Although it might sound cliché, it is common knowledge that students are the wealth of any nation, the future of tomorrow and consequentially their education is the social responsibility of the country. To be educated is not just a right but also a duty. However, in the midst of dilapidated structures, an ancient academic system and a country literally begging for salvation, a simple education is simply not good enough, it just has to get better.
Over the course of the past decades, several solutions have been brought to the table. In Nigeria, the strategy has been for school officials to frequently evaluate the performance of lecturers in their various institutions. The hope was that through a combination of feedback and pressure, the lecturers would improve or be replaced by someone better. While this has yielded a few positives, it has also been largely unsatisfying and this has ushered in the question of whether students should grade their lecturers or not. In order to reach a decision, it is wise to discuss the benefits of allowing students grade their lecturers as well as the dangers of implementing this policy.
As unorthodox as it sounds, allowing students grade their lecturers could be that extra push needed to transcend Nigeria’s academic system. While it is quite apparent that the students are the target audience of the lecturers, letting the students assess the lecturers gives the lecturers an insight of their minds, it shows these lecturers how much they have performed, how far they have being able to go and whether the learning environment has been conducive enough for learning. Also while this method appreciates and motivates lecturers that are largely hardworking and dedicated, it conversely exposes those who have not being doing well enough and by the basis of this method which seeks out not to condemn but to correct, it will make the lecturers adjust their teaching methods in other to ensure that the students who is their main priority are always in tune with their ideology. Lastly, it is trite that for every relationship to succeed there must be communication. Allowing students assess their lecturers bring them a lot closer to them and that makes the whole teaching process a lot more pleasurable. For example the students may not be particularly comfortable with a certain attitude of their lecturer and may not have any avenue to let that known, however with grading assessment in place the students can pass this across to the lecturers and that could be the starting point of positive changes in schools.
However, allowing students grade their lecturers has its many downsides. First of all, there is a tendency for students to misuse this ‘power’ for their personal interests since they do not have the needed mentality to carry out an assessment without being bias towards lecturers. It is common knowledge that most students prefer lecturers who are lenient with them, hardly bothers them with assignment and are jovial with grade points. The students tend to see strict lecturers as people whose life mission is to frustrate them. If these students are now required to grade these two classes of lecturers, it is obvious that the first class will be portrayed in a more positive light. The students also stand a chance of being a victim too. There is a possibility of lecturers punishing students for giving them bad grades and this could be set in strife between lecturers and students.
While this topic has been a subject of debate for such a long time, there has not seemed to be a consensus. While I feel that students should be given the chance to grade their lecturers, I am also of the opinion that this should done under intense supervision. Also there should be set and transparent parameters for grading such as punctuality, ability to exert discipline, how he uses his time etc. I also believe should be done in collaboration with the school authorities and other stakeholders in the educational system. Change is deliberate and as such a conscious effort should be made if we want to see the change we so dearly crave for manifested in our schools.
What do you think? should students be given the option of grading their lecturers? send in your comments and don’t forget to share…