By LUKMAN GARBA, Bauchi
Dr. Aliyu Tilde, Bauchi state commissioner for education has said that the State Government acted within the law in downsizing the number of senior secondary school students to benefit from O’level examinations sponsorship.
Bauchi State House of Assembly members had insisted that the state government had to pay the WAEC fees for all students due for the exam this year until adequate awareness is created to repeal and replace the existing law in the matter.
Dr. Tilde spoke recently while responding to questions from members of the state’s assembly who summoned and grilled him over the recent protest staged by students of senior secondary school in reaction to government’s decision to downsize the number of students to benefit from WAEC sponsorship this year.
He told the House members, that they are the lawmakers as the legislature, saying “if today, Bauchi State House of Assembly make a law that the State Government should sponsor all students of SS3, I and the governor must obey.
“The ball is in your court, if you wish you can repeal the law, but in making the law, you should state where the money will come from”, Dr. Tilde insisted.
Dr. Tilde reiterated his pledged to ensure things are done rightly and according to the law, adding that it was part of his promise during ministerial briefing.
“We have announced since November that only those who pass MOCK will be sponsored as the law stated.
“We publicized it.
“I posted the information even on my Facebook pages.
“But they thought since it is a political government and we are in political era, they will find their ways so that it will be business as usual.
“I inquire why results of MOCK are not released, there was no concrete explanation.
“I understand they were just allocating marks. I also discovered that all schools have the same answers meaning they have copied the answers directly from prepared answers.”
The commissioner said as part of measures to address the corruption tendencies of teachers, he had to contract some graduates who were former students of special schools who went round secondary schools to conduct the examinations for the SS3 students.
Dr Aliyu said “students were asked simple questions such as what are the items sold in your market? Many of them failed.”
He added that after the examination, 6017 passed, “We said it is too small.
“We selected more from MOCK conducted previously. That’s how we arrive at 12000.”
In his contributions during the plenary, Hon. Gazali Abubakar (Ganjuwa East), said although he was satisfied with the explanations of the Commissioner, but argued that “change can’t happen overnigh”.