A friend who was an English Language major told me that he needed the sum of seventy-five thousand naira (N75, 000) to register for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. I knew he had written the examination which he passed with excellent scores. The IELTS which is written by those who seek greener pastures as well as those who would like to study abroad is valid for two years.
There is no limit to the number of years the examination is held in Nigeria by the British Council which is one of the major bodies licensed to conduct the examination in Nigeria. Is it not funny that a country like Nigeria that was colonized by Britain be made to write English competency examination? From the kindergarten stage of our educational system till university it is English Language that has been used in teaching but yet we are made to pay a whooping amount of N75000 yearly for the same language we grew up with.
How can a language test that you passed become invalid after two years and then you are made to take it again if you were not ready to travel? Does it mean that in a space of two years, everything you learnt has been forgotten irrespective of the fact that it is the language of communication on a daily basis in the country? The IELTS is nothing but a scam.
Just like the IELTS, the American version TOEFL is also valid for two years. The price tag is between $180 and $195 and with the exchange rate the price is well above N80, 000. In a bid to run out of the country, these organizations are just using these examinations to rip off Nigerians. Such examinations should be for countries that do not have English as their lingua-franca. Countries like Benin, Cote’de voire etc and not Nigeria where in all sphere of our lives such as business environments, schools, malls etc we use English language as a means of communication.
The Nigerian government should set up their own language testing system for English-speaking countries to take examinations in any of the three major languages –Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo if they don’t exempt Nigerians from these criteria. These criteria should not be for graduates and professionals. It is an insult to our professors and the educational system. How can a Masters Degree holder in English Language be compelled to start write some secondary school based examination questions and after two years it becomes invalid because his brain could not retain what he learnt?
Desperate Nigerians have become the Cows while IELTS and TOEFL are the milking machines. Just as cows are led to the platforms to be milked that is exactly how Nigerians have been led to British Council (the platforms) and IELTS and TOEFL are used to milk them daily of their funds all in the name of English competency test.