An opposition party in Osun State, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), has condemned the latest mass failure of Secondary School Students (SS2) who were to move to final year (SS3), claiming it was a deliberate act by the State government.
The Secretary of the Osun State chapter of the party, Kola Ibrahim, who spoke to Channels Television on Friday, said information available to the group showed that out of over 28,000 Secondary School-2 students who partook in the mock examination to move to SS3, only about 7,000 students passed.
Deliberate And Ill-motivated
He decried the pass rate of about 25 per cent, saying that the party considers the mass failure as deliberate and ill-motivated on the part of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola government, which through its education ministry conducted the examination for all students.
“It is clear that the aim of this general examination is to reduce the number of students that will partake in the external final examination, especially West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), as a way of covering up the government’s inadequacies in the education sector.
“Osun State has come in a distant position in pass rates for external examinations. For instance, in 2015, the state came 29th in WAEC ranking of pass rates across states, with just 8,000 students out of over 48,000 obtaining five credits in vital subjects.
“This terrible situation is a reflection of the mismanagement of the education sector by the Aregbesola administration. In the first seven months of 2015, teachers in public schools alongside other public workers, were not paid any salary, leading to a four-month strike.
“Since August 2015, the state government has been paying half salary to workers including teachers, albeit irregularly.
“This has no doubt affected the morale and capacity of teachers, which is having negative effects on the standard of education in Osun State,” he insisted.
The SPN secretary further gave his opinion on recently commissioned mega schools.
He says “people in Osun need to reject an attempt by the government to hand over the newly built mega-schools, on which billions of Naira have been committed, to private managers”.
Mr Ibrahim believes this act is tantamount to using public funds to enrich private business people, a situation he pointed out would also lead to putting the cost of education out of the reach of the poor and working class people in the state.
“The private managers will introduce huge fees in the schools built with the public funds,” he stressed.
Mr Ibrahim then called on union leaders, especially those in the education sector, students, parents and communities to resist what he called ‘anti-poor policies of the Aregbesola-led government’ which he alleged had worsened the condition of the education sector in Osun State.
On its part, the government, through the Executive Chairman, Education Quality Assurance and Morality Enforcement Agency, Dr. Ayodele Owoade, said that the mock examination for the SS2 students was organised to test the students’ preparedness for examinations ahead.
Osun State had recorded a 46.30 per cent in the last 2016 West Africa Examination Council Examinations, a result the state government said was a confirmation of its huge investment in the education sector.
The government said that for a state that once fell to a woeful six per cent performance prior to the Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to move up to 46.3 per cent aptly illustrated the fact that the government’s various interventions in education were paying off.
A statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor says the government is not yet satisfied or resting on its oars until the state emerges the best state in the country in external examinations.
The statement, signed by the Bureau’s Director, Semiu Okanlawon, noted that the 2016 WAEC results indicate that the 2016 performance rating remained the highest and the best in 13 years.