Dissatisfied by the continuous poor performance of secondary school students in the North-East region of the country in national and regional examinations, the North-East Education and Social Accountability Cluster yesterday urged state governors in the region to declare a state of emergency in the education sector.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Jalingo, the group also urged the state governments in the North-East to go beyond declaring a state of emergency and invest more in the education sector by making available enough funds and materials that would enhance teaching and learning in their states.
The group, which is drawn from various civil society organisations, said: “We also urge that this should go beyond just mere declaration, requiring the states to come up with bold initiatives and corresponding funding and the deployment of transparent and accountable mechanisms for the utilisation of the funds for the sector.”
They observed that “one of the ways we can assess the commitment of the state governments in developing and promoting the state of education in their states is the performance of their indigenes in different national and regional examinations.”
The statement added: “If this stands to be a reliable yardstick, then we can loudly say states in the North-East need to be more committed so that we can begin to see appreciable performance of the indigenes of their states in those examinations.
“In the 2015 WAEC May/June result released in the first quarter of this year, Yobe State came last with only 646 (4.37%) candidates obtaining five credits and above including English and Mathematics out of the 14, 748 students, comprising 10, 807 males and 3,977 females, that sat for the examination in the state.
“Apart from the disheartening performance of Yobe State, none of the North-East states made it to the best 20 performing states in the ranking.”
The statement was jointly signed by Kabiru Sa`idu Dakata, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Kano; Mohammed G. Wuyo, Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP), Borno; Enoch Raymond, Centre for Environmental Education and Development (CEED), Taraba; Rebecca Hassan, Association of People Living with Disability, Gombe; Aishatu Margima, Women and Youth Empowerment for Advancement and Health Initiative (WYEAHI), Adamawa; Isah Garba, Bauchi Coalition for Improvement of Public Expenditure Management (BACIPEM), Bauchi; Halimatu Laminu, Network of Civil Society Organisations, Yobe; Dauda Mohammad, Northeast Youth Initiative Forum(NEYIF), Yobe; Asma`u Joda, Centre for Women and Adolescent Empowerment, Adamawa; and Ibrahim Yusuf, Society and the Future, Gombe.