…insists on dedicated centres for primary 6, JSS 3 certificate exams

The Edo State Government has urged private school operators to complement the government’s efforts at reforming the state’s education system, noting that its directive on dedicated centres for First School Leaving Certificate and Basic School Certificate Examination for all schools in the state still stands.

The Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehekhare, while briefing journalists at the Government House, Benin City, said Governor Godwin Obaseki has directed the immediate enforcement of a series of educational policies designed to sustain the gains recorded in the state’s education sector.

According to him, “The State Executive Council chaired by the Governor has resolved that going forward every school in Edo must now write Primary Six and Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE)/Junior Secondary School Examination.”

Nehikhare stressed that the Council also declared that for any school to remain operational in the state, the Edo State Government must be able to assess every learner to know if they meet learning proficiency, and gave the deadline for enrollment for the primary six and JSS 3 examinations as December 30th, 2022.

“Both examinations will take place in the 2nd term, precisely in March 2023 to give the Ministry of Education enough time to mark and place students in the next grade,” he added.

The commissioner continued: “Every student must show up for 3rd term in order to be awarded certificates; the Basic Education Examination or Junior Secondary School Examination will no longer be written at schools. It must be in a designated centre.

“Biometric capturing of all students and issuance of students’ Identity Cards will be pursued vigorously by the Ministry of Education.”

Nehikhare further stated, “Minimum land size for schools will be enforced. A four-bedroom flat apartment is not a school.

“Enrolling students for schools that are not registered will attract a ban on the offending private school and students’ enrollment for primary six and Basic Education Certificate Examination or Junior Secondary School Examination will count towards tax review.”

He decried that some unscrupulous owners of private schools have resorted to mudslinging because the state government is committed to eliminating ‘miracle centres’ from the education sector where these proprietors exploit examination candidates for money.

Responding to questions about a video by some persons who claimed to be owners of private schools in the State, the Commissioner said: “The video was an ambush on the government as it was a weak attempt at blackmailing the ministry of education from enforcing the educational policies by the government.

“We have investigated it and the truth of the matter is that we are not really bothered about who did the video but we need Edo people to know that whatever the State Government is doing in the education sector is not just for the benefit of the parents but for the benefits of all Edo people especially our children. We are proud to say that at least in the last West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination, Edo State was adjudged the best State. This is as a result of the reforms which we have been executing in the Education Sector.

“But these reforms too cannot be holistic if it is restricted only to Government schools or only Government-controlled schools. So, that is why we are also trying to bring the private schools into that same ecosystem so that the standard of education is uniform across the board.”