The controversy over the performance of Osun State in the 2016 senior secondary school WAEC examinations is still raging as the state government has rebuffed calls for a review of its polices in the education sector.
Osun State was ranked 29th among the 36 states and the FCT in this year’s results released by WAEC.
The Peoples Democratic Party in the state believes that by the rating, the state’s education sector showed signs of decline.
The party in a statement said the state’s passing rate in the 2016 WAEC published on the website of the organisation made it the least ranked state in southern part of the country coming behind Kogi and Benue states.
It noted that all the efforts of the governor in the sector had come to naught with the massive failure recorded by most public school students in the state in this year’s WAEC result.
“Structures are being erected and noise is reaching heaven because of this, is 29th position among 36 plus FCT states a good advert for all the razzmatazz over learning tablet ‘opon imo’ and other educational policies introduced by Aregbesola? Definitely no,” the statement read.
“To lend Aregbesola a helping hand, one of the hindrances we have noticed undermining his efforts is lack of motivation, none payment of salaries and entitlements of teachers among other equally serious challenges.”
But the government on Wednesday disagreed with those criticizing it on the performance rating, arguing that the state instead has improved in its educational performance.
The Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor of Osun described those calling for the resignation of Governor Rauf Aregbesola over the last ranking of the state in the West Africa Examination Council as “naive” and “ignorant” of statistics.
The bureau’s statement signed by its Director, Semiu Okanlawon, said the call stemmed from the usual lack of knowledge of performance charts and attention to details that the opposition elements were notorious for.
According to him, records and statistics of students put forward by the state in the past years have shown that there is improvement in percentage of overall results.
It added that critics had forgotten that to get the true performance of a student, a mere look at the position of the student in a class is not as important as the percentage of total scores.
The Bureau noted that the downward trend in education in the country in general should make all worrisome due to the role of education in development.
“Those who say Osun is declining are not being honest. The following data will show their claims to be totally unfounded. The performance of pupils has not gone down under the watch of Aregbesola,” he argued.
“In 2007, the state government put forward 36,171 candidates for WAEC examination out of which 2,483 representing 6.86 per cent had credit pass in five subjects, including English and Mathematics.
“In 2008, it was 37,715 candidates with 3,813 pass, representing 10.11 per cent. In 2009 it was 39,676 candidates, with 5,545 pass, representing 13.98 per cent. In 2010 it was 43,216 candidates, with 6,777 pass, representing 15.68 per cent. If you put these four years together, you will get an average of 15.68 per cent.
“Put side by side when Aregbesola’s administration started sponsoring candidates for WAEC in 2011. That year, it fielded 53,293 candidates, had 11672 pass, representing 21.98 per cent. In 2012, it fielded 51,463 out of which 11,431 passed, representing 22.21 per cent. In 2013, it also fielded 47,013 candidates, recorded 9,301 pass, representing 19.78 per cent.
“In 2014, government sponsored 47,672 candidates, 9,316 of them passed, representing 19.54 per cent. The average performance for Aregbesola’s first four years was 20.88 per cent. Compared with the average performance (13.26 per cent) of the three years that preceded it, the percentage improvement in performance during Aregbesola’s tenure is a huge 57.46 per cent.”
“In 2009 under PDP government, Osun ranked 9th in the WAEC passing rate and before we achieved that feat, a lot of efforts went into reviving education sector which we met in comatose due to mass retrenchment of teachers by Chief Bisi Akande led administration,” he said.
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