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Controversy As Lagos Releases Junior WAEC Results

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Parents whose children have yet to write the
Placement Test into Junior Secondary Schools
in Lagos have called on the state government
to come to their aid.
This came as the release of the Placement
Test results was announced by the Lagos
State Universal Basic Education Board on
Wednesday.
About 150,000 pupils from public and private
schools in the state sat for the examination.
Some of the parents, whose children were
candidates of some private schools, claimed
to have paid exam fees up to N12,000 per
child, for the entrance examination, which was
conducted on July 11.
A parent, Mr. Monday Akindele, whose son
attends Yinkem International Group of
Schools, Mafoluku, said his son and his
colleagues were sent back from their
examination centre on the day of the exam.
He added that the proprietress of the school
later told him that it was because the centre
was overcrowded.
“What do we believe now? The result has been
released and schools will resume next month.
Will my son repeat his class? We know that
candidates who failed the examination are
usually allowed to sit for a make-up
examination. But what happens to pupils who
were not allowed to be part of it at all? ’’ he
asked.
Another parent, Mr. Munir Akande, whose
daughter did not sit for the examination,
urged the government to look into the matter.
“This is beginning to look like a scam and the
truth has to come out. The school claims to
be approved by the Lagos State Government
and that was why we registered our daughter
there. We need to know the truth between the
state government and the affected schools.
Government should set up an inquiry on this
matter, ’’ he said.
When our correspondent contacted the school,
the proprietress, Mrs. Yinka Adewuyi, said a
man who worked with the state Ministry of
Education registered her pupils.
Adewuyi, who refused to identify the man,
insisted that the unnamed official had
successfully registered pupils for the
examination in the past.
“Let us give the man the benefit of the doubt.
We cannot spoil our relationship with him
over a little challenge. This is not the first or
second time he would be helping us. The man
has assured us that our pupils will eventually
sit for the examinations. There are 16 pupils
affected in my school and we are not the only
school involved. Admission continues even
after resumption next month. It is done in
batches,’’ she said.
The Head Mistress, who declined to be named,
also confirmed that pupils paid N12,000 for
the examination. Officially, the exam costs
N5,000.
The educationist, who seemed flustered on the
phone, declined to name the centre or the
supervisor who sent her candidates back.
“All I know is that we were not alone. We have
been attaching our pupils to public schools
for years in order for them to be part of the
common entrance examination without a
problem. What happened that day was that
the centre was over-flooded with candidates
and we were told to go, that our candidates
would be called to sit for the second batch of
the examination. That was also the first time I
would hear about a second batch
arrangement. We were not the only school
affected but we have not heard from them
since that time,” she said.
However, the Head, Lagos State Examination
Board, Mr. Oluwafemi Hassan, told our
correspondent that the claims were not true.
In a phone interview with our correspondent
on Thursday, Hassan said the participating
schools were allowed to pick their centres, as
the examination was programmed.
“That assertion cannot be true because we
had 235 centres across the state. Everybody
picked his or her own centre during
registration. Once the number got to 500, that
centre would be closed. The registration was
done in such a way that you picked your own
centre. It is a programmed system. Every
school that registered got a customised
compact disc that was licensed to that school
alone,’’ he said.
Hassan also promised that the government
would look into the issue to determine the fate
of the affected pupils.
“Government will decide that later. Sincerely,
this is the first time I am hearing about this
complaint. But for any pupil to attend
Government College in the state, he or she has
to participate in that examination and you
must be a bonafide member of an approved
public or private school. This is a school-
based examination and it is different from the
examination into Model Colleges,’’ he said.
Findings by our correspondent have revealed
that the matter may involve more schools and
pupils. A source at the education ministry
said it had become common for schools to
collect money from pupils and not register
them.
“My experience is that some private school
owners defraud parents and later tell them
stories. There is a syndicate involved and the
pupils may have to repeat the class. It is a
common thing,’’ said the source.
Meanwhile, an educationist, Mr. Segun
Omisore, has urged the government to
intervene in the matter. While conceding that
the development may affect the pupils
psychologically, he advised the Lagos State
government to put in place an internal
mechanism to check fraud in its examination
system.
“The pupils may be taken to private secondary
schools if the parents are rich, but we have to
stop this trend of involving mercenaries in the
conduct of examinations. There are some
unscrupulous proprietors who cash in on the
lack of internal mechanism to check frauds in
the state. The state government needs to work
on this,’’ he said.

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