There was pandemonium in Osun state on Thursday after some secondary school pupils in Osun State staged a violent protest against the decision of the state government to stop the payment of the West African Senior School Certification Examinations fees.
Hundreds of students trooped out in Ile-Ife to protest the new policy and some of them reportedly attacked some motorists while some of them vandalised property belonging to Orisun FM, a radio station owned by the state government.
Due to the financial crisis facing the state, the state government decided to scale down the number of pupils whose fees would be paid this year. This was said to have made the government announce that it would not pay the WASSCE fees of any pupil who failed to have four credits in the mock-examinations.
The pupils were said to have vented their anger on the radio station and vandalised some cars parked on the premises before they left.
However, The Government of Osun on Friday described as shameful Thursday’s violent conducts of some students of High Schools in Ife, Iwo and Ikire over their failure to qualify for state government’s sponsorship of the registration for the West African Examination Council WAEC fees.
The government said it was unthinkable that students who failed examinations and should be remorseful, face the challenges of correcting their academic poor performances could go out and vandalise government property in the name of protests.
In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, government said the refusal of government to register them for West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) was because of their performance saying it would be irresponsible to continue to fund examination registrations of students who didn’t demonstrate readiness to pass.
“The Government of Osun, in the unmistakeable resolve and determination to bring the best out of the students, has said it will henceforth register only final year students for external examination after the conduct of the in-house mock examination.
“Students who fail to demonstrate their potential success at the final examination by scoring credits in at least four subjects will not be paid for by the government. Any parent who wants to gamble can register their children.”
The statement added that it is a verifiable fact that Osun under Aregbesola has turned around the education sector with the provision of a conducive environment, building of the state- of-the- art schools and the investment in training and retraining of teachers.
The statement noted that against this backdrop, government expected significant improvement in the average performance of its registered students in both WASCE and National Examination Council (NECO).
The statement said, “It is this decision of government that some disgruntled few among the students went to the streets to protest against in Ile-Ife and Iwo.
“Whereas government decision was first and foremost informed on the need to seek better performance of the students. Besides, the economic realities no longer permits wastage of resources.
“Thus government wanted only those who will excel after its investment on them and not those who will fritter away the meagre resources by performing abysmally in the examination.”
The statement noted that when the Aregbesola administration took over in November 2010, the performance of students in May/June WASCE result for that year was 15.68%.
It added that the average performance for the three years (2011-2013) of Aregbesola administration was 21.32%, representing an improvement of 36% compared with the result of 2010.
Government stressed that, compared with the average performance (13.26%) of the three years that preceded Aregbesola, the percentage improvement in performance of the Aregbesola years is a whopping 61%.
The statement described this as a significant achievement considering the challenges the state had