WAFSEP decries falling standard of English in Nigeria

WAFSEP decries falling standard of English in Nigeria

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An educational group, War Against Falling Standard of Education Project, has lamented the global nosedive in the use of English Language at all levels of school system in the country.
Speaking with The Point, its coordinator, Mr. Oladele Saheed, described the present state of English Language in Nigeria either as a medium of instruction in schools or social communication as pathetic and unimaginable.
He said being the coordinator of the group, he could not imagine seeing teachers scoring two out of five anytime his team asked them to spell common English words at their Erudite training centre in Ibadan.
He said, “The global nosedive in the standard of English cannot but affect Nigeria. The standard of English has fallen at all levels of the school system and in all walks of life. The ivory towers that are supposed to be standard setters are affected. Unless something drastic is done to arrest the ugly trend, the time is at hand when Nigerians would no longer understand each other, let alone understand a non-Nigerian user of English.
“While responses from private schools have largely been positive, public school teachers who need WAFSEP more have no access to it because the government is not ready. In 2014, we were informed that the Federal Government stopped practical oral English examination in 1996 because it was too ‘expensive,” he added.
Saheed recalled that when his group presented its ‘Remedial English Pronunciation Software’ to the Federal Ministry of Education to correct the irony of teaching oral English on paper or board in Nigerian schools, it faced a similar challenge in spite of the fact that the assessment panel considered it very helpful.
“A lecturer recently told us of a professor of English, who considered an expression incorrect until he, as a layman, showed him the usage in the dictionary. The reality is that many of the things Nigerian authors have judged wrong are (now) correct.
But, how many of our scholars have up-to-date dictionaries? Who will inform our teachers in schools to stop teaching wrong vocabulary and archaic grammar rules?” Oladele queried.
He, however, recommended that the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council should update the Nigerian English curriculum to match the dynamism of the language, saying that the new curriculum would facilitate the teaching of effective everyday vocabulary and descriptive grammar.

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