In today’s mode of education, gambling has taken root through the multiple choice answers. (File photo)
In 1961 a standard five boy used to get all the sums right in his homework, which he did at home. The teacher would be puzzled because when the boy did the same sums in class, he would get a zero. At first the teacher thought someone was doing them for him at home, but on closer look, he saw numbers 5 - 4= 1 and 1 + 6= 7 then 7 was underlined and the word answer written. Seven was really the answer to that particular sum, but the figures 5, 4, 1, and 6 had no connection whatsoever with that sum.
So the teacher realized that the boy was using the teacher’s guide book to get the answers to the sums, and then introduced numbers that he either subtracted or added together, to come to the answer.
Generally, the boy was very poor at multiplication and division, so he never used these to come to his answers. The teacher sent senior boys to the boy’s home, where they fished several teacher’s guide books, from that of standard five to standard eight.
The boy might have found his way to standard five through dubious ways and the facilitator, probably his father in collaboration with a middle school teacher had made sure they provided teacher’s guide books to him, to enable him to go through to standard eight, after which he could secure a post, even if he had failed.
The country had then few educated people and standard eight was enough to give someone employment somewhere.
There was a railway school in Tabora where standard eight boys were sent for training and employed as staff in the East African Railways Corporation.
Those were the days when children were being taught to think. In our today’s mode of education, gambling has taken root through the multiple choice answers.
A question will appear on the examination paper and all a pupil is required to do is to choose an answer out of the A,B,C,D answers given, then write the letter of the answer against the question. What the examiner wants is only the answer; he/she doesn’t mind how the candidate came to it.
One astonishing thing is that all educationists are long-service employees, who saw this mode of answers in English language comprehensions and decided to employ it in mathematics.
No wonder that standard seven pupils pass their exams and join form one, only to discover their ability to read and write is that of a standard two pupil. What such pupils had done in that entrance examination was to write an A, or B or C or D even without reading the questions and such betting can end with a score of 100%.
This system of multiple choice answers has been discredited by pupils themselves. One Nasri Ibrahim of Msimbazi primary school said if the government wants professionals, then it has to get away with this system; others from the same school said the system is intended to make students lazy, while one said the government’s intention to introduce this system is to mislead pupils so that they may not achieve their desired success in life (Mtanzania Dec. 28, 2012) The late Iddi Amin Dada disliked educated people, because he was afraid of being toppled.
Since he wasn’t very intelligent, he chose to assassinate them. Had he been intelligent enough, he would have introduced a kind of education, that would have produced academics that could not think. Through that kind of education, he would have ruled Ugandans without opposition from anyone. Nevertheless, that is Uganda and ours is Tanzania, where things are far different from Uganda of Iddi Amin’s era.
In spite of all this mess in the education system of our country, academics are worried that professionalism will be undermined by undergraduates submitting of research papers that they had purchased from friends, relatives and conmen ( The Guardian Jan. 28th, 2013) If 2+2 equals 4, why should one be astonished by hearing this? Cholera is a deadly disease which can be avoided by adhering to proper rules of hygiene within the environment. Anything short of cleanliness will not tolerate an outbreak of cholera epidemic that will cause losses of human lives in numbers, if not immediately checked.
University students cannot help buying research papers because their education foundation had been undermined. It’s impossible to harvest wheat from a plantation of millet.
According to The Guardian, ( The Guardian 28th January 2013) one of the students honestly said that they are occupied with other stuff, so they don’t get time to prepare those papers; and also some of them are ignorant of what they ought to do in preparing the papers.
He also didn’t forget laziness and leisure as another reason, which can be reaped through the multiple choice answers in mathematics.
If the education system has reduced the capacity of pupils’ thinking by delivering multiple choice answers to pupils, leisure has to take the time for thinking and doing something of value to society.
Since leisure is concomitant to laziness, ample time is given to discussions of soccer, movies and other stuff as another student had claimed earlier. All these are good in preparation for good talkers and bad doers, which is not considered evil in our community.
One would ask why it is not evil and the answer to this will be: if it is evil, why has it been allowed to happen? It could be averted, if the system of education had not introduced gambling as a tool in education.