Visual Art Paper 1 ,May/June 2012  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments


The following are some of the weaknesses noticeable in the candidates’ scripts

  1. Inadequate knowledge of art history
  2. The problem of candidates’ constricted knowledge of art history is becoming chronic. Candidates often demonstrate an apparent lack of knowledge of any art tradition outside Nigeria. This was evident again in their response to question 3, where candidates were requested to write on any three out of the four stated West African art forms. Candidates wrote, although not quite satisfactorily, on Igbo-Ukwu bronze pots, which is the only art form from Nigeria. They also avoided question 5, which is on Mossi Masks and in writing on either Ashanti stools or Nok art in question 6, all the candidates went for Nok art. In question 8, candidates were only able to mention rightly, the proponents of Cubism, but could not write on Pablo Picasso in spite of his enormous contributions to modern art.

  3. Deviation from the requirements of questions
  4. This is also a recurring inadequacy among candidates. In question 3, where candidates were expected to state three similarities and differences between Ife and Benin art traditions, they dwelled largely on the history of both Ife and Benin Kingdoms. Similarly, in question 2 (b), rather than listing two examples of sculpture as required, candidates wrongly concentrated on describing the word sculpture, just as they also talked so much on the towns in Nigeria where sculptures are produced.    

  5. Illogical presentation of points
  6. Candidates as usual, found it difficult to organise their points coherently. In most cases, responses were disjointed and uncoordinated. This is only an evidence of inadequate preparedness.

  7. Inappropriate use of answer booklet

The use of answer booklet by candidates is somewhat appalling. A good number of candidates wrote their responses to the same question on different pages without any indication of such. Some others also answered two or more questions on the same page. These are unacceptable by any standard, as candidates were expected to answer a fresh question on a new page in the answer booklet.
The following are some of the actions necessary in tackling the aforementioned inadequacies:
(1)        Improved Knowledge of art history
Teachers’ overconcentration on the practical aspects of visual art is unwholesome and detrimental to the overall development of knowledge in the subject. The history of art is as important as the practical aspect as it has always been essential for visual artists to be able to articulate the content of their art forms, as well as its context (background). In view of this, it is imperative for teachers to make concerted efforts on grasping the theory (including the history) of art and to also impart this knowledge to the students. The WASSCE syllabus for Visual art stipulates that candidates will be assessed, not only in the practical areas, but also in the theoretical aspects such as General knowledge in Art and the history of West African Art, Western and Oriental art. Thus, it is only appropriate for teachers to be encouraged to sufficiently combine these areas with the practical aspects before entering their students for examination of WASSCE standard.
(2)        Improved understanding of English Language
Candidates should make effort on improving their understanding and use of the English Language. This will enable them to comprehend the requirements of questions, as it will also facilitate logical expression and coherent presentation of points. They can approach this by devoting quality time to reading books, novels, journals, etc.
            (3)        Appropriate orientation on examination ethics
Authorities of schools should ensure that sufficient orientation is given to candidates on examination principles. The proper approach to documentation of information on examination is an area where candidates are apparently deficient. The use of examination materials such as the answer booklet is an area where this deficiency manifests greatly among candidates in Nigeria. Therefore, it is appropriate for school authorities to ensure that students are given sufficient orientation on this before any major examination



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