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Stop forcing under-age children into secondary school

Stop forcing under-age children into secondary school

The Lagos State Education Commissioner, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo has counselled parents not to rush their wards to secondary school without completing six years of primary education stipulated by the National Policy on Education (NPE).

Speaking during an interactive session with educators and visitors at the 2021 Total School Support Exhibition (TOSSE) held at the Ten Degrees event centre, Oregun, last Friday, the commissioner also cautioned secondary schools against accepting children that do not complete primary six.

Responding to question about the culture of rushing children off to secondary school from primary four or five, Mrs. Adefisayo said: “As principal of a secondary school, I never admitted a child without primary six report card. But I want to appeal to secondary schools too especially private secondary schools stop taking underage children because it even undermines your school because it takes them long to settle down they don’t really. They may be brilliant but I have hardly seen anyone who kept it up till SS3 because they are so young.”

Continuing, she said schools should counsel parents on the danger of admitting an eight or nine year old in secondary school.

“Schools have to let parents know if a child comes in at eight he is going to be like 13 or 14 in SS3. Do you really want a fourteen year-old in the university? A child who cannot make decisions in a free environment free for all where you know the people there are much older than them you don’t want your 13, 14 years old in an environment of 20-year old who in turn will force them to do things they do not want to do. So I think it is a campaign that we all have to work on together. We are working on that to bring back Primary six.”

When asked if the government may consider sanctions against schools that admit underage children in an interview, Mrs. Adefisayo said: “We are going to look at that … to sanction them because the national policy on education is clear on it that children from so-so age to so-so age should be in primary school.”

Speaking on the various reforms initiated by the Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu-administration the Commissioner said there had been improvement of schools infrastructure, teacher training, curriculum review and the integration of technology in teaching and learning.

She spoke of the government’s plan to build technological eco-friendly schools, saying that the pilot had started at Vetland Junior School, Agege.

On the schools’ appeal that the government reduce the cost of material testing from N100,000, and consolidate taxes to check multiple taxation, Mrs. Adefisayo said the Office of Education Quality Assurance would discuss the review with relevant government agencies.

In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Abosede Adelaja urged all stakeholders to join hands to support government in it is a collective responsibility of the citizenry and stakeholders to sensitise parents on how to discourage street hawking and child abuse.

The commissioner was supported by directors and heads of agencies, units and commissions under the ministry of education in addressing the various issues raised school administration, multiple taxation, quality assurance, school approval requirements, among others.

Other members of the panellists include the Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, Mrs. Olabisi Ariyo, Tutor General/Permanent Secretary District IV, Mr. Olajide Charles, Tutor General/Permanent Secretary District VI, Mrs. Okelola Oludara, Tutor General/Permanent Secretary District II, Mrs. Anike Adekanye, Director General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs. Abiola Seriki Ayeni, Executive Secretary, LASTVEB, Mrs. Moronke Azeez, Permanent Board Member LSUBEB, Mrs. Sijuade Idowu-Tiamiyu, Senior Special Assistant, STEAM, Mrs. Adetola Salau. They proffered solutions to challenges facing the sector and intimated stakeholders on the roles of their respective agencies.

Sited By

Gloria Olayemi (Pfschools Staff)

Story By

Kofoworola Belo-Osagie (the Nation Newspapers)

(Reference material: https://thenationonlineng.net/stop-forcing-under-age-children-into-secondary-school-commissioner-counsels-parents/)

List of Universities That Announced Their Screening Dates For Post UTME

Following the release of the results of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), some Nigerian universities have announced the dates for their Post-UTME.

Post-UTME is the examination that candidates write to further ascertain their UTME results. It qualifies them for admission into tertiary institutions of their choice Post-UTME is the examination that candidates write to further ascertain their UTME results.

It qualifies them for admission into tertiary institutions of their choice. Lists the universities that have so far released useful information regarding the Post-UTME.

1. University of Lagos (UNILAG)

UNILAG’s Post-UTME aptitude test will hold from Monday, November 1 to Friday, November 5 2021. PAY ATTENTION: Join Legit.ng Telegram channel! Never miss important updates! According to the university, online registration for the Post-UTME screening exercise for the 2021/2022 Academic Year will commence from Monday, October 11 to Friday, October 29, 2021. The screening fee is N2,000.

2. Nnamdi Azikwe University

Nnamdi Azikwe University has also started sales of forms for 2021/2022 Post UTME and Direct Entry screening exercise. READ ALSO State Congresses: APC releases revised timetable, gives fresh details The exercise started on Wednesday, September 8 and will end on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

3. Delta State University, Abraka

Online application started on Tuesday, September 21 and will close at 6pm on Monday, October 11, 2021. The university said candidates will be communicated on the date and time for screening in due course. Candidates are required to visit www.delsuonline.com to generate a virtual PIN with N2,000 fee.

4. Tai Solarin University of Education

According to BBC Pidgin, Tai Solarin University of Education started sales of online Post UTME screening registration forms on Monday, September 15 and will close on Friday, October 15. The screening exercise will hold at the main university campus on Wednesday, October, 20.

5. Rivers State University

Rivers State University’s registration for the Post UTME screening exercise started on Wednesday, September 8th and will end on Friday, October 8. The screening exercise will take place from Monday, October, 18 at the Information Communication and Technology centre of the university.

6. Yobe State University

The online registration for Post-UTME/DE screening for 2021/2022 admission started on Friday, October 1 and will end Sunday, October 31.

7. Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU)

Registration for the screening exercise started on Tuesday, October 5 and will end on Tuesday, October, 19. The screening exercise will be conducted online. Post UTME screening will start from Wednesday, October 27 to Friday, October 29.

 

Resource from Legit.ng

List of Universities That Have Released Their Cut-Off Marks

Some Nigerian universities have released their cut-off marks for the 2021/2022 admission. This follows the decision of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to cancel the national/general cut-off marks. UNILAG and other Nigerian universities that have released their cut-off marks for the 2021/2022 admission. The JAMB’s decision gave the tertiary institution in the country the freedom to set their own cut-off marks.

BBC Pidgin reported that JAMB registrar, Professor Ishaq Oloyede listed some universities that have released their own cut-off marks.

  • Pan Atlantic University – 210
  • University of Lagos – 200
  • Lagos State University – 190
  • Covenant University – 190
  • University of Ilorin – 180
  • University of Maiduguri – 150
  • Usman Dan Fodio University – 140
  • University of Sokoto – 140
  • Bayero University, Kano – 180

However, that BUK’s cut-off marks vary depending on the courses. Check below:

  • Faculty of Allied Health Sciences – 200
  • Faculty of Clinical Sciences – 250
  • Faculty of Dentistry – 200
  • Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences – 220
  • Faculty of Law – 220
  • Cut-off mark for blind candidates – 160

Candidates who chose the above universities as the choice of study in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) should check the cut-off marks to know whether they meet the admission requirement or not.

Resource from Legit.ng

Welcoming Students Back to School During & After School Closures

Welcome Back to School, Students!

Someone once said, ”without teachers life would have no class.” In the age of school closures, hybrid, and remote learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this quote surely seems appropriate. As a teacher of K-12 students for the last year and a half, you know that your duties have gone way beyond your job description, as you wear many hats and play many roles that include coach, friend, therapist, and tutor.

So, when you welcome back your students after a school closure, what tips would be helpful to alleviate their fears and anxieties to make them feel more at home? To get more insight on what students and parents are dealing with, you can start with this Helping Your Child with Back to School Anxiety During Coronavirus lesson and read on to learn more about starting the school year off on the right foot.

A Warm Welcome Starts Right at the Door

Since you’re going to want your students to feel welcome and appreciated this year, why not greet them with a warm smile and a hello right at the door if instruction is being provided in person this semester? This simple act might:

  • Increase student engagement
  • Reduce unruly behavior
  • Set a positive tone

Asking Parents Questions

Since parents are most assuredly going to be asking you a lot more questions than normal at ”Back to School Night” this year, why not have a set of questions ready for them to help this process? Examples of questions you could ask include:

  • How can we get your child to not mind wearing a mask each day?
  • What are some things you can do at home to prepare your child for class?
  • What can I do to make you feel more comfortable sending your child to my classroom?
  • What can you as parents do to add value to my classroom teachings this year?
  • What does your child enjoy most about coming to school each day?

Masks, Masks, Masks!

Now, there is no masking the fact (pun intended) that students are going to love wearing masks about as much as you announcing a surprise math quiz. One thing you can do is try to make the entire process sort of a fun game. Since children all the way from kindergarten through high school love superheroes, you can remind them that many of their favorite action stars wear masks too.

You can even have contests and allow your students to design their own superhero masks. If that doesn’t strike their fancy, children could create face masks with animals on them. Some students are even designing masks that look like their own faces!

The Elephant in the Room

Let’s move right on to the unavoidable subject! Regardless of whether children are returning to school online or in person, they are going to want to talk about the coronavirus. Should you talk about the pandemic with children? This decision will probably end up being determined by each school district. If you are allowed, be candid with your students and address any pressing concerns. You are probably going to spend a lot of extra time talking to parents too, as the latter will want to be reassured that their children are going to a safe and effective learning environment each day.

Discipline and Structure: More or Less?

When your students begin classes via distance learning or in person, at first your tendency may be to go easier on them because of all that they have been through this year. However, you may find that you will want to actually be a bit more disciplined and structured in your classroom. Students may test your limits and see what they can ”get away with” due to a relaxed atmosphere.

Getting Along With Other Teachers

When you welcome students back to school, as a teacher you will want to set a fine example of someone who is calm and in complete control. In that case, it is a good idea to avoid getting into arguments with other teachers about the coronavirus.

After all, every educator is going to have differing opinions about the state of affairs of the world and what is the best way to ”cure” them. A better option would be to meet with fellow teachers and ask the question, ”how can we all work together this school year to make life better for all of our students?”

Make a Video

This is the digital age, so making a ”Welcome Back” video won’t be too difficult for you if you can’t meet with students and parents in person. You can then share it online where everyone can view it. Don’t forget to mention the coronavirus pandemic and how you will make adjustments to allow for a positive experience this school year.

Online Extracurricular Activities

Lastly, you are going to want the students to get involved as much possible in your school, but they aren’t going to be allowed to meet in large groups. One great idea is to hold online extracurricular activities. See what creative ways students, parents, and teachers can work together to design fun concepts.

Supplemental Learning

A large concern among teachers and parents is how prepared students will feel coming back to the classroom after remote learning. Some subjects may have been more difficult for some students to stay on track and make progress in their studies. As part of welcoming back students, more thorough assessments on where students are at with each subject can help you understand which students need help the most.

One way to promote learning and help students get caught up is with supplemental online tutoring and learning opportunities. For example, in science and math, students can brush up on introductory biology or algebra topics.

You can also recommend tutoring for students such as a math tutoring service and engage parents in the conversation to get their student up to speed.

The start of the school year – especially after Covid closures – is a great time to assess your students and provide supplemental learning opportunities.

Lesson Summary

Welcoming students back to school after a school closure can be a tense situation, but with some positive strategies and tactics you can make it a good year for your students. It is not a bad idea to greet each student with a smile and a greeting at your classroom door if you’ll be teaching classes in person. If permitted, talk frankly with students about the coronavirus. Compile a list of questions to help parents with this transition back to school. Try to make wearing masks a fun experience for the students. Consider having slightly more discipline and structure this school year, and set a good example by not arguing with other teachers. Finally, also consider making a ”Welcome Back” online video and holding online extracurricular activities for students.

Resource from Study.com

Helping Your Child with Back to School Anxiety During Coronavirus

How Do I Help My Child Cope With Anxiety?

Author Karen Salmansohn once wrote ”no amount of anxiety can change the future.” Indeed, these words certainly seem applicable to the coronavirus pandemic as we all struggle with the prospect of the upcoming school year, regardless of whether students will learn in a brick-and-mortar setting or remain home and learn remotely.

And if parents are anxious and fearful of what lies ahead, just imagine what is going through our children’s minds!

However, children can be stronger and more adaptable than we think sometimes. Therefore, it is up to us to instill in them both confidence and self-efficacy so they can cope with anxiety and make the most of their educations.

Identifying Anxiety

To start with, if you’re going to help your child cope with anxiety, you must first identify the condition. The lesson titled What Is Anxiety? – Definition, Symptoms & Causes goes into greater detail, but some initial signs to look for include:

  • Bursting into tears for no apparent reason
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Clinginess
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration
  • Negative comments
  • Quickness to anger
  • Restlessness
  • Stomachaches

Preparation Tips

For students who are nervous about on-site school, rehearse the trip to school by walking the actual route a couple of times or driving the school bus route with your student. If your teen drives to school, allow them to traverse the route and even find a parking space. Go over where your child will hang their coat, where they will eat lunch, and when they will be allowed to use the restroom.

For students who are nervous about online school, design a schedule so they can actually ”see” what is going to happen during the week. Before you even start, use Skype or Zoom to do a practice run to make them feel more comfortable with software used by their school.

People tend to fear the unknown, so by addressing as many variables as possible, you can reduce the entire family’s anxiety to manageable levels. Further, you can gently guide kids through an anxiety-producing situation by telling a ”social story”, which explains how things will take place. Don’t be afraid to be honest with children and ask if they have any questions or pressing concerns that are bothering them.

Multi-tasking Versus Mono-tasking

Have you ever witnessed your child studying while they were simultaneously watching television, typing on a laptop, and talking on a cellphone to a friend? Admittedly this talent is impressive, but some scientific research now suggests multi-tasking can cause a host of negative side effects, including anxiety, fuzzy thinking, and even IQ drops.

On the other hand, mono-tasking involves doing only one task at a time until it is completed. Studies suggest this methodology can actually result in reduced anxiety, sharper thinking, and increased concentration levels. Whether your student is learning entirely from home or tackling homework after school, encourage your children to focus on one task at a time.

Meditation and Mindfulness

Sometimes it’s not so easy to just tell others to relax and not be anxious. If that is the case, meditation and mindfulness may be the ticket to help you and your child deal with the stressors of the coronavirus outbreak. Mindfulness is based on the concept of ”living in the moment” as well as being aware and conscious of things around you.

One simple mindfulness exercise to help your student relax involves squeezing and releasing each muscle in the body. They hold each muscle tight for a few seconds and then move on to the next one. Additionally, instead of rushing through their next meal and looking at their cellphone while eating, they could chew slowly and enjoy the experience, observing and smelling their food first, and taking a few seconds between each bite.

They can also meditate with their eyes open, half-closed, or closed. Advise them to sit with as little stress as possible on the body and avoid letting their mind race back to all the stressors of the day. Instead, they can focus on a pleasant spot like a quiet beach setting.

Exercise

While there are many choices for exercise that may reduce anxiety, many experts believe any aerobic exercise that elevates the heart rate is an ideal choice. Help your child aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three times per week. Good choices include:

  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Jogging
  • Swimming

Still another option for reducing anxiety is a series of yoga poses. Make sure your student starts out with the beginner poses first and doesn’t push to the point of injury.

Music

Which music is right for you and your children to reduce anxiety? That’s not an easy question to answer because everyone’s mind and body are unique, and when it comes to music everyone has personal tastes. However, many scientists feel certain songs are more relaxing and soothing than others. Two popular suggestions include ”Weightless” by Marconi Union and ”Electra” by Airstream. Many people respond well to classical or jazz music, and it is probably best to avoid fast-paced music with heavier beats. Still another choice is to listen to soothing music with the sounds of ocean waves, waterfalls, or rain added in the background.

Don’t Try to Navigate Anxious Waters Alone

The last thing you want to aim for during these troubled times is to try and go it alone, as trying to do too much will almost certainly increase your own anxiety levels. After all, in the computer age you have plenty of social media connections to stay in touch with others. You will want to stay connected with your children, other parents, teachers, physicians, and other people in your community. Remember, they are feeling anxious and stressed too.

Seeking Professional Help

If all else fails, there is absolutely no shame in a child (or parents) seeking professional help for dealing with excessive anxiety. If you are sheltered in place at home, the burgeoning field of telepsychiatry may be something to consider. Before the school year even gets underway, it might not be a bad idea to go online and learn about some of your telehealth options for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Resource from Study.com

How to Get Ready for School

Getting into a routine of preparing for school the day and night before makes getting up and getting ready in the morning much easier. Getting ready for school doesn’t just involve waking up and getting dressed. It also includes getting your assignments done, organizing your school supplies, and having a good attitude as you start the day. By preparing in advance, you’ll have more time in the mornings to sleep in or eat breakfast, and you won’t be as rushed or stressed so your school days will always be off to a good start.

Part1

Preparing the Night Before

  1. Pick out your clothes. If you pick out your clothes the night before, you’ll save yourself a lot of time in the morning. Choose clothes that you’ll feel comfortable in throughout the day. If it’s cold out, remember to select layers so that you can put on a jacket or sweater if you need to.

    • If you wear a uniform to school, you can still lay it out so that you’ll know where it is and can be sure you have a clean uniform ready to go.
    • Make sure your clothes fit within any dress code that your school may have.
    • Lay the clothes out on a chair or dresser so that you can find them easily.
  2. Take a shower. Showering every day is part of good hygiene. By showering at night, you wash away any sweat or dirt that’s accumulated during the day. You’ll wake up feeling fresh and ready to go, and you won’t need to spend time showering in the morning.

    • If you need to do something to your hair at night, make sure to take care of this, as well. Some people sleep in curlers or tie their hair up in a rag at night.
    • Make sure to also brush your teeth and take care of any other matters of personal hygiene as well.
  3. Pack your backpack. Double check that all of your books and homework are in your backpack. There’s nothing worse than getting to school and realizing that you’ve left a permission slip or an assignment at home. Look through all of your papers and your calendar to make sure you have what you need.

    • You can ask your parents to double check your backpack and make sure you didn’t forget anything. Sometimes they might be able to help you remember something that you forgot.
  4. Set your alarm clock. Make sure you set your alarm clock to when you want to wake up. Allow 10-15 minutes more than you think you need for your morning routine. This will ensure that you have plenty of time and can get ready without feeling rushed.

    • If you’re used to pushing the snooze button a lot, you’ll want to set your alarm clock for even earlier, to allow for some snoozing.
    • Check to make sure that your alarm clock works before you rely on it!

Part2

Getting Ready in the Morning

  1. Wake up. This one is often more easily said than done. Try your best to get up when your alarm first goes off. Get out of bed as soon as you can. This will help your body and mind to wake up and will help you avoid falling back to sleep.
    • It is better for your level of alertness to wake up after the initial alarm goes off. Using the snooze feature doesn’t help you wake-up.
  2. Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast helps you wake up and feeds your brain with energy for your day of school. Try to eat something packed with protein and some complex carbohydrates to keep your energized until lunch.

    • Morning protein sources can be eggs, breakfast meats, yogurt, or milk or a milk alternative like soy or almond milk.
    • Reach for whole grain toast or cereal such as oatmeal or muesli. Fruit is packed with fiber, which is important to a healthy diet as well.
    • There are many breakfasts that you can make in large batches at night and freeze for quick reheating in the morning.
  3. Practice good hygiene. Brush your teeth well and floss if that’s part of your routine. You can also wash your face, brush your hair, and do anything else that’s part of getting ready to start your day.[7]

    • Some people wear makeup or put products in their hair before school.
    • If you wear contacts or a retainer, you may need to have special routines dedicated to cleaning and putting in those items.
  4. Get dressed. Put on the clothes that you laid out the night before. Look in the mirror to make sure that everything looks right. You can make adjustments if you need to, but don’t get caught up creating a whole new outfit. You’ll start to run behind.
    • Check the weather when you get up. You may need to pack an extra sweater or a raincoat if there’s bad weather that you didn’t plan for.
  5. Take everything you need. Hopefully, you’ve already assembled your backpack full of necessities and either packed a lunch or prepared to buy lunch. Gather what you need and double check that you have everything.[9]

    • It can be helpful to designate one place in your house where you keep your backpack, lunchbox, coat and shoes. That way, you have everything in one place in the morning.
    • Check with your parents to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
  6. Head out the door. You might be getting a ride, walking, or catching a bus (local or school). However you get to school, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there. You can’t control if the bus is late, but you can control whether you’re on time to catch the bus.

    • If you woke up 10-15 minutes before you absolutely needed to, you should have a little extra time.

    Resource From WikiHow

2021 WASSCE: Concludes arrangements as 1.6m candidates register

No fewer than 1.6 million candidates are expected to participate in this year’s West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) scheduled to begin on Aug. 16.

The Head of National Office (HNO) of West African Examination Council (WAEC), Mr Patrick Areghan, gave the figure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

Areghan said that the council was working day and night toward accommodating some schools still bothering it with late registration.

He said that the development was taking its toll on the council’s operations.

Areghan said ahead of the conduct of the 2021 WASSCE, the council was working with relevant stakeholders to ensure a hitch-free WASSCE for school candidates, in spite of some challenges.

“As I have always said, conducting examination is not a tea party. It is a huge task and requires collaboration of all critical stakeholders, including the media.

“It requires a lot of preparations and even more, especially in the face of the rising cases of insecurity and the resurgence  of  Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

“In conducting this examination, we also want to ensure that the lives of all those involved, including council’s staff, and materials are properly secure.

“Our arrangement for the successful conduct of our upcoming examination, therefore, is in top gear as we are ensuring that we do not leave any stone unturned,” he said.

Areghan noted that examination conduct required money and other resources.

According to him, the entire process of conducting the examination – from the printing of examination materials, distributing them and ensuring security, to the recruitment of ad-hoc staff and printing certificates –  is a huge financial burden.

Areghan gave the assurance that WAEC would continue to do all it could to stay afloat.

”It is what the council has been doing, and we want to ensure we continue in that excellent tradition.”

He noted that the West African School Certificate was internationally accepted and required protection of its integrity.

ALSO READ: WAEC guards reputation; says exam leakages not from them

”Therefore, in order not allow anything reduce that standard, we shall be collaborating with the federal and state ministries of health and education as well as the police and other security agencies.

”This is in a bid to ensure that all precautionary measures are in place before, during and after the examination,” Areghan said.

The HNO said that WAEC members had been meeting to fine-tune strategies that would ensure hitch-free conduct of the examination.

He urged schools and candidates to get themselves well prepared ahead of the examination, warning that the council would not tolerate any acts capable of undermining the integrity of the examination.

”There is no hiding place for cheats.

“We want to warn schools, students and even supervisors and invigilators that there will be no hiding place for anyone who tries to go against laid down rules for the conduct of this examination.

“We will surely catch that person, no matter where the malpractice is being carried out.

“We have in-built mechanisms to detect every act of cheating; cheats, when caught, will not get their results.

“Even if you cheat in our objective test, we will catch you, using technology. This technology is called the Item Deferential Profile; it has been there for quite sometime,” he said.

The HNO advised parents not to indulge their children and wards in cheating in examinations by providing money to source for the questions from fraudsters.

ALSO READ: No more late registration from 2022, WAEC warns

”We have carried out a lot of sensitisation, reaching out to parents not to give money to their children in an attempt to patronise rogue website operators and other mischievous individuals, who promise to help get to WAEC questions for them, before the examination.

“There is nothing like that. Some even go as far as saying WAEC normally posts questions on the internet.

“This is laughable and misleading. We have tried as much as possible to enlighten the world that there is nothing like ‘miracle centre’.

“This is a creation of the society and not the council.

“It may be existing in their subconscious but does not exist in our dictionary,” he said.

According to him, there has been no episode of leakage of council’s examination questions in Nigeria since the last, many years ago.

He said that what some sections of the public referred to as leakage during conduct of WASSCE, was the work of internet fraudsters, who registered and sat with genuine candidates in the hall.

“They are served the examination papers, they pretend to be writing the examination, while they manage to snap the questions in collaboration with their mercenaries outside.

“But these days, they no longer snap the questions; rather, they connive with some unscrupulous supervisors and invigilators, who help them to snap the questions, using their own handsets, and send, after which the fraudsters put the questions on the internet.

“These same supervisors allow some candidates into the halls with handsets, even when they know it is against the law, all because they have been compromised.

“However, the various ministries of education have been doing a great job in this respect, as they have been taking drastic measures on those found culpable, by either sacking outrightly or demotion,” he said.

The HNO warned that WAEC  would not hesitate to hand any suspect over to the police.

“We have a way of detecting those posting these things to the internet and go after them; that is why we always need the collaboration of the police,” Areghan said.

(NAN)

Vanguard News Nigeria

WAEC guards reputation; says exam leakages not from them

The West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) has indicated that it is guarding its reputation jealously and will always ensure that the credibility of its examination is always intact.

This comes after investigations by Education Think Tank, Africa Education Watch, revealed recently that question papers for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) by WAEC were leaked to candidates.

The Executive Director of Africa Education Watch, Kofi Asare, on the sidelines of unveiling the report, indicated question papers were sent from WAEC’s IT department to other online platforms which were subsequently forwarded to his outfit by a member on the platform.

But Miss Veronica Asante, Controller of Private Candidates Examination Administration Department (PCEAD) at WAEC has denied the claims, saying the claim by Education Watch was factually inaccurate.

Speaking on TONTON SANSAN on TV XYZ, Madam Asante argued that the students complained that the supposed “apor” did not appear in the exams, adding that even if some of the questions leaked, it never came from WAEC.

Despite the research institution insisting that some parents were asked by handlers of the platform to pay some amount of money for their wards to get access to the questions and answers, Miss Asante stated their officials are people with integrity.

“Our officers are people of high integrity so there is no way they will leak examination questions,” Miss Asante added.

Assuring Ghanaians of tackling the malpractices, Madam Asante disclosed that “nine supervisors were arrested, prosecuted and jailed during last year’s BECE for examination malpractices.”

Reported from: Ghana Web

No more late registration from 2022, WAEC warns

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) says late registration of candidates by schools for its West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) would no longer be allowed, beginning from 2022.
The Head of National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

Areghan spoke against the backdrop of late registration of candidates by some schools in an alleged bid to shop for external candidates.
The HNO warned that there would be no going back on deadlines set by the council for registration of school candidates, henceforth.

According to him, there is a need for school owners to respect deadlines for uploading their candidates’ details for the examination.
He said that late registration was a major challenge to the council.
”Late registration makes preparations very cumbersome. On the contrary, we do not experience the same during examinations for private candidates.
”This year, we opened our portal for registration of candidates on Feb. 5, to close on May 16; that is a three-month interval.
”We later extended it to May 31, but due to activities of defaulters, we kept shifting the goalpost until the end of June. This is July and as of the 15th, these stragglers were still calling for more extension.

”These are people who will not do the needful within the given period; this will no longer be tolerated, no matter the explanation advanced,” he warned.

The WAEC boss noted that there was a Federal Government policy on education which stated that no school should enroll external candidates for WASSCE for schools.

Stop forcing under-age children into secondary school

Lagos Releases Harmonised 2021/2022 Academic School Calendar

In line with its mandate to ensure a harmonized academic school calendar for both public and private schools in Lagos State, the Office of Education Quality Assurance (OEQA) has released the approved school calendar for the 2021/2022 academic year.

A statement by the Public Affairs Officer of OEQA, Mr Olaniran Emmanuel, said the calendar was arrived at during a stakeholders’ meeting comprising school administrators, members of various private schools associations, proprietors and representatives of the state Ministry of Education.
“The purpose of the academic calendar is to ensure that students spend productive learning hours in the classrooms and to serve as a pre-emptive measure in planning for unforeseen events.
“The approved 2021/2022 harmonized school calendar, would ensure that schools are held accountable on the same standards bearing in mind that the pandemic and other emergencies have facilitated the need to create proactive policies and embed flexibility in schools.
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“The academic calendar has reflected the introduction of Staff Professional Development for all schools prioritizing a Five-Day capacity development for teachers prior to the first week of resumption.
“As schools will be resuming for the First Term (2021/2022 academic session) on Monday 13th September 2021, the Lagos State Government through the OEQA has reassured stakeholders of prioritizing harmonized instructional days of learning for all schools in the state,” the statement read.

Stakeholders, JAMB disagree on 2021 UTME results

The controversy over results of this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) is yet to abate as educationists and parents have demanded a remark or outright cancellation of the examination to pave way for a fresh exercise.

They also called for a total overhaul of the examination body to conform to global examination practices.

National President, Association of Formidable Educational Development (AFED), otherwise called low-profile schools, Mr Orji Kanu, said this year’s examination should not have taken place considering the backlog of those who are already qualified for the available little spaces existing in universities.

Kanu said if those who were successful in the last exams are yet to get admission to their choice institutions, JAMB should have stayed action on this year’s UTME.

The AFED president alleged that mass failure of candidates currently being protested by stakeholders might be a deliberate ploy by the examination body to give room to only few prospective students to join those already on queue from last year’s examination.

He said: “University of Ibadan (UI) for instance, announced that its 100 level students are still at the orientation stage, which means no space for new students. We are aware that COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global academic calendar and Nigeria does not operate in a separate space. One may be forced to believe that JAMB is more focused on revenue drive rather than its primary responsibility of selecting qualified candidates who can fill few spaces available in our institutions.”

He however noted that if JAMB thinks otherwise over all the agitations, it should present stakeholders with explanations on why parents should continue to trust the body as not serving a revenue-generating agency.

To address the deficit on human capacity, Kanu said there is an urgent need for the country to replan its educational policies and programmes.

Considering the stress students and parents go through to register and participate in UTME, Kanu said results should be valid for at least two years, to enable those who performed well but could not secure admission due to carrying-capacity of the institutions, use same result the following year.

An educationist, Sammy Ndubuisi, called on the examination body to undertake holistic review of the exercise to unravel the cause of the mass failure, whether human, programming or some other scientific error.

Ndubuisi said if those affected are in the overwhelming majority, drastic measures have to be taken, including re-marking or re-running the tests, at no cost to the candidates. Equity must be ensured in favour of the candidates, who should not suffer any disability or enjoy undue advantage from the exercise.

On the validity of JAMB results for more than a year, Ndubuisi noted that entrance examinations and admission exercises take place on an annual basis, hence, UTME results should always be fresh and not warehoused like factory products.

According to him, each examination tests the current ability of a candidate who is fairly judged against other candidates in the same cycle of examinations.

“This cohorting is how to get the best candidates into our tertiary institutions. It happened before JAMB and should remain so. I agree that, once admitted and matriculated, a student’s admission could be deferred for a good reason,” he stated.

While insisting that the examination body is still relevant, the educationist called for the decentralisation of the agency for greater efficiency.

“Centralisation has never been effective for any length of time in Nigeria. Perhaps, the body could be decentralized or its examinations run in batches. It will take a rigorous and sincere internal audit of its operations and the input of end-users (tertiary institutions, education stakeholders and prospective candidates) to make JAMB more efficient and responsive to emerging situations, Ndubuisi added.

In the same vein, Association of Tutorial School Operators (ATSO) has described this year’s UTME as the worst in recent years. The group lamented that the examination was marred by irregularities, including unnecessary frustration of candidates, extortion, computer malfunction, multiple results and subjecting candidates to danger and risk.

Speaking at the annual review of public examinations, the association, led by Mr Dotun Sodunke, said considering the plethora of errors in the initial results released and subsequent mass failure, it is most likely that the software used in marking the script malfunctioned.

Sodunke recalled that a similar situation played out in 2013/2014 during the tenure of Prof Dibu Ojerinde, when JAMB had to add 40 marks to the score of some science students after results had been released.

He said: “The advent of JAMB’s misadventure in this year’s UTME is the mandatory use of National Identification Number (NIN) for registration. We knew it was a recipe for disaster when over 1.5 million teenagers were being forced to get NIN with one month in a country technology; infrastructure, centres and personnel to get them registered were almost non-existent.

“What is the fate of those students that were caught up in the computer glitches and logged out of the system while writing the exam? JAMB’s policy summersault in Literature in English syllabus is another sore point in the examination. Candidates had prepared adequately with the new syllabus released by JAMB but they found out too late that the examination body had resorted to setting questions from the old syllabus that was supposed to lapse by 2020.

“ATSO hereby join other critical stakeholders in rejecting the UTME results. We hereby call for the remark of the examination or outright cancellation to pave way for a fresh and less controversial exercise. JAMB is the only examination body I modern world that will charge candidates for printing results of exams paid for; charge as high as N2,500 for each error a candidate wishes to correct on his portal and same for change of course or institution,” Sodunke lamented.

To address these problems, the group enjoined the organisation to give adequate time for registration. “What is the essence of a one-month registration window hat would always bring untold hardship? At least a four-month registration window should be considered. Registration can start in November and close by April. All impediments to successful registration would be cleared within this period, paving the way for a successful examination while candidates will have enough time t prepare for the exam.”

Some parents blamed the development on insecurity and poverty, saying many families cannot feed well, hence, students find it difficult to read or concentrate.

“It’s like JAMB just wanted to extort money from parents. Do universities have the capacity to carry candidates that wrote last year and this year? JAMB should not have conducted exam this year, it sold forms just to collect money.
MEANWHILE, JAMB has confirmed that the performance of candidates in this year’s examination is poorer than what it recorded in the last three years.

The Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, blamed the development on coronavirus pandemic, which disrupted academic activities, as well as peculiar environmental factors such as insecurity and kidnapping of school children.

Oloyede said when the data of candidates who scored 120 marks and above out of the possible 400 in 2021 is compared to what obtained in 2020, there is a difference of 0.25 per cent. But worse when 2018 and 2019 performances are considered.

He said: “In 2018, it was 99.99 per cent but in 2019 it dropped to 99.92. Also, in 2020, 69.82 per cent of the total candidates who sat the UTME scored 160 and above but in 2021, it reduced to 65.62 per cent. In 2019, the percentage of those who scored more than 300 out of the possible 400 marks was 0.16 per cent while it was 0.26 per cent in 2020. But in 2021, he said the figure fell steeply to 0.06 per cent.

The examination body said a total of 1,415,501 registered for both UTME and direct entry. Out of this figure, 1,340,003 candidates registered for UTME and 75, 498 registered for DE. The total number of candidates who took the UTME is 1,300,722 with 78, 389 candidates absent.”

Oloyede, while justifying the mass failure said: “Last year, when they took the examination, candidates had gone far in their syllabus. But this year, they suffered incomplete academic session; they had to cope with emergency online lessons and even many other disturbances like insecurity.”

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