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The Role Of Parents, Schools And Students In Forging Excellence

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It is a fact that no nation develops without educated citizens to formulate the economic and infrastructural framework that serves as its template for growth.

However, the state of academic performance among pupils and students in Nigeria has become worrisome. A factor that is not far-fetched to have contributed to the decline and ills currently noticeable in the examination of tertiary institutions.

Recently, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), announced the outcomes of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) revealing that a mere 0.4%

(8,401) candidates managed to attain scores of 300 and beyond. The JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede remarked that Out of the 1,842,464 released results, only 0.4% secured scores exceeding 300, while 24% achieved a score of 200 or higher.

This has brewed so many questions and reactions from Nigerians on the state of education, the decline in academic performance and the role of parents in contributing to the anomaly witnessed in the education sector.

The continuum of low and poor grades being experienced in the academic performance of students has become a thing of concern to educationists and stakeholders in that sector.

A parent, Humphrey Nze who spoke to our correspondent said that there are so many factors to consider as regards academic failure among secondary school students and one of them is the learning environments which is not conducive for students to learn and assimilate especially in public schools which form more than seventy percent of schools in Nigeria.  

“How would a student excel under a poor learning environment? A student who missed the last three square meals cannot pass an examination. Do we have enough teachers in the public schools as well as private schools?” says Nze. 

Head Of Department, General studies, Gateway (ICT) Polytechnic, Dr. God Provides Ayoyemi James-Idowu asserted  that the lingering problem of Nigeria’s educational sector is multifaceted and it begings on our quality of life and value we have for education and development holistically.

“There is a saying that What you don’t have, you can’t give” We are in a generation where we are beginning to see a decline in societal/ cultural values attached to parenting, and children’s upbringing.  Hence, one of the factors that contribute to academic failure is the prevalence of broken homes. When parents separate or divorce, the stability and emotional support that children need often diminish”, says Ayoyemi.

She opined that this disruption can lead to poor concentration, decreased motivation, and a lack of interest in academics.

 

 Parental Blame

The lecturer, Ayoyemi noted that “over-pampering by parents is another detrimental factor. In an attempt to show love and care, some parents indulge their children excessively, shielding them from the realities of responsibility and hard work. This overindulgence can lead to laziness on the part of the children, as they become accustomed to getting what they want without effort.”

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However, she stressed that successful parenting especially regarding a child’s education requires a unified approach.

 

Tripartite Cause

A reputable educationist, Michael Dayo Omisore in an interview with our correspondent, averred that parents are not the direct cause of academic failure among their wards. He pointed out that the onus lie on the schools of the students enrolled in for six years as the case may be to help him or her improve in academic performance and work on the students areas of weakness in subjects. Omisore who pointed that ‘the 50, 30, 20’ Principle reflects the degree of causes of academic failures among students.  This principle as outlined by the writer and educationist,  is as a result of his experience over the decades working with students and secondary schools.

“The performance and outcome of the average student don’t just depend on what the school offers. That is not in any way belittling the role and responsibility of the school, which is huge to say the least. You will know a good school by how academically sound the students are, how competitive their performances, and how developed their cognitive potentials are formed. But the reality remains: there are other supplies that ought to complement the school’s efforts — those supplies coming from the students themselves, the parents, home and society. And these are not necessarily monetary or material in nature.

“I have noticed that, due to prevalent socioeconomic demands, many parents tend to leave everything to the school regarding their child’s academic development. Even those that help with homework and assignments hand off once the child is old enough to do the homework by himself. The reason is not so farfetched. Parents are the ones working so hard to put food on the table, many of them having to settle school fees every term with a sizeable chunk of their income (from countless hours put into work), so they feel the school should ‘do the rest’. Even for public schools running free tuition, many parents still ‘abandon’ their wards to teachers and school heads because there is just that general tendency to sleep on the job of contributing effectively to the child’s academic development.

“But that tendency is faulty and over the years it has caused adverse effects, on two sides- one parent is neglecting the process to make his child excel academically to the students and the school while another parent is doing all to make his child succeed even if the parent was to aid the child commit malpractice.

“The 50-30-20’ which is a ratio that spells out the measure and dimension of responsibility for the average child’s academic growth.  The 50 part is that of the school, the 30 part is that of the child or student himself, while the 20 part is that of the parents, home, neighborhood and society combined. That means, on the primary and secondary school level, it is not enough to send your child to the ‘best school’. To maximise his potential, the child himself and the parents still have work and roles cut out to ensure that the child or student turns out well academically, “says Omisore. 

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The educationist  who elucidated further said, “on the average, the best schools around may be able to have more students above the 65 mark, but nothing stops an individual student who attends a poor school hitting the same mark, if he can maximize his thirty part and his parents maximise their own 20 part to add to the tally.

“This is where it begins to get a bit intricate and intriguing. The 50, 30, 20 is not just arithmetic, it is mathematical indices. It is not just a ratio but a principle, and here is the  principle: there is a relationship and interdependence between the learning delivery by a school and the individual student’s resolve, attitude and responses to learning as well as the support and inspiration he gets from his parents, home and immediate environment, and all these components (school, students, parents, home and society) have direct impact on one another —  positively or negatively — to determine the performance and outcome of that student in school,” Omisore outlined.

 

Solutions

Stakeholders in education sector have continuously clamoured for an increase in budget for education and the need for an oversight team to look at the disbursement of funds by the State Universal Basis Education Board (SUBEB) and how the funds are spent in primary cadre of education. “In other climes and I am talking about developed countries, they do not pay lip service to development of education across all level. What we see in the higher educational sector, the rot in its standardization and the clamour for ASUU and others show that there is decadence and has this being tackled over the years? I don’t think so, what we see is a rise in private tertiary institutions and this has not really solved the problem. Education ought to be free from Primary to Secondary school levels and increasing rate of out-of-school children should be tackled holistically as an idle mind they say is the devil’s workshop breeding insecurity and terrorism,” says Dr Kola Awoyemi.    

 

 

 



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