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Sixth form programme crucial to quality higher education


imagesTo adequately prepare students for university education, Managing Director of Ladder Steps College (LSC), a sixth form college in Lagos, Akin Akinola, has advised the Federal Government to reintroduce Advanced Level (A-level) programme into the Nigerian educational system because of its capacity to prepare students for higher education.

Speaking with The Guardian at the college recently, during an event to announce the commencement of University Foundation Programme (UFP); Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT); International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE); Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT); among others, Akinola lamented that most students across the country were not adequately prepared to take on responsibilities associated with higher education.

He said A-level used to be part of the Nigerian education system until the 1980s when it was scrapped.

He said LSC was out to address this need and provide qualitative education for students, who are willing to pursue higher education abroad and in private universities in Nigeria.

According to him, “Part of the problem with the Nigerian education system is that our students are not properly prepared for higher academic pursuits. I remember vividly in the 1980s, A-level was adequate for preparing students for higher education. Most of the students that went through the A-levels then were better off than students who just jumped straight to the university.”

“The programme actually prepares students and exposes them to the challenges of higher education. The then government scrapped it, but it is coming back now because of the realisation that sixth form is necessary, especially when the child is to study abroad. University education requires students to understand what is expected of them and A-level programme is excellent in that regard.”

He advised that the government could commence the programme in some colleges of education and technical schools on a pilot basis, to enable students in public schools benefit, since the private sector was already benefitting immensely.

On the aspiration of the new college located at Omole Estate Phase 1, Akinola said, “We intend to remove the questionable standard in the existing quality of secondary education by providing an affordable quality sixth form education. Our aim is to educate students in harmony on each step of their lives, linking them to the ladder of opportunities.

“We understand that students’ success in their overall educational outcome is our pride and our basis of good relationship with parents and guardians. We, therefore strive to provide the best tools and facilities available for educational instructions with the goal of achieving 100 per cent success in the results of our students and ensuring that it remains.”

He added, “Students need to be mentally and physically ready for higher education, especially those travelling abroad, otherwise when they get there, in most cases, they trade away their first year. At LSC, our emphasis is on morals and discipline.”

Through the college’s series of programme, Akinola hinted that students would be linked to reputable universities in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

Scholarships based on good grades are also available. So, we will counsel our students to work hard and do extremely well in SAT test so as to benefit from such opportunities.

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