to offer, she said, they prefer to go that way rather than study to pass their examinations.
Let teachers do their bit. Let governments govern well, removing our kids from writing examinations on bare floor. Let parents see their wards as their future and be more serious in their own obligations. Let the nation promote the right values. Not doing all these puts the nation in sure trouble.
I pray the mass of the candidates who did not pass or could not pass or failed to pass will not be the next generation of troublers.