Sunday, February 5, 2023

Why are Nigerians mandated to write the IELTS exams even though it’s an English speaking country?

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Over the years, it has become apparent that the main drive for Making the IELTS mandatory for Nigerians is largely financial rather than the proclaimed test for the efficiency of the language.

Nigeria, with English as her official language and as a member of the commonwealth shouldn’t have been mandated to write IELTS before working or schooling in places like Canada and the UK.

To further belabor Nigerians, the fees are unreasonably high at N89,500 and the test is valid for 2years only. But that of the DELF, the french version of the IELTS is just N16,000 and it’s valid for life.

I find this as a way of undermining the Nigerian educational system. Schools here teach in English from Kindergarten to University level, so why should we pay a significant sum to write a test just to show we can communicate in English.

Even those who studied English or Literature at the graduate level in Universities here in Nigeria are required to sit for the test if they plan on furthering their studies abroad.

Nigeria is probably one of the least countries a tourist or foreigner would have communication issues, as there is not a place, even in the remote villages where you won’t find people who could communicate in English.

Yes, we have our accents and all that but telling you what we mean and understanding what you’re saying is not a problem for the average Nigerian.

We love our local languages. We are more comfortable in communicating with our languages but it’s almost magical to see the average Nigerian switch to English just to please his or her co-communicator in simple and correct English.

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Some of us like to think that even native speakers would find it tough to pass the test, and there are many Nigerians that would speak far better English than their citizens.

The test is unfair for English-speaking countries like Nigeria and it should be scrapped or adjustments should be made in no distant time.

Note: My English is not the best and should not be used as a yardstick to measure well-deserving Nigerians who aspire to work or study Abroad.

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