By Favour Nnabugwu
Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Wike, yesterday, condemned the current practice of mass promotion of students from primary to secondary schools, following the mass failure of students in public examinations such as West African Examination Council, WAEC, and National Examination Council, NECO.
The minister made the remark in Abuja at the National Education Summit organised by Universal Basic Education, UBE.
He said: “I do think that pupils in primary schools would perform better if they come to secondary schools better prepared.
“Therefore, the question is, is our current policy of mass transiting of pupils from primary schools to secondary schools helpful in providing better prepared students with strong skills to meet the performance challenges of secondary education?”
It would be recalled that Nigeria recently returned to the 9-3-4 educational system where students are made to spend nine years in primary schools and, without the usual common entrance examination, spend three years and four years in secondary schools and higher institutions, respectively.
Still wondering why the Federal Government had not taken steps to improve the quality of entry into secondary schools and put an end to the social promotion in primary schools, Wike advocated for the re-introduction of the common entrance examinations, with more emphasis placed on merit in the admission process.
He said: “Certainly, Universal Basic Education does not and should not mean mass promotion. Why are we lacking the courage to take appropriate steps to improve the quality of entry into our secondary schools by ending social promotion in primary schools, reintroducing the common entrance examinations and giving greater percentage to merit in the admission process?”