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|WAEC Distinction/merit Awards: When’ll Public Schools Bridge The Gap? by emiye(m): 1:27pm On Dec 18, 2014|
By Dayo Adesulu
THE West African Examinations Council, WAEC, in its bid to encourage brilliant students and bring healthy competition among West African students, yearly presents awards for outstanding performance in May/June WASSCE.
The three WAEC awards jostled for by best candidates yearly include; Distinction/Merit Awards, Omo N’Oba Erediauwa Coronation Trophies and Augustus Bandele Oyediran Trophy.
In a document made available to Vanguard after WAEC’s 52nd annual meeting of the Nigeria National Committee held in Minna, Master Ogunfolaji Oloruntoba, Miss Fasola Ifeoluwapo and Miss Anyanwu Maureen emerged first, second and third respectively in Distinction/Merit Award in the May/June 2013 WASSCE.
Ogunfolaji had his pre-primary/primary school at Dt. Bernadette Nursery and Primary School, Onikolobo, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He had his secondary school education at Sacred Heart Catholic School, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In the May/June 2013 WASSCE result, Ogunfolaji made A1 in eight subjects including English and Mathematics. His total score was 666.6525.
Fasola who emerged second best, had her pre-primary/primary school education at Junior International School, Oluyole Estate, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Also, she had her secondary school education at the International School, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State. Fashola who is presently studying Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan, made A1 in eight subjects including English and Mathematics during the May/June 2013 WASSCE. Her total score in the eight subjects was 664.0075.
The difference in the total score of Oloruntoba and Ifeoluwapo was 2.645 marks.
Miss Anyanwu Maureen Kelechi who came third had her pre-primary/primary school education at the Montessori International School, Port Harcourt, River State, just as she attended Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja. Similarly, she had A1 in eight subjects including English and Mathematics. Her total score was 656.5480. The difference between the second and third winner was 7.4595 marks.
Apparently examining past winners of the National Distinction and Merit Awards from 2005-2013, students from private schools have consistently maintained the lead in WASSCE results. Except in 2010 when Akinwale Oluwatola from Air force Comprehensive School, Iyana Offa, Oyo State came first on merit and not even a distinction.
Statistical breakdown reveals that in 2005 WASSCE May/June results, Master Omusi Odaro Anthony from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja emerged first with a distinction.
In 2006, it was Majekodunmi Oluwabusola from All Saint’s College, Jericho, Ibadan. 2007, Yusufu John from Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja came first with a distinction. Similarly, in 2008, the first position went to Maduka David Immanuel from King’s High School, Satellite Town, Lagos.
The feat of private schools emerging first also continued in 2009 when Agbaje Simisola of Lagoon Secondary School, Lekki, Lagos came first with a distinction. First position in 2011 went to Adeloye Christianah from Charis International School, Abeokuta, Ogun State. In 2012, Oginni Folafoluwa Mary from Our Lady and St. Francis Catholic College, Osogbo, Osun State.
In the same vein, private schools have been clinching the Augustus Bandele Oyediran prize and trophy award to best students in the past eight years. In 2005, Loyola Jesuit, Abuja won it. In 2006, it was Negbenebor International School, Benin. The trophy went to Lumen Christi International High School, Uromi, Edo State in 2007. Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja again in 2008. Similarly, Lumen Christi International High School, Edo State which won it in 2007 also bagged it in 2009. Dority International Secondary School, Abia, in 2010. Again, Lumen Christi International High School, Edo State won it in 2011. In 2012, it was Presentation National High School, Benin, Edo State that lifted the trophy.
To qualify for Oyediran prize, candidate must score Grade 1 in at least 8 subjects including English and Matthematics.
Public school stakeholders
The analysis of this data should serve as a wake up call for public school stakeholders in the sector. All hands should be on deck to restore the glory of public schools. Public school should strive to bridge the wide gap that exists between private and public schools, especially in academic performance. Decades ago, the public school was the pride of many parent as many parents strived to place their children in public school, believing that was where children can get the best. Today, the story has changed, as people in helm of affairs who suppose to revamp the dawnward trends in public schools are themselves patronising private school and establishing more.
Little wonder, the Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekau last week at Federal Polytechnic, Auchi said: ”Government is worried about the poor results recorded in the last Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination conducted by the West Africa Examination Council.”
It is believed that the academic success story of many private schools is not unconnected to their conducive learning environment, well-equipped libraries and laboratories, and qualified dedicated trained teachers.
Besides, at the 22nd Convocation of Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Shekarau did say: ‘’Government has taken steps to improve on the capability of the quality of teaching and facilities available in our secondary schools.
‘’Government is working out modalities for the regular training and re-training of teachers through various short-term courses, workshops and seminars.”
Stakeholders are waiting for the Education Minister, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau to expedite action in fulfilling the policy statement.
“Though I intend to source for their fees after the festivities, but this question has given me ideas.”
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