Benue PDP warns against dangers over failure to conduct JSS Exams

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The Benue State chapter of the PDP has warned the state government over the dangers in tampering with the future of young children by failing to Conduct the Junior Secondary School Exams even after collecting high registration fees from their parents.

The party which made its position on the development known in a press statement made available to Nigerian Concord this morning by Bemgba Iortyom, its State Publicity Secretary, said that delaying the examination would amount to jeopardize the future of the young children.

“It is a shocking and unacceptable development that the Administration of Gov. Samuel Ortom in Benue State has failed to conduct the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) for Junior Secondary School students in the state.

“The examination has routinely held every academic year immediately after the conclusion of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) examinations for Senior Secondary School candidates, and before the conduct of the National Examination Council (NECO) examination.

“This year the WAEC examination has been concluded and the NECO examination is currently ongoing, yet BECE is yet to be conducted, and this is inspite that interested students have since paid the registration fees which were even raised to very high rates.

“Each student was made to pay the sum of N5,500.00 this academic year, from the N5,000.00 paid in the 2015/2016 Academic year and N3,500.00 in the 2014/2015 Academic year.

“This represents an increment in excess of 50% by the Ortom administration over the N3,500.00 which was the highest fees paid during the immediate past Suswam administration, a development which in itself is insensitive considering that this administration is owing workers salaries for upwards of ten months.

“Yet, having charged and collected those exorbitant fees, the Ortom administration has failed to conduct the examinations which represents the assessment and certification platform for students who have completed the junior stage of the the two legged secondary school education system.

“Only a few days back the administration sacked the substantive Executive Secretary of the Benue State Examinations Board, Mr. Charlie Young, and in his place Asen Alexander has been appointed in Acting capacity, a move which the Commissioner of Education, Mr. Dennis Ityavyar, says was taken to re-position the examinations board and have it conduct the delayed examination in a matter of weeks.

“But the questions remain, that why did it take the Ortom administration this long to realise that things were wrong at the examinations board?

“Why did parents and students have to suffer this much for what is clearly incompetence and and lack of forward planing on the part of the Ortom administration?

“Findings reveal that in the course of this delay a round of blame-trading and buck-passing has been going on between the state’s Ministry of Education and the Benue Internal Revenue Service (BIRS).

“The Ministry of Education is said to have claimed that BIRS is yet to remit to the Benue State Examinations Board the full amount of monies paid by students as registration for the examination, that being the reason for the delay in conducting the examination.

“But BIRS insists it remitted to the Exams Board 75% of the total amount realised from the registration, that being the statutory stipulation by the state’s tax law for all revenues generated by such Essential Services bodies through the operations of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) financial system.

“Findings reveal that the Ortom administration needs not more than N1,500.00 per candidate to conduct the examinations, and if the Examination Board got 75% of N5,500.00 from BIRS then there is no excuse for the failure to conduct the examinations up to this moment.

“This is a situation which is totally unacceptable, one which further highlights the lack of vision and weak capacity for delivery of good governance to the people of Benue State by the Ortom administration.

“We demand that the Ortom administration ensures the BECE examination which poor parents laboured to pay for despite being owed salaries, must be conducted without further delay.

“This must be done to save the parents and students further suffering, and the promises made for the conduct of the examination within weeks must not end up being another of the administration’s many empty promises” the statement reads.

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