The immediate past Principal of King’s College, Lagos, Mr. Dele Olapeju, has urged the Federal Ministry of Education to compel the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to consider shifting the conduct of the annual Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination from March to July.
He said the stress of looking for ‘far-flung centres’ for the examination robs final year secondary school pupils the time and concentration needed to learn and sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
Olapeju said this in a statement obtained by our correspondent on Thursday.
The educationist claimed secondary school pupils accounted for more than 60 per cent of the UTME candidates.
According to him, the ministry should ensure that the curriculum meant for the final year pupils in secondary schools is used appropriately.
He said, “The 39 weeks available for learning in the final year class are unjustifiably used up in sitting for examinations rather than real learning. Two out of the 13 weeks available in the first term of the session are consumed by the end of term examination before the Yuletide and New Year activities.
“This is followed by another four weeks of studies interspersed with sporting activities, then two or three weeks of mock examination. Some of them also undergo trial testing by some examination bodies before sitting for UTME. With UTME, most pupils often take a week off normal studies to go through the rigours of identifying examination centres and eventually sitting for the papers.
“Since the introduction of UTME and its conduct in either March or April every year, final year pupils of our secondary schools have been at the receiving end. They are made to skip classes searching different towns for examination centres either for UTME or post-UTME. This situation got to a head in 2014/15 session, when some of the candidates had the dilemma of choosing between the WASSCE and the post-UTME on a crucial date for WASSCE.”
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