The National Examination Council, NECO, and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB have been urged to consider scrapping compulsory credit pass in English and Mathematics as prerequisites for admission into higher institutions.
Naija News reports that the English Scholars Association of Nigeria (ESAN), made the call on Tuesday during their 37th Annual National conference held at the University of Ilorin, in Ilorin Kwara State.
The association also noted at the event that in order to promote and encourage effective communication in the English language, the federal government is encouraged to establish English Language Council in Nigeria.
Addressing a host of other varsity dons, ESAN President, Prof. Shola Babatunde, described as laughable the modality by which the two examinations bodies processes admission into the higher institutions. According to him, such modalities would not promote effective language communication.
He insists that the council should be empowered to make pronouncements and policies that enjoy government backing for promoting National English. The conference tagged ‘KWARESAN 2021 was flagged off yesterday with the theme: ‘English Language and Literary Studies in Nigeria: Realities of the New Normal’.
Prof. Babatunde pointed out that complaints have been received on the low communicative performance of students in the English language. He suggested the creation of the National English Studies Resource Centre to carry out studies on the National English (NE) corpus; implement relevant NE policies and other related matters.
He said the proposed centre would be an ideal corpus to implement relevant NE policies and other related matters. Babatunde said those expected to form the membership of the council are patriarchs of English Studies in the country.
He said: “This is why the call on the federal government to NECO and JAMB not to make credit pass in English and Mathematics basic requirements for admission into universities and polytechnics in Nigeria is not only ludicrous but also very unfortunate at this time when we are complaining about the low communicative performance of our students in the English Language, and when our Arabic and French-speaking neighbours are eager to come to Nigeria to learn the English language.
“The emphasis should be on the improvement of the facilities and the training and employment of an adequate number of teachers to teach the two subjects in order to minimise failure rates.
“My suggestion is that we need to go beyond our previous efforts if we really desire to show that we are running late in our efforts. We need a change of strategies.”
The forum of scholars is poised to collate and store for easy retrieval of all research efforts on the English language in Nigeria, adding that they are presently scattered.
Babatunde added that “The association has done its best, and the efforts are obviously commendable. We, however, think we need more than an association to take us beyond this point.
“We are therefore proposing the need for an English Language Council in Nigeria. The council will have as its members as patriarchs of the English Studies in Nigeria.”
On his part, while declaring the conference opened, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, said since the Nigerian lingua franca remains English, moving a mountain becomes ease for students if they could put words together appropriately.
According to him, every bit of the conference was supposed to prepare the participants for a better Nigeria. Also, Professor Gabriel Bassey Egbe of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Veritas University, Abuja, was the keynote speaker at the event, where the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, bagged an award of excellence.
Source: Naija News