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…stakeholders want unified exams scrapped

By Ade Olanrewaju

Parents and stakeholders in Ondo state have expressed worries and apprehension over inconsistence currently being experienced in the education sector, especially delay by the state government to conduct Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE, for students of JSS 3 and promotion exams for SSS 2 in its public schools.

Roving Reporters gathered that the two exams ought to have been conducted few weeks ago, but are being delayed due to the inability of the Ondo state government to release funds for the conduct of the exams.

This has however raised concern among teachers and parents with the fear that it could disrupt third term holidays as they will have to commence marking of Exams scripts very late.

A parent, Mr Adeoti Oyewole said he is more worried with current developments in the education sector in Ondo state.

Mr Oyewole said “i can’t imagine hearing that our kids have not sat for their JJS 3 exams at the middle of July and nobody is saying anything.

It has not been as bad as this in Ondo state. I hope one day ,the state government would understand and realize the damage they have caused the system. ”

An official in the ministry of education who spoke with ROVING REPORTERS under the condition of anonymity said things are not working well in the sector as before .

He said “ students usually write BECE after NECO Exams, and followed by SSS 2 unified exams.

Though based on the general Election break and Sallah break , NECO exam was extended till this month which just ended last week, but it is expected that ,along the line, BECE and SSS2 Exams be conducted simultaneously so as not to put much pressure on teachers that will be marking those scripts.

But i can tell you that questions for those exams are just being set while we await the time table for the exams as of Monday July 15th.

How will students prepare for exams when the time table has not been released a week before exams ? ”

A principal who also claimed anonymity said he has been disturbed on how to take care of boarding house students whose days have to be extended due to the exams.

He said “The implication is that i must find a way of feeding JSS 3 and SSS 2 students that are in our boarding house because of this. It is an extra cost and i don’t know how to go about their feeding.

Ordinarily, they should be preparing to join their parents but that would not be happening because of this delay. ”

A teacher, who spoke with ROVING REPORTERS said “ we,JSS 3 and SSS 2 teachers will not be starting our holidays yet because of this delay.

Our colleagues in the Federal Secondary schools have conducted their exams and released their results since May while we are yet to know our fate.

The students no longer concentrate as we try to do revision because they are all eager to write the exams and go on holidays. They ought to have left the school normally because all other classes have finished their exams. ”

It was gathered that the time table which was supposed to be out a week prior to the exams have just been out on Monday 15th ,July while the two exams will start on Thursday 18th July 2019, a development that has never been witnessed in the sector.

In a copy of separate timetables made available to ROVING REPORTERS, it was observed that the students will be rushed to finish the exams between five to seven days including weekend as students will have to write three papers in some of those days.

A teacher said ” the pressure is very unnecessary. Now we will be having exams on Saturday just because of someone’s ineptitude. ”

It was also gathered that governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu delayed the release of funds to the Ministry of Education which was the factor responsible for the late exams.

Reacting ,an Educationist, mr Oluwasola Adetunji wondered why The ministry of Education was still conducting Unified exams for SSS 2 students when the purpose had been forfeited,alleging some education officials of corruption.

Adetunji said “ as soon as Akeredolu stopped payment of WAEC and NECO fees for students in public secondary schools, there is no reason why schools should not be allowed to conduct the SSS 2 exams internally .

“ Since Adefarati administration in 2000 that the exams started ,the purpose was for government to sponsor those that passed the exams by paying for their exams fee, WAEC specifically .

And now that Akeredolu has stopped it and parents have started paying themselves, SSS 2 to SSS 3 exams should be returned back to the schools so that this kind of mess would not recur.

I think some people in the ministry of education who have been benefiting from the exercise don’t want it to stop so that they will continue to milk from the government and that’s why Akeredolu is delaying the funds for the unified exams ”

All efforts to get the reaction of the commissioner for Education, Pastor Femi Agagu ,on why government delayed the release of exams funds, were not successful as he did not pick all phone calls and has not replied the messages sent to his phone.

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