Exams Stifle Independent Thinking – NTI Boss

Director-General of National Teachers Institute, Dr Aminu Sharehu, has called for a change in the present mode of examinations in schools towards allowing pupils to develop their thinking ability independently.

Sharehu said that the present mode of examining students in Nigerian schools stifle independent thinking and is hampering transformation of the education sector.

The director general made the observation while speaking at the 2nd international conference of the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan with delegates from African countries in attendance.

The improvement of the quality of examinations can lead to advancement of teaching and learning procedures–a shift from assessment of a set of learning content to assessment of learning outcomes rather than teaching a set of learning content.

The present examination system in the country is defective and inadequate, especially in validity, because they merely test the samples of knowledge, Sharehu explained.

“They emphasise cramming and retention and have no arrangement to test understanding and application. Examinations test memory of students instead of their rational and discriminate reproduction of the crammed material. They provide more of a test of memory and expression than of judgment, clarity and appreciation,” Sharehu said.

He lamented the “largely negative” regard of public examinations in the eyes of government, non-government agencies and media, which “emphasise mass failure, examination malpractice, number of students whose results are withheld and poor student performance.

“A positive public examination reorientation that starts to reward academic excellence, genuine academic efforts, malpractice-free schools and colleges who are able to uncover examination malpractice should begin,” Sharehu noted.

Source: Daily Trust

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