Initiative to organize a colloquium by the indigenous Association at Tertiary Institution of learning deserves a religious support, especially in this generation where vain pursuit of quick fix in the entertainment industry and other racketeering adventures is being elevated above the potency of academic legacy. Some indigenous Associations at Institutions are known conveners of nocturnal social parties where all forms of social vices are promoted. It is my pleasure to associate with your initiative and I am pleased to decorate you a rare hope of shining personae of your generation.
In the real sense of it, cognitive abilities of human persons are dissimilar just as discernment. Retention of communicated ideas is a function of cognitive ability of a receiver and in this context, students. Retention, therefore, is a conceived and retained portion of the communicated ideas which a human person learns through formal and informal settings of his environment.
It is therefore pertinent to say that learning is everywhere but conception is dependent on different factors but the prevailing factor is the character of the learner. The prevailing factor here-mentioned is the willingness of the learner to retain information imparted.
Learning and Retention
In the four walls of academic and non-academic classes, the gathering purpose is the impartation of knowledge from an instructor to the learners; the objective of which is to broaden the minds of the learners and create a new knowledge in them. According to Benjamin Bloom’s research team carried out in 1956, man can learn mental skills, develop his attitudes and acquire new physical skills as he performs the activities of his daily living. In this research, the aforementioned domains of learning is categorized as cognitive domain (knowledge), psychomotor domain (skills) and affective domain (attitudes) while in my review of this postulation, I categorize this as informal learning. In essence, all learning received in the academic settings is formal.
Learning is nothing if retention capacity is impaired. The first stage of retention is the clarity of comprehension of the learner right in the learning environment especially in the academic setting. Whatever conceived and retained by the learner at the point of learning could be categorized as transmission to short Term Memory. In the field of psychology, it is called Sensory Memory.
Retention process does not start and end in the class, students have a Short Term Memory stage in the class psychologically known as Sensory Memory. A follow up study affords a studious student an opportunity to dig deep and explore the theoretical details of the learning discourse and from there, a student transmits knowledge acquired to a semi-permanent stage known as Medium Term Memory. At Medium Term Memory, it implies that students have developed mental capacities to live up to a requirement on what they have learnt and they can as well use it to bear on the development of society. Retention stage ends at Long Term Memory. Any learning idea transmitted to the long term memory can only be deleted (forgotten) on the occasions of death and dementia, not even mental disorder. Long Term Memory is achieved as a result of continued reading of a particular topical matter. Yes, constant revision.
Factors Responsible for Retention Problem
Problems of retention are artificially created by students of this generation due to the factors of laziness, abuse of Information Technology System, Value System Disorientation amongst other.
Laziness: Majority of students in this generation are lazy when it comes to academic enterprise. Many of whom want to get certificates but not knowledge and that is why whatever learnt by them in the classrooms are not studied further let alone revising it for permanent retention. Many of them hobnob with examiners in order to influence the outcome of their papers
Abuse of Information Technology: Unlike the students of previous generations who had their education and study basically and technologically undistractedly, the students of this generation are surrounded by teleconferencing telecommunication system whereupon much time is spent on frivolities. The information system presents Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook and other social media and 90% of students’ productive times are spent on them. This is one of the problem of retention problem amongst the students of 21st Century
Value System Disorientation: Many students of this generation believe that education in unnecessary hence no need to waste time on serious study. The implication of apathy to studying is low or no retention of academic ideas. Some students now seek quick fix and racketeering like internet fraud known as “Yahoo Yahoo”.
Solving the Problem
A colloquium like this; is one of the best approaches to motivating students on the need to pay attention to learning and be committed to studying in and outside the academic environment. Speakers and important personalities, on an occasion like this, could be invited to motivate students and orientate them on how they attain prominence through serious studying.
Students should also be advised to do a self-examination of their ability on various courses such that each student shall go for a course where s/he has required competence. For instance, a student who struggled to have a credit pass in Mathematics, after all efforts invested, should not study a course that is laced up with Advanced Mathematics in the tertiary institution.
Time devoted to studying on campus should also be more than the time used on secondary matters like extra-curriculum activities and the social media
Having discoursed learning and retention in this paper, it could be inferred that retention is not the problem. Factors which are affecting learning and retention are the problems. No scholar becomes a scholar from heaven. A person becomes a scholar in this terrestrial space through commitment and hard work. I therefore enjoin you to motivate yourself and prepare yourself for future.
This text is part of an address delivered on “Solving Retention Problems Amongst The 21st Century Student” at the Annual Public Lecture Series Of the Federation Of Ibarapa Students Association, Federal School Of Statistics Chapter, Ibadan On 25th April, 2019.