Students in public secondary schools across Ogun State have sat for their unified first term examination. It was the first of its kind in the history of Ogun State, conducted basically to ensure that the lost standard is brought back to the educational sector as well as give rewards to teachers whose students excel in the examinations.
The first term examinations, which should have been held at the end of previous term had to wait till the beginning of the second term due to logistics problems, was conceived to align students with the qualitative drive of the administration in the area of education. The successful conduct of the examinations marked the beginning of the process of improving educational standard in public secondary schools across the State.
The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Segun Odubela in an interview with Ogun Update said the examination was initiated to inculcate in the students the habit of studying hard that could help them come out fine in subsequent examinations that would be conducted in the nearest future.
Barrister Odubela who blamed mass failure in external exams, such as West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination and National Examination Council on the inability of most schools to cover the required syllabus had been placed on the practice of teaching the syllabus halfway which he said left students at a disadvantage when they sit for external exams. He was however optimistic that good passes in the unified exam could guarantee academic excellence and help Ogun State students compete favourably in global examinations. The said,
Unified examinations would not only serve as an encouragement for schools to complete the set scheme of work but jolt all the stakeholders to their individual responsibilities.
The Commissioner said the results of the examinations would soon be released, adding that Government would reward teachers whose student perform creditably well, noting that the administration was poised to promote excellence.
He observed that the problem of getting to the hinterland on time with the papers, not starting the papers on schedule, and non arrangement of question papers according to individual schools formed bulk of the hitches experienced during the exams. He assured that his ministry has put in place various corrective measures to checkmate future occurrence of such challenges.
These corrective measures, he said, include arrangement to have the question papers compiled and sealed up according to the nominal roll for each subject per individual school.
According to the Commissioner, nothing in the just concluded first term examinations was outside the school curriculum for the said term. Contrary to the widespread notion that the exams were solely set by the officials of his ministry, he disclosed that the subject teachers association for each subject actually set the questions based on the scheme of work of the schools.
Barrister Odubela explained that after the appointed body of examiners had submitted three options of question papers, subject experts in the ministry scrutinized, juggled the questions and picked out the set that was eventually printed and used in schools during the examination. He said the same method was being used in marking the scripts. “There was no direct swapping of scripts in terms of proximity of those schools to each other but rather the scripts were distributed for marking in such a way that no school could possibly track the markings”, he said.
He also noted that the unified examinations would be a regular feature in public secondary schools across the State. Meanwhile private secondary schools have begun to show interest in the exams so as to catch up with the standard set by the Government. This, the Commissioner said, would also be extended to the private school as soon as the government and private schools owners reached agreement.
Barrister Odubela said parents and guardians should not see the gesture of government as an opportunity to abandon their responsibilities to their wards while students should show readiness to reciprocate government’s gesture by reading hard to reposition the State as number one among its peers.
Source: Ogun Update (February 2013)