MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Borno Governor Babagana Zulum, has directed immediate reintroduction of Common Entrance Examination at primary six level in the State.
He gave the directive during a meeting with principals of all public secondary schools in the State on Sunday, October 11, 2020.
Zulum tasked the school principals on honesty by telling the realities of challenges in the system, rather than cover-up for fear of victimization.
He assured them that measures will continually be adopted to improve their training and welfare of teachers in public schools to motivate high performances, while supervision will be drastically changed for the purpose of punishing those unready to change.
“I have been to several schools, and each time I asked, some of you principals found it difficult to explain the problems in your schools. I was later made to understand that if you tell me the truth, you would either be transferred somewhere you wouldn’t like, or somehow be victimized.
“Please I beg all of you to tell me the truth. Let us tell ourselves the truth so that we can improve Borno’s public education from where we are now. I am pleading with you to please be upright, be honest. Education is the bedrock of any development.
“Without functional educational system, we shall continue to experience this Boko Haram insurgency in Borno. Look at the kind of students we are graduating from our public secondary schools, most of them do not qualify for admission into universities, even those who get admitted find it very difficult to cope.
“I assure you that telling me the truth will not lead to anything happening to any of you by God’s grace,” he pleaded with principals.
Going down memory lane, the Governor said; “I can recall that twenty years ago, principals were not willing to even become permanent secretaries because of job satisfaction. Today, that satisfaction is longer there.
“There is general decline in the standard of education in public institutions all over the country. There is the lack of qualified teachers, inadequate teaching facilities, poor maintenance culture, general decay of infrastructure, Government’s inability to ensure monitoring and evaluation, centralized control by the Ministry, unnecessary bureaucracy, and irregular training and retraining of teachers and other essential staff.
“There is poor data management and indiscipline amongst the major problems affecting the public school system,” he added.
Responding, the principals complained on poor quality of primary school pupils who come into secondary schools with weak foundation.
They urged the Governor to critically look into reintroduction of common entrance examination at primary six level as yardstick for admission into secondary schools.
After listening to the principals, Zulum directed them to communicate all the problems they listed and more if any in written form, for submission within one week; and directed the immediate reintroduction of common entrance examination at primary six level.
Zulum also directed the enforcement of a qualifying policy that henceforth, only pupils who passed the examination by securing a cut-off mark, should be eligible for admission into Junior Secondary School (JSS 1), as against giving admissions to all pupils regardless of common entrance criteria.
He also directed that school authorities must henceforth take all qualifying and promotional examinations seriously as Government will monitor all conducts.