The All Progressives Congress (APC), in Edo state, has accused Governor Godwin Obaseki, of attempting to deprive the 2020 generation of Primary 5 and 6 pupils of their first school leaving certificates, by canceling the first school leaving certificate examination in the state.
The party in a statement by its Assistant State Publicity Secretary, Victor Ofure Osehobo, also accused the Obaseki-led PDP administration of frustrating teachers, parents and guardians by the planned cancelation of the examination.
The accusations came amidst widespread rumors and speculation that the government was considering canceling the examination, but no official statement has been released to that effect.
However, Ofure Osehobo in his statement, said the cancelation of the examination will serve to deprive the 2020 generation of Primary 5 and 6 pupils of their First School Leaving Certificates.
He said: “The APC rejects the thinking by the PDP, Edo state government, that its use of automatic promotion of Primary 5 and 6 pupils into both Public and Private Junior Secondary schools, in the wake of the nationwide lockdown due to the Coronavirus justifies its plot not to conduct the examinations.
“The importance of First School Leaving Certificate in any child’s life cannot be overemphasized. The Primary School Certificate is a foundation certificate that qualifies them for admission into junior secondary school. And if they miss this opportunity now, it’s a lifetime opportunity lost forever.
“Our party believes that education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future, but the majority of these children around the world, who are of primary school age, almost often have their educational aspirations thwarted by government’s inaction, as in the case of Edo, in addition to poverty, discrimination, armed conflict and emergencies among other factors.
“We are aware that whereas many states in the country, like Lagos, Delta, Ondo, Anambra and Kaduna, have as far back as March 2020, conducted the First School Leaving Certificate examinations, Edo state is yet to so.
“It is also mind-boggling that the Edo state governor on the occasion of this year’s International Day for Education would claim that equitable access to robust basic education for Edo children is a right which offers them opportunities to contribute meaningfully to societal growth and sustainable development, whereas he is working hard at denying them of their first school leaving certificates.
“It is therefore unacceptable that the Edo state administration will be contemplating the cancellation of the 2020 First School Leaving Certificate Examination in Edo state.”
The opposition APC, therefore, called on Obaseki to immediately set up a task force as soon as academic activities return to schools with effect from February 1st, 2021, to organize the examinations,
It said it becomes necessary to conduct the exams as soon as possible because the 2021 edition of the same examination will also be due in a matter of weeks.
“This should not be an ordeal for the State government especially with Governor Obaseki’s call on the occasion of the International Day for Education, for the deployment of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and the hype of his implementation of an Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) program,” the APC statement concluded.
The effort to get a reaction from the state ministry of education failed, as our correspondent could not get access to the Permanent Secretary.