grand collapse

You know how you look at a problem and you think, “Here is the solution”, but then you get into the situation and you see that there are just way too many other things going wrong there.

I teach Integrated Science in a school because they don’t have an Integrated Science teacher.

A teacher scarcity problem.

I take three JSS 2 classes, each class has about 60 students.
I found that majority of the students have a big problem in English. So even though I got the list of topics to teach, I can’t just teach those topics because some of the words are too big for the students. They can’t spell, a lot of them don’t know their dates of birth, some misspell their own names. I asked one guy to write out the alphabet, he missed two letters in capital and three letters in small. I’m not sure he knows they should match.

Maybe it’s a language problem

We finally make it through the school session and I set the questions for the final exam. During the exam, the principal kicks out half the students in the class saying they didn’t pay their school fees. (The school fees is about 900 naira, that is $6)

A money problem…

But that’s not a lot of money, so I think if I find serious students among that group, I’ll give them the money and let the students go back into the exam hall.

I go to meet the students outside, and I ask one of them if he paid his fees. He said he paid but they didn’t write his name down. It turns out they don’t get receipts or have a method for recording who pays. They just write their names in a notebook.
If the woman who collects the money didn’t write your name or says you didn’t pay, that is it for that term of school work.

A system problem

Now we have 90 students outside, over half of them are saying they paid but that the woman stole their money. They have no proof, so they are not allowed to take the exam.

And we repeat this again next year with the students slightly older.

That’s how every problem is, flaws at every level with no clear villains or solutions.
Even if you provided money for underprivileged children, what happens to everything else?


2 thoughts on “grand collapse

  1. The system problem is the main problem…all the other problems emanate from this general problem. There has to be a way around it. A while ago I taught SS3 Accounting and Commerce in a public school. To get a better idea of what their expectations were for the coming SSCE and the near future, I asked each of the students what careers they had chosen for themselves, I was shocked by the answers I got! The first ten respondents were wannabe doctors, engineers and footballers! In my Accounting class?…hello! Y’all didn’t know you should have been taking Chemistry and Physics classes??? No ma’am, we weren’t counselled. So the next student asks ‘what do you do for a living auntie?’, I said tax consulting and then automatically, the rest of the students in the class wanted to be tax consultants…none of them could risk another stupid answer.
    In JSS2, those students were just kids, someone should have told them what their options for the future were…that’s what the system is there for…that’s how I ended up with 18 year olds who had no idea what they would be in 5 years…no sense of direction…nothing.
    So I brought this up with the school principal and in summary, she couldn’t care less if they passed or failed because only 5% of them would head on to the university. 5%, that was the output the system expected. A 5% pass mark. Tsk tsk.

  2. I had no idea the school system was like thar. We take for granted what goes on in our own little sector in the world and complain til we see what could be. Its like that old saying I once complained because I had no shoes….til i met a man that had no feet.

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