Four Radical Panaceas for Reversing Mass Failure in Certificate English Language Examinations in Nigeria

Fasasi, Khabyr Alowonle, Amadi Gloria U.


Given the present-day perspectives of Nigerians to the imperatives of qualitative education in the lives of youths, quite a lot of Nigerians have strongly bemoaned and condemned the recurrent woeful performances of students in Certificate examinations. Many research works have therefore concerned themselves with solving the problems of mass failure in public examinations. This paper, with special focus on improving English language teaching and learning in Secondary schools and improving students’ performances in public examinations, reviewed the problem, and causes, of mass failure in English language as enunciated by scholars and, proposed four radical panaceas – introducing the reading of prose texts to all students; separating English Language and Literature-in-English in the JSCE curriculum; separating the aspects of English Language for teachers and, moving up the teachers as their students move up from class to class – of improving learners’ performances in English language in internal and Certificate examinations. The paper reasoned that given a good background of discipline, the four panaceas would reverse the ugly trend of mass failure in Nigerian schools, improve academic performances in English language in internal and Certificate examinations and help foster improved performances in other school subjects. Presenting some public examination results of a school where the panaceas have been fruitfully practised, the author appealed to the educational planners and administrators, ministries of education, private secondary school managements and teachers to adopt the solutions for the overall improvement of the English language teaching and learning since a good mastery of English enhances improved performances in other school subjects.

Keywords: English language, mass failure, certificate examinations, literary texts, the teacher.

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