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The West African Examinations Council says teaching to stimulate thinking among students, rather than merely recalling could be the tonic needed to take the country to the next level.

The Council’s Head, Public Affairs, Damianus Ojijeogu, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.

Ojijeogu was speaking against the backdrop of lessons learnt from the just concluded 36th Annual Conference of the Association for Educational Assessment in Africa.

NAN reports that the conference, with the theme: “Reforming Educational Assessment: A Renewed Agenda,” was held in Maseru in Lesotho from August 6 to 10.

According to Ojijeogu, research has shown that emphasis has always been placed on the “teaching to recall” mode for students in schools across the various levels of education.

He said for countries to meet the demands of the 21st century, there must be a paradigm shift in teaching and learning method.

He said: “This is one of the major lessons learnt from the conference, which was attended by 325 delegates from 27 countries across the globe, with 82 papers presented.

“One of the major issues discussed was seeking ways of encouraging thinking and creativity among students in the course of teaching and learning.

“It is discovered that it is time to wake up to this call by seeking another dimension to profitable learning other than just teaching students to recall.

“This new method that will inspire creativity and thinking in the process of teaching and learning could well be the much desired quest to accelerate technological advancement among nations.”

Ojijeogu said there was the need for Nigeria to look beyond the craze for certification by encouraging creativity among students as well as vocational education.

He said: “Acquiring skills is the way to go now.

“This could be done side by side in the course of going through formal education.

“A keynote speaker at the conference also emphasised that for the 21st century knowledge, skills and expertise are key.

“It could be the panacea for job creation and empowerment among our young people, and therefore our country will be better for it.

“As critical stakeholders in the education sector, we are going to discuss and share our experience from the conference with the Federal Government and see how this could be imbibed in our system of education.”

Ojijeogu said already, the council had been handed the baton to host the 2019 annual conference of the association, which would take place in Abuja.

He said: “I want to state here that we are fully ready to host the world come August 2019.

“It is a big event and we want to make the country proud by being the best in terms of hosting.

“We are also happy to announce that the council’s Head of National Office, Mr. Olu Adenipekun, has been made the Vice President of the association for a one-year tenure.”

The association is a non-profit making organisation established in 1982 to promote cooperation amongst examining and assessment bodies in Africa.

It is also to encourage relevant examining and assessment among members, sponsor international participation in the field of Educational Testing and Examination, as well as commission and coordinate research projects.

The association is affiliated to the International Association of Educational Assessment.

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