Standardization presumes that every member in a group of learners possess not dissimilar learning interests, learning skills and when paired with teachers trained to teach a standardized curriculum, will all come out better for it and able to move to the next stage of the educational ladder. Why we Should Rethink Educational Standardization in Africa
In other words, let’s give everybody equal opportunities and equal footing. But are we doing that? Some School has an excellent library and excellent teachers. Senior High School’s library is smaller than my personal library, and they don’t shop for teachers.
Too, what’s the percentage of students able to access tertiary education after secondary school? 20%? 40? Do we even have such data?
The pre-tertiary school system in Africa is archaic and has more to do with getting students to pass exams rather than develop certain competencies and hone individual skills or interests.
But it is possible and necessary to have an education system in which you don’t judge both monkeys and frogs by their ability to climb trees.
Nobody should be failing exams at the junior and senior secondary school levels. Every student has subjects they are interested in and the right structures, systems, curricula, and pedagogy in place can make the difference.
Our secondary school system should not be just about churning out potential university recruits, it can and should be where students discover themselves, identify talents, build interests, and learn the skills and competencies they need to survive after school.
Secondary school should not just be a conveyer belt into tertiary education, it should also be a place where students can acquire the needed skills, develop basic competencies they can build upon in order to survive the years after with or without tertiary education.
In our very moribund, changeless and corrupt education system, students passing exams may not even be indicative of the success or effectiveness of education policy.
Abraham Lincoln never went to school, but became President of the United States, and Kendrick Lamar, without tertiary education, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2018 and is the closest thing you can get to a literary rapper. I can see him winning the Nobel Prize for Literature even. He’s that good.
It’s time to rethink our approach to pre-tertiary education in Africa, since politicians won’t do it.
A better educated electorate will not mindlessly follow any politician or demand better from them.