(By Oluseye Ojo – IBADAN)
In a bid to address the mass failures of students in the senior school certificate examinations (SSCE) in the last 15 years in Oyo State, the state has cancelled automatic promotions for students in public secondary schools in the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Toye Arulogun, disclosed this in Ibadan at the weekend when he featured on a live television programme, Saturday Special, of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS).
Oyo State was in the 26th place in the 2016 results released by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). An improvement on its 34th position in 2011.
According to Arulogun, it is unacceptable for the state to occupy the lower rungs of the ladder in the senior school certificate examinations when it should be setting the pace, stressing that the state is known for many firsts and her education sector should be the benchmark for others.
He noted that the on-going reforms in the education sector was inevitable because of the consistent high number of failures in WAEC examinations which is a key yardstick for performance measurements, adding that no amount of protests would deter the state from changing its stand on its no-automatic-promotion policy in public secondary schools in the state.
The decision to reform the education sector, he said, would be pursued rigorously until it yields positive results.
Arulogun, who quoted information from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, said:
“We cannot encourage automatic promotion with the woeful performance of our students in examinations in the last 15 years. The statistics we have from the Ministry of Education strongly support the state government’s stance.
“In the Year 2008, 61,232 sat for the exam, 5,608 passed; in Year 2009, 60,444 sat for the exam, 7,204 passed. Year 2010, 65,330 sat for the exam, 8,757 passed, in 2011, 72,559 sat for the exam and 12,314 passed while in 2012, there were 75, 179 candidates and 12,314 passed.
“The situation has been the same in the last three years. In 2013, 74,319 wrote the exams, 16,049 passed, in the year 2014, 77,685 sat for the exam and 16,197 passed and in 2015, there were 78,897 candidates and 17,051 passed.
“The step to sustain the cancellation of automatic promotion was taken in the overall interest of the public. We must give our children quality education.”