The Ebonyi State Government on Friday debunked reports that it was planning to write the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) questions on blackboards instead of the usual question papers.
The Commissioner for Education, Onyebuchi Chima, stated this during a meeting with principals of junior secondary schools in the state in Abakaliki, the state capital.
He was reacting to reports in some national dailies which claimed that Ebonyi State Government had directed that BECE, popularly known as ‘Junior WAEC” examination questions, are to be written on the blackboard with ‘chalks’ and ‘markers’ instead of standard typed question papers.
The commissioner maintained that at no time did the state government contemplate using such outdated method to conduct the examination and wondered where the reports emanated from.
He assured students that the exam, which is scheduled to commence on September 21, will follow the standard used in previous years.
Mr Chima also debunked reports that the Ministry of Education had collected registration fees ranging from N30,000 to N500,000 from private schools to register their students for 2020 BECE.
According to him, the assertion is false, a blatant and malicious attempt to deface the good reputation of Ebonyi State Ministry of Education.
He noted that the examination would have been written earlier in the year but was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that the BECE exam is essential as it marks the end of the nine year Universal Basic Education especially as it prepares and enables JS3 students to graduate into senior secondary education.
He appealed to students and parents to disregard negative publications about the BECE exam, urging them to read hard to correctly answer their questions.
He assured that students who perform well would not just be issued with their BECE certificate but will qualify to register for senior secondary one (SS1).
The commissioner encourage the media to be factual and to make efforts to be truthful by confirming thier information before dissemination.
According to him, the media have positive roles to play in strengthening the quality of teaching, learning and the evaluation mechanisms in Ebonyi State education system and Nigeria in general.
Meanwhile, schools in Ebonyi are set for reopening on October 5, the state government has said.
Mr Chima stated this after the state Executive Council meeting.
He said primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are to resume on the said date.
He,however, noted that there will be staggering of classes in line with COVID-19 protocols in place in the state.
The commissioner also noted that nursery/creche will not be reopening this year.
“The Honorable Commissioner for Education in a memo presented in Exco today for reopening of all school: primary, secondary and tertiary, the Exco approved 5th October 2020″
‘Note that Nursery Schools/creche are not reopening until 2021”
“There will be staggering of classes in two sessions (morning 8am- 12pm and Afternoon 12:15 – 4.15pm) in order to maintain social distancing,” he said.
Schools in the state were shut down in March following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
But, exit classes in secondary schools resumed in August to write SSCE exams.
The commissioner promised to give details of modalities for the reopening in the coming days.