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Bauchi Govt Clears Air On 2020 WAEC Sponsorship Of Students

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Bauchi Gov, Bala Mohammed

The attention of Bauchi government is drawn to the reaction of some students in Bauchi metropolis regarding the full implementation of 2018 government policy on sponsoring candidates who pass MOCK/aptitude test.

Though His Excellency the Deputy Governor has addressed the protesting students, it has become pertinent to inform the public that this government is committed to improving the standard of education in the state and it has taken cogent steps in that direction. It has overhauled the direct feeding system, reduced school fees to improve access of children to education, devised means that ensure that teachers and other school staff go to work promptly, stopped corrupt practices in education administration, built up the capacity of Ministry staff, etc.

The issue of corruption in WAEC sponsorship is one of those that could not be solved by recent governments until now. So many candidates were enrolled for sponsorship which the last two governments found difficult to settle. Corrupt officials committed the last government to the tune of N612million on 2019 WASSCE alone, from which it failed to settle even a kobo.

From the inherited debt, this government has settled half and has gone into agreement with WAEC on how the remainder will be settled fully in 9 months, along with the N183million of the new 2020 registration.

READ ALSO: Bauchi Wants WAEC, NECO, Others To Release 2019 Results Of Students

As a responsible government committed to reforms, this government conducted aptitude test in all public schools for this purpose. Out of 21,000 students met in the schools and tested, 12,000 have been found eligible. This figure, in addition to that of Special Schools, is what made the 13,011 candidate who government will sponsor this year.

Government has in addition pleaded with WAEC to allow parents to pay for their wards who did not make it on the government sponsored list and the examination body has agreed to do so.

These are the facts about WAEC sponsorship. It was never the policy of government to sponsor all candidates in the state. The money to do so is simply not there and it will not encourage hard work among students. Bauchi has remained in the 31st position in WASSCE among the 36 states of the federation. This must change. And it will not be done easily. One if the measures necessary in achieving a change are the implementation of already existing policies – like WASSCE sponsorship – that challenge our children to study hard.

However, government is not unaware that some elements in the education sector whose corrupt and lazy activities were stopped by the ongoing reforms are working hard to cause trouble in order to force government to rescind its stand and return to the corrupt practices of the past. They instigated the protesting students and accompanied them to on the street. This is unbecoming of any public servant.

Government appeals to the public to remain calm. Parents should appeal to their children not to allow themselves to be used in the promotion of corruption and unrest. They should support government’s effort in ensuring that their wards get better education. Principals, teachers and other staff should all assist government in the reforms it is undertaking which is aimed at making their work more meaningful and their products better.

We wish all our children a successful outing in their forthcoming examinations.

Signed

Dr. Ladan Salihu
Chief of Staff
Government House
Bauchi.

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