By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate has summoned the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, to appear before the Senator Aliyu Wamakko, APC, Sokoto North-led Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary) to explain why Nigeria as a country has been experiencing mass failure in West African School Certificate Examinations, WASSCE.
The Minister is expected to explain the causes of WAEC recurring mass failure rate and recommend appropriate measures to overcome the challenge.
The Committee will at the end of the session, submit a comprehensive report to the Senate at plenary within one month.
Also to appear before the Senate Committee are the Head, National Office of WAEC and any relevant stakeholder connected with the problem.
Resolutions of the Senate yesterday were sequel to a motion by Senator Umaru Kurfi, APC, Katsina Central and entitled, “Need to address recurring mass failure in West African Examination School Certificate Examinations.”
Presenting the motion, Senator Kurfi noted that “There are established recurring cases of mass failure in West African School Certificate Examinations in the country since 2009 or thereabout which is embarrassing to the nation and prejudicial to the interest of Nigeria secondary school students and parents. WASSCE failure rates continues to increase each year as evidence of failure of measures taken, if any, by the education authorities over the years.”
He, however expressed worry that “in both 2009 and 2010 WASSCE only 25.99 and 24.94 per cent respectively passed with five credits including Mathematics and English, while the remaining others constituting 70 per cent failed.”
According to Senator Kurfi, ‘’In 2011 May/June WASSCE, only 649, 159 out of 1, 672, 224 candidates that wrote the examinations which represents just 38.81 per cent got five credits and above including in the core subjects of Mathematics and English Language. In 2013 WASSCE, only 29.17 per cent candidates actually passed the November/December WAEC examinations while 70 per cent failed.
“In both 2017 and January/February 2018 private examinations, only 17.13 per cent candidates have passed with five credits including Mathematics and English Language, respectively, while the remaining over 70 per cent candidates have failed.”
Senator Kurfi lamented that the anticipated bright future of the country might continue to be bleak if urgent action was not taken to address the recurring mess facing the education sector and indeed the future generation of Nigerian leaders.
Other senators such as Senator Barau JIbrin (APC Kano North), Emmanuel Paulker (PDP Bayelsa Central) and Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South), respectively sought urgent intervention of all stakeholders to help address the recurring challenge with a view to improving education sector in the country.
In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki called on the stakeholders, including senators to urgently act fast to address the recurring mess facing the sector.
Saraki said: “One of the greatest issues that we must address is increasing the value of our human resources through education and healthcare. This issue of the recurring failure is of great concern and we must get to the bottom of it. I urge the Committee to swing into action immediately and address this issue. In the next few weeks, my office will be coordinating a Roundtable Discussion on Education, which I would like all our colleagues to participate in fully so that we can use that opportunity to address some of the areas of our educational sector that need serious attention.”