School Admission: Don’t Sacrifice Merit For Zoning, Lawmaker Cautions Educatnion Ministry

Channels Television  
Updated July 1, 2013

The Deputy Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee, House of Representatives, Victor Ogene on Monday urged the Federal Government not to “sacrifice merit on a platter of zoning,” referring to the National Common Entrance cut off marks published by the Ministry of Education.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Ogene said that matter is of “urgent public importance” and during the 3rd session of the House of Representatives, a motion was passed to check the situation.

Mr Ogene, who spoke on behalf of Anambra state and the South East, expressed his objection to the fact that students from his state are required to score 139 marks on merit while “some others are made to score just 2 and 4 marks for the same examination”.

This, he said, runs contrary to the provisions of the Nigerian constitution in chapter 42(1) – “No Nigerian shall be discriminated against on the basis of community, ethnicity, religion, tribe, gender”.

“We should not sacrifice merit on a platter of zoning,” he said.

The House of Representatives has passed a motion mandating its committee on education to interface with the National Examinations Council and the Federal Ministry of Education”

The committee is expected to send its report on Tuesday, 2nd July.

Merit Quotient

Mr Ogene also said many members of the house would like to raise the merit quotient to ‘about 50 or 60percent”.

He attributed the issue to “failure of governance at different levels” and accused several governments of concentrating on building more schools instead of focusing on the quality of education.