The inspection of over 33,000 public schools, particularly those that posted poor results in last year’s national exams couldn’t have come at a better time.
The findings from the inspection will act as a guide on what really needs to be done to raise the bar in some of the worst case studies where for a staggering number of students, learning is a daily toil with little to show for it at the end of eight or 12 years.
It is true that teachers and students face a lot of challenges. But has there been a space where these are shared as a way of finding solutions to some of the most vexing challenges that see some schools and candidates rooted at the bottom of the pyramid?
Different schools have different needs and circumstances, depending on their locations. To exactly get a clear picture of what ails these institutions, this exercise needs to be done rigorously and be unmatched in breath and depth. Various explanations have been proffered on why some schools are perpetual underachievers and why others are highfliers.
It ranges from teachers not adequately prepared for the teaching task; to poor training and skills transfer where some teachers have been found to lack or in worst cases, ignored the basics of teaching; to low morale among teachers due to poor pay, delayed promotions and poor working conditions. The inspection must dig up more reasons.
But then to understand why perhaps some schools perform better than others, looking at the teachers’ and students’ attendance offers great insights. On many occasions, schools with a higher rate of truancy perform poorly and vice versa.
Additionally, the tutors’ performance appraisals, if well done, offers snippets of areas of excellence and improvement to keep in mind.
Teachers should also be encouraged to have up-to-date schemes of work and lesson plans, if nothing else.