I murdered English Language in High school.
So on the 1st of June 2018, while I should have been at my corner celebrating the new month with muses and premeditation, I was seated in a noisy class. By all standards, it was very obvious that I was sandwiched between two chatty PHD holders in English language. They were discussing how their lecturer-friends would sometimes despise some naughty students who play on the intelligence of lecturers.
“Never my concern,” I sighed as soon as I leaned backwards on a creaking table.
“Young lady, you look new here, are you a gate crasher?” the septugenarian with moustache sprinkled with grey colors wanted to know.
Before, I could bring myself to decipher what a gate crasher meant, he already chipped in another.
“Are you married?”
Bubbles, my tummy reacted as some butterflies danced around. “What was my mission here sef?” I thought aloud.
I had opted to mark English Language for WAEC 2018. But looking around quite timidly, matured faces of persons that could be thrice older than me, welcomed my stares. Then I wondered at who I would even bang the table at.
Gosh! Their chit-chat could pass for a stereo set. But then, I was there for a mission.
“Welcome to the first session ladies and gentlemen,” the chief examiner cleared his throat as he settled on his chair.
“Turn your dummy-booklets to the essay sections. We should answer that first,” he continued.
“Excuse me sir, what are dummy-booklets?” I leaned over to the lecturer at my left and not the one with moustache.
“Dummy-booklets are where the pre-markings are done, before the real students’ scripts are perused,” he replied. “I can see that you are a gate crasher. No wonder you are not handling one yet.”
The session started. Starters like me paired up with experienced examiners to watch what were primarily assessed in an English essay script.
I thought I murdered English in High school. Considering the nitty-gritty of some inconsequential things students never believed matter, while I typed this for the public to know and learn…
I never imagined errors pertaining to Mechanical Accuracy were the major downslide for students’ weak passes in English
Answering Comprehensions and Summary are not just for the letters, they demand tactfulness and indepth understanding of the passages.
You are to be careful of how you break words into syllables, especially when some of the words fall into the next line. Bad syllabification is penalized.
Listening to the experienced and qualified chief examiner speak, I learnt new words. For example, the word ‘real’ is not pronounced the common way and the word ‘vice’ is differently pronounced when it is not a prefix.
Chai! I learnt so many things, in so much that time and space would fail me to exhaust them on this platform.
Who deserves some worthy accolades at times?—these experienced teachers and seasoned lecturers. Some are with higher qualifications greater than the specifications for an ordinary WAEC examiner. It is not even about the money, how much is the pay? A paltry sum of fourteen thousand naira or more. Yet, they devote their time and knowledge for the future of the great leaders of tomorrow.
In the words of the chief examiner, a PHD holder functioning as a part-time lecturer and school teacher, “I do not take for granted, the seriousness this marking work deserves.”
So if you have/know anyone whose scripts were fortunate to be here in Ondo state.
Let him/her forgerrit! These examiners are serious and God-fearing. Although, the Almighty God is usually involved in the cases of His children, they are not the drunkards and players, students usually ‘pray’ against.
I accord them the respect!
My thought: If your discipline or qualification is in line with education, or you are even a teacher, you could avail yourself and your wonderful students of this wealth of knowledge and experience. Slots are available for any subject teachers , regardless of your teaching experience. But for this year, it has ended since marking has began.
Now, I guess you can tell what the WAEC body means by calling one a gate crasher?
Amass this wealth of experience and thank me later, especially for our Maths and English Language teachers. You will sure thank me later. A million cheers to your success