NOUN: Curricular Reforms Needed To Redirect Focus To Changing World

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Uchenna Sydney Osuji, a Professor of Measurement and Evaluation from National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), has challenged the government to initiate a major curricular reforms that would redirect Nigeria’s educational focus to the changing world of works and life.
He also recommended a change in objectives of examination and other forms of assessment in Nigeria’s education system, suggesting that examination should not be used as a negative and destructive assessment tool to attack and devalue the personality worth of the examinees which could, invariably, ruin their self-esteem and prospective carriers.
The suggestions were contained in Prof. Osuji’s inaugural lecture delivered at NOUN headquarters in Abuja, where he also observed that educational assessment has been infested with different types of corrupt practices, and examination malpractices has become a household name in Nigeria.
He said: “If our educational assessment is valid, trustworthy and free of malpractices, it will assess the academic achievements of learners in an excellent and effective method. Unfortunately, our educational assessment system has been infected with misconduct or wrongdoings.
“There’s is a rising wave of examination malpractices among the students which is a big challenge to our contemporary society. We have observed that educational assessment is no longer a true test of students’ ability. Students are no longer serious with their studies and no longer believe in hard work, hence they refer to examination malpractices as a form of brain support.”
He reiterated the fact that society is changing rapidly and there was need for an assessment methods that would be relevant and produce the kind of result needed for the future.
He said: “Our society is changing rapidly from an industrial age in which people could get by with the basics. Our students must understand the basics but more importantly, be able to think critically, analyse and make inferences. Therefore, assessment of students must change.
“Education assessment strategies must tie assessment design and context to new outcomes and purposes for assessment. These changes must reflect skills and competencies required by the students to succeed in today’s and future workplace.
“Every change in assessment practice must take into consideration the context, standards, knowledge, skills and behavior needed by the students to achieve at a very high level. Therefore, the assessment we need is that one that expects to help students develop the skills, values and competencies in real life, otherwise called authentic situation. This means that our educational institutions are expected to graduate learners that can demonstrate these abilities by their performance and achievements.”
He also recommended that a credible method be established to track how well learners understand the different aspects of the subject matter presented to them, and educational assessment is the major means to help achieve the aim. “Its ultimate goal is to quantify and document how much the learner knows, and it can be done both online and offline.”
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, in his remarks, appreciated the thorough and diligent research done and presented by the inaugural lecturer, urging the members of the academia to “arm” themselves with the research work and make proper use of it.

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