How Has Peer Pressure Encouraged Cramming? - ETCSINES


Granted, cramming has, over the years, become a culture among Nigerian students at all educational levels – primary, secondary and tertiary. Studying this trend, probably by observation or participation, we can discover that there is a factor among others, which has being the driving force of cramming among students. That driving force is peer pressure.

Before I started this write-up, I took some time to ruminate on how the peer group has influenced the cramming culture. And I discovered that nothing can become a norm unless it has been endorsed, directly or indirectly, by certain groups or strata of people in the society as normal.

Aside from family and religious institutions, the peer group is an entity that has a powerful influence on students. And when we talk about peer pressure, we refer to the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitude, values or behaviours to conform to those of the influencing group.

Let me share my personal experience to give a practical illustration to this. When I got to SS 2, I began to notice a very keen passion in me for what I call “outside-the-box” academic studies, where I put in an extra effort to do a research on other materials other than what was taught in class. Although, I did not become the best in my class based on academic performance, but I was outstanding based on how vast I was in knowledge. You can only become outstanding when you violate the status quo. When I got to the university I continued this way. Then, my colleagues made me felt as though I was going an extra mile beyond a boundary that was unnecessary. I did not brag about my knowledge, but many of them saw me as an alien because, according to them, I did something very differently from what was termed “normal”.

The cramming culture is well grounded in Nigeria’s academic system because the peer groups have a very great influence on it. I term cramming as a “mediocre system of learning”, where one only strives for tentative knowledge to pass a forthcoming exam.       

I cannot exhaust this topic. Therefore, I bid teachers at all levels of education in Nigeria to critically examine this issue. It is more of a realistic approach than just an opinion. 

By Daniel Owa-George 

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