By Deborah Coker
Benin, Jan. 29, 2021 The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo has said that the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) has not been cancelled in the state.
This is contained in a statement on Friday in Benin by Mr Chris Nehikhare, the State Publicity Secretary of the party.
Nehikhare was reacting to the criticism by some groups in the state of the automatic promotion for primary five and primary six pupils in the 2020 academic session.
He explained that the automatic promotion was necessitated by prevailing circumstances in 2020.
He said that while considering the re-opening of schools in 2020 at the expiration of the nation-wide lockdown due to the ravaging corona virus, emphasis was on the conduct of some major examinations.
He mentioned the examinations as those by WAEC, NECO, NABTEB, BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) and Common entrance into unity schools and not Primary six examination.
He explained further that the Minister for Education had stated that children at the lower level would not be able to comply with COVID-19 protocol.
“Subjecting children of that age to write examination that spans for about five hours was considered a breach of COVID-19 protocol and unsafe by Edo Government.
“Hence in Edo due to the prevailing circumstances in 2020, at a meeting of stakeholders in education it was decided that continuous assessment be used to grade the pupils and issue them primary six certificates.
“Under the current system of education, examination is not scored on 100 per cent final examination; score is a cumulative of test marks and then some percentage of the final examination.
“Even the New National Policy on Education states that primary six examination shall be based on continuous assessment,” he said.
He also disclosed that Education in the state was not suffering as alleged adding that, on the contrary, government’s investment was yielding bountiful results and it was the envy of many states who were presently adopting the state’s Model.
He also noted that the conduct of primary six examination was not to serve as a requirement for entering Junior Secondary School but to provide an opportunity for a child leaving primary school to write a certificate examination hence, it was called first school leaving certificate.
Nehikhare, therefore, said that education should not be politicised.