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An Eye Opener On The Newly Approved Grading System By The NUC

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Shotunde Oladimeji

It is no longer news that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has adopted a new grading system which happens to be entirely different from the one we are used to.

However, it is important to note that this grading system would take effect from the 2017/2018 academic session; implying that it affects only the new intakes and subsequent intakes, thereby giving preceding ones nothing to bother about.

There have been uproars from concerned Nigerians condemning the initiative and positing firmly that Nigeria has numerous problems to be battled and things like this should not be an item on the list to be tackled. We seem to have forgotten that problems are very contagious and one leads to the other.

For the benefit of those that would find themselves with this new system, you have nothing and something to worry about. The fact is that the new grading system is a very laudable initiative and definitely one to embrace.

Having spoken to those in the academic sphere (Insiders), I discovered that it would, to a large extent, encourage hard work among the students. I will juxtapose the new system and the old system to give an insight into what I am trying to pass across.

Under the old system, we had a grading system that was largely discouraging and to a large extent not truly reflective. Take a look at this:

1.50 - 2.39-- Third Class
2.40 - 3.49-- Second Class Lower
3.50 - 4.49-- Second Class Upper
4.50 - 5.00-- First Class

At times, I tend to question the large spacing between this categorization. Does it mean that a student with a 3.51 or possibly 3.62 would have the same degree classification with a student who graduates with a 4.40 or 4.48? Or another with a 2.40 would have the same degree classification with someone with a 3.49? Isn't it ridiculous It is questionable and largely defective.

Now, let us take a look at the new grading system which happens to be very reflective:

1.00 - 1.99-- Third Class
2.00 - 2.99-- Second Class Lower
3.00 - 3.49-- Second Class Upper
3.50 - 4.00-- First Class

Can you see the spacing in there. There is no way an hardworking student would not fall in the First class or Second class categories. Luckily for university undergraduates, for you to achieve an "A" in a course, you need to have a "70" and above score unlike the polytechnics where an "A" starts from "75" and above.

Subjectively, I did an analysis which showed that attaining a first class is easier under the new grading system. If you correlate the 3.50/4.00 which is the least to attain a first class in the new system to the 4.50/5.00 which is also the least you can have to attain a first class in the old system, you will discover that on a scale of 5.00, having 4.375/5.00 would earn you a first class (3.5/4 *5). However the analysis does not hold water after I carried out a simulation and discovered that it is all the same since we would be representing a "5" as a "4" to serve as an "A".

Overall, the advantages of the new grading system are as follows:

1. It would eliminate mediocrity in the system I.e it would put you where you rightly belong. (Someone with a 2.50 wouldn't have the same degree classification with another with a 3.49)

2. It aligns with the standard used in some countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a host of others thereby making our grading system to align with international best practices.

3.It will help in distinguishing job worthy graduates. Making a Third Class under the new grading system shows the unemployability of such a person and we should note that third class increases the unemployability of our graduates.

4. Uniformity: Having been faced with the challenge of having two systems of grading where some institutions use 6 grade point of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 for letter grades of A, B, C, D, E and F respectively and others removing the E grade thereby having a grading system with grade points of 5, 4, 3, 2, 0 for letter grades of A, B, C, D and F respectively, this system, if complied with, will ensure uniformity across all institutions thereby eliminating any technical implications on the grading of students. It would also eliminate instances where some universities would use the 5 point grading system while some others like the University of Ibadan (UI) would use the 7 point grading system.

I am not disputing the fact that funding is a major problem in the educational sector. However, we should note that there are some unpronounced or not too pronounced problems that if not well addressed would snow ball into bigger problems and an example of these is the grading system. The problem facing Nigeria educational system is multi faceted and the diagnosis and proffering of solution must also be multi faceted and should take a multi faceted approach.

Thanks for reading.



waw good one but just sad it not applicable we old student I would av being glad to hear it


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