Check out those who get at least 5 A’s in SSCE. What do you realise? They are usually science students!!
It has become quite cliche to expect good performances from science students and poor ones from their arts counterparts. In fact, it is believed that no academically-sound student should waste his intellectual prowess in arts. With this shallow belief, it comes as no surprise that most schools in Nigeria churn out below average art students every year.
As a teacher in tutorials, this trend of having less-than-stellar pupils becomes quite worrisome. Many times, I do a lot of soul searching, trying to decipher the problem. Maybe I wasn’t just good enough.
However, with the improvement I see in the students after several sessions, I realised that I may not be the problem after all. This realisation set me on a new path: one where I sought to demystify the reasons behind the academic mediocrity in arts.
Do you want to know why we have average or below average performances in arts? Read on
- The belief that educationally-challenged students belong to arts.
Sodiq Adesokan Sp Vibes has this to say:
“It is suicidal in nature to ask secondary school students that are performing below expectation to go to Arts Department. I don’t know how some teachers came up with the idea that Arts Department is meant for students with learning disorders. Do they even know that a student who is mentally lazy can’t be in Arts Department? Should we tell them how many plays, novels and poems Arts Students are compelled to read for just a subject? Or we should let them know that without an analytical mind, there can be no thorough analyses of literary texts?
Please, stop sending students who can’t read and write to Arts Department; it is suicidal.”
- The nonchalant nature of school owners. Many of them think that art subjects can be taught by anyone, so they employ every Tom, Dick and Harry to teach art-related courses.
See what Olayemi Deejaysaintq Andrew has to say:
I had to just search and comment on this post. A friend who just finished her NYSC just got a job as a private school teacher. She studied biochemistry and was drafted to teach CRK and LITERATURE to ss3 students preparing for WAEC, NECO and UTME. Isn’t that too absurd?! When she complained that she had no prior knowledge in that field, she was told to read out whatever she finds in the recommended textbooks to the students. Please how long are we going to keep lowering the standard oe education and bastardizing the arts department. Can a graduate of history or English be drafted to teach physics or chemistry?
3. The non-challant attitude of the student: Surely, this is quite glaring in every discipline. However, it is predominant in arts. A teacher once said that he could easily identify art students whenever he visited a school. He pointed out that majority of those who skip classes, those who loiter around during lecture periods, and those who were always standing in the class turn out to be in the arts. Of course, his premise is totally subjective. Nevertheless, we cannot help but agree with him to an extent.
The arts department requires analytical skills. Stop discouraging bright students from going to arts. Likewise, we need to stop the practice of sending lazy and below par students to arts. Art is not a dumping ground.