By Jonathan Ugbal: Government House Correspondent
The Cross River State government may soon flag off the construction of a shoe factory in a move that will increase enrollment into schools said the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade while declaring open the 56th annual general meeting of the Nigerian National Council (NNC) of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Thursday in Calabar.
Mr. Ayade said this will build confidence for school children especially when complimented with the free school uniforms produced at the State’s Garment Factory of which ten percent will be reserved for private institutions.
Presenting the uniforms, Mr. Ayade said: “Let me announce to you that this is a product of the Cross River State garment factory. 500,000 uniforms donated for free to pupils in cross River State public schools and I have also directed that private schools should be given 10 percent of these uniforms.”
Ayade who said the gesture was in fulfillment of his earlier promise to the pupils two years ago during one of his outings with them, further explained that: “We are focusing on the young pupil and that is why I thought it wise to do this presentation today.
“We intend to dress them properly and let me inform you that our shoe factory is coming up soon where we also intend to produce school sandals and present same free to them to build their confidence and make them see themselves as equals to those in the private schools.”
Ayade who sued for a paradigm shift from the conventional question setting for knowledge testing to practical implementation of knowledge, argued that practical exposure is key to the future Nigeria now desires.
“Society has moved so fast and education cannot catch up at the speed because of wrong educational structure and so, WAEC has to restructure it syllabus especially in line with current realities,” the Governor said.
He added that: “Values, ethics Kantianism, integrity, character of a man which has always been the foundation of our primary education that laid the foundation for the prosperity of a future Nigeria has changed and must be corrected and fast too.
“I challenge this committee to restructure our curriculum to reflect the quality of our youths because if we must get it right, it must start at that level.”
In her remarks, the WAEC NNC Chairman, Dr. Lami Amodu commended Governor Ayade for the developmental strides that has placed Cross River as one of the fastest industrialising states in the country.
She noted that the State has a long history with education and therefore, was considered very elitist in Nigeria.
Also, she commended the support the State has given WAEC over the years even as she expressed optimism that the investments made in educational sector so far, as well as the governor’s personal interest in the sector, Cross River will soon be placed top on the global education map.
The State had earlier donated two pick up vans to the WAEC office in Calabar which Mrs. Amodu said will, “assist the council in serving the State better.”
The head, national office, Mr. Olu Adenipekun in his remarks said that WAEC is to issue certificates to candidates whose results have been fully processed and released after 90 days.
Adenipekun who announced the release of the results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination for private candidates said the examinations which held between August 14, and October 4, 2018 saw 112,567 candidates register for the examination in Nigeria while 109,902 candidates sat for the examination.
Also, he said that 138 candidates with varying degrees of special needs registered for the examination.
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