By Ime Silas

A Vice Principal (Academic)  in Akwa Ibom state has raised the alarm that candidates writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examination(WASSCE) in the state, going forward, risk massive failure, if nothing was done about the provision of continuous assessment records to schools in the state.

The Vice Principal, while fielding questions from our correspondent on the sidelines of the meeting of the National Parents Teachers’ Association, NPTA, Akwa Ibom state branch, held last Tuesday at the Aka Community Secondary School, Uyo, noted that the last time schools were provided with these educational materials was in 2014.

Speaking on grounds of anonymity, he said that he was disturbed about what may befall children of the state if the rots in education sector was not addressed on time, regretting that the innocent students were the ones suffering.

Explaining why candidates in Akwa Ibom state may record massive failures in WASSCE, he said “The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) had told us during their briefing with School Heads last year that the final scores of candidates in WASSCE shall be determined by his/her cumulative scores from SSS1-3 (Senior Secondary School 1-3). And that system may start soon.

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“But unfortunately, here in Akwa Ibom state, the last time Continuous Assessment Records were provided for schools was 2014, and they were not enough to go round. As I speak to you, we don’t have academic records of students who are going write this month’s final examinations. It’s as bad as that, and if nothing is done, then we should be expecting massive failures in few years to come”.

In the same vein, a teacher, Mr. Raphael Akpan, who said he was at the meeting to represent his Principal, while corroborating our first respondent hinted that the situation was bad to an extent where schools would photocopy report cards from private schools and use same to enter results for students.

“…there is no how we can issue results to students because the state government has not supplied to us with the Continuous Assessment Records and Results Booklets. But, unfortunately, some parents don’t believe us. They keep disturbing us that they need to have knowledge of their children’s performances.

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So what we do now in our school is to get photocopy of result sheet from private school around and use it to enter results for students whose parents insist on seeing their children’s results”.

Contributing earlier at the meeting, the PTA Chairman of Comprehensive Secondary School, Okon Town, Ikot Abasi, Mr. Oton Akpan, noted with disappointment how he could not assess the academic performances of his children who had been at home with him since the closure of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said “This lockdown has really brought us together with our children. My children have been with me since the closure of schools and it would have been an opportunity for me to assess their academic performances to know where they are weak and need improvements or attention, and where they do better.

But unfortunately, the only thing that would have assisted us, as parents, in knowing this, is their schools report cards. But they were not given and have not been issued to them for the past years.

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So I want to also suggest to you, Mr. Chairman (AKPTA chairman) to include this as part of the communiqué to the governor. I want to emphasize that the governor should treat the provision of Continuous Assessment records as one of the Covid-19 realities.

We cannot continue like this. I have not seen it anywhere in the world that education system could be run without proper records of students’ performances.The Governor should declare a state of emergency in our education sector”.

Responding to the issues raised at the meeting, the Chairman of NPTA, Akwa Ibom state chapter, Elder Ime Ataide, said that they were very important, and assured that his executive would convey same to the state Governor.

Highpoint of the meeting was inauguration of a Committee to draft a communiqué on all the issues raised at the meeting.

To be continued…