Rivers State ministry of education abolishes first school leaving certificate, gives guideline on registration of new students

Ahead of the September 10 resumption, the Rivers State Ministry of Education has vowed to come hard on schools that distort academic calenders set by the ministry.

The declaration was made by the commissioner of education, Tamunonisi Gogo-Jaja during an interactive session with heads and principals of primary, junior and secondary schools in the state.
The interactive section was to keep them abreast and update them on the standards that will help foster the state’s educational system.
Briefing newsmen after the section Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, said the session is to ensure an organized educational system in the state and to instil discipline in the sector, within and amongst the teaching staff, non-teaching staff and the pupils/ students; to run a well and articulated academic calendar in the state
The commissioner said before, academic calendars were distorted. But beginning from September, 10th 2018, which is the new academic session, the ministry will come down hard on both public and private schools that flaw the provision of the Academic Calendar.
He pointed out that there have been private schools that go on midterm break one week adding that the ministry will no longer tolerate such.
He said by Rivers State academic standards, midterm break starts on the close of school on a Thursday while classes resume on Tuesday mornings.
He warned that heads of schools of both private and public schools that take beyond Thursday/Friday’s for midterm break will be severely dealt with.
Also, the commissioner said, in order to check cultism and miracle examination centres (exam malpractices centres) in Rivers State, both private and public schools should ensure to request unified transfer certificates from pupils/ students seeking readmission into their schools,( the ministry alone issues this transfer certificates).
He said this is necessary because some students perpetrate crime in their former schools and will seek to be admitted into another school without been punished for their crimes.
He said such criminal and unlawful act has to stop. And that the era of students both within and outside the state register in “miracle exam centres” for exam malpractices, to pass exams also has got to be checked.
He warned that both private and public schools head should not to accept new students either within or from outside the state into their schools without the unified transfer certificate.
He also advised parents that move from place to place, because of the nature of their jobs to also ensure they get their kids or wards unified transfer certificate before moving or else their child/ children will not be admitted into schools in Rivers State.
He also used the opportunity to inform the entire public, that the National Policy on Education, has abolished First School Leaving Certificate, adding that the new and acceptable education certificate now in the country replacing First School Leaving Certificate is the ” Basic Education Certificate
He noted that it is essential and important that every child who is in Junior Secondary three (JS3), must sit for the Basic education certificate, throughout the federation, saying that various state ministries of education in the country have been directed that without the Junior WAEC certificate, no child will be admitted, whether in public or private school to senior secondary one (SS1) from September 2018.
And for those who sat for the examination already this year 2018, their results are out. This is to ensure that they present their certificates in the new schools. This is to track indiscipline and vices in the state’s primary, secondary educational system and to check the influx of students coming from outside the state as well.
The commissioner warned heads of primary schools and principals of both junior and senior secondary schools to check the activities of anybody who enters the school premises, to be aware of their intents or activities. He said these days, people come into school premises for various reasons, some come to kidnap kids, and as such, he warned heads of schools to be security conscious.
The commissioner also warned the said contractor who de-roofed the entire school building of Obuama secondary school, also called Harry’s town in Degema Local Government to cease it’s operation or be arrested for entering government-owned school premises without the notice of the state government or the state ministry of education.
He said the principal of GSS Obuama, stated that the said contractor had told them that NDDC had awarded the renovation of the school to him. The commissioner said the Rivers state government is not aware of this and every work must be stopped.

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