Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State ordered the arrest of some school teachers involved in alleged manipulation of the Primary Six School leaving certificate examination which held on Saturday.
The governor who gave the order when he paid an unscheduled visit to some the examination centers in Benin City, vowed to ensure that basic education in the State was strengthened.
Some of the centers visited includes Ebenezer Primary Schools, Ivbyenova Primary School, at St. Saviour, George Idah Primary School and Ologbosere Primary School in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the State.
“We decided that we will have the exams for primary six pupils today. As a policy, we decided that this exams will be organized a lot better and a lot more professionally. You have private schools and you have public schools being tested.
“You saw the situation we had where teachers in primary schools try to come and influence the exams so they can claim that children from their schools do better than the ones in public schools in this standard exams.
“It also gave us an insight into the level of preparations our children are given to seek for exams; the level of confidence they have and I am quite satisfied with what we have seen today.
“I am also bothered about the corruption in our exam process. You could see a lot of parents have to be kept out. In one of the schools there was almost a riot, because they wanted to go in, particularly those ones from the private schools who may have paid for their children to do well, they wanted access into the schools to be able to influence the exams, but they were stopped.
“But I am happy that our officers have done well to ensure that the standard we require and the standard we want to set are met,” Obaseki noted.
Commenting on the teachers he ordered their arrest, the governor said; “They will face the law. We want to assure parents that this government is determined to improve the qualities of basic education. We are determined to make sure that we provide our children the education at the basic level that they need to see them through life.
“It is going to be rigorous and tough. We believe that if we get the basic education right, everything else will follow. The challenge we have today in our country is that for some unfortunate incidents in the past, we just could not hold anybody responsible for basic education because of the way it is structured.
“Under UBE, it is distributed between Local Government, State and Federal governments, and that cost a bit of dislocation. As a State, we have decided to take the bull by the horns, ensure that we take charge, we have a proper basic school administration system so that we can track the progress of every child from primary one through to JSS3,” he stated.
Among those who accompanied the governor on the visit were the Head of Service of the State, Mrs. Gladys Idahor; the Chief of Staff, Taiwo Akerele and the Special Adviser on Basic Education, Joan Oviawe.