Professor Olugbemiro Jegede, the foundation vice-chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria has called for the elimination of examination in the educational system in Africa.
According to a report sighted by YEN.com.gh on Myjoyonline.com, the professor made the call in Accra at a three-day International Conference on Open, Distance and Electronic-Learning organised by the University of Ghana, Legon.
The conference was held on the theme: “Meeting Quality Education through Open, Distance, and Electronic-Learning”.
Prof Jegede said the examination system affected the continent's goal of achieving quality education, suggesting that the education system in Africa must have an in-built way of continuous assessment of students and build up the portfolio for effective teaching and learning.
He called for a radical reform in Africa’s educational curriculum, stressing that university learning in Africa should be more inclusive, effective and efficient to meet the needs of society.
Prof Jegede said through his years of experience in teaching at the secondary and university levels, “I have seen that the major purpose of teaching and learning was to pass examinations”.
He said Africa’s examination system afforded students with the ability to memorise facts and repeating them to meet the desires of the examiners, limiting the thought and creative abilities of the students.
He said examinations should be abolished because it killed the creative power of the students, encouraged cheating and made all learning theoretical and geared towards passing exams.
He said African examination system had failed to asked students to relate what they have learnt to what the outside world needed, adding that most of the curriculum were more content based at the cognitive level; neglecting the skills and competency of students.
Prof Jegede urged African leaders to 'emancipate from mental slavery' and learn from the experiences of Singapore for abolishing examinations in the primary and secondary levels.
“Singapore has started eliminating examinations in their system, they do not conduct exams in the primary and the secondary level and are moving on to the tertiary levels.
“They make sure that their students studied courses that could be related to the current environment,” he added.
“For Africa to achieve its dream of being prosperous and a healthy continent, the leaders must re-focus on using education as the fundamental and virile instrument for continental, regional and national development,” Prof Jegede said.
He urged Africa leaders to embark on knowledge generation with emphasis on open, distance and electronic learning research and initiatives for sustained development.
In commenting on other aspects, Prof Jegede called for the scrapping of age limit associated with employment, particularly the teaching profession, saying that, making the age the criteria for hiring and maintaining people was going to slow down development.
Prof Kwame Offei, the pro-vice chancellor, University of Ghana, said education played a critical role in the socio-economic development of any country and had been a means through which nations empowered, developed and built capacities of individuals, institutions and communities.
The pro-vice chancellor expressed optimism that the conference was going to address pertinent challenges confronting distance education and suggested solutions to addressing them.
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