The Niger State Government on Tuesday said it will discontinue the payment of West African Examination Certificate and National Examination Council fees for its students in Secondary Schools in the state.
Governor Abubakar Bello said this when he visited Justice Legbo Kutigi Secondary School to inspect the ongoing renovation of the school in Lavun local government areas of the state.
Bello said that government can not continue to pay N800 million every year for students that only five per cent of them are able to pass with four credits.
He said government would rather invest such money in infrastructure development and provisions of instructional materials for qualitative education.
He said, “We must review the issue of the payment of NECO and WAEC fees because at the moment, we are still owing NECO and WAEC about N800 millions .
“Government spend such huge money for students that cannot even have four credits. Only about five per cent of students will have four credits and above.
“Basically, it is like we are throwing away money. We will rather stop and invest the money on the facilities so that with time we will get good results.
“We have made efforts to pay part of the money and the results will be released.
“The Commissioner for Finance has met with NECO and WAEC officials and there is an understanding that the debt issue will be addressed.”
He said that the payment of examination fees would henceforth be based on criteria where only best performing students would be selected as beneficiaries.
He decried the decayed structures and facilities of schools in the state, adding that such situation was responsible for massive failure and poor performance recorded among students.
He said, “For so many years, our primary and secondary schools that are suppose to be the basic foundation for our children have been neglected.
“We are aware of the plight of students and teachers in our schools, some schools do not look as if human beings are living there even the teachers quarters.
“Most of the roofs are blown off by windstorm, but now with this new approach of bringing sanity to the educational sector, the teachers will now have conducive environment to live and hopefully that will boost their morale to settle down and teach our children very well.”
He said that most of the science schools currently under re-construction were about 70 per cent completed, adding that when fully completed, it would bring about improved teachings and learning.
He added that the effort was to ensure that schools in the state reached the United Nations Educational Scientific And Cultural Organisational and world standard.NAN