Abuja — Federal Government yesterday expressed concern over students' poor performance in external examinations.
Government's concern stemmed from students' poor performances in this year's West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, National Examination Council, NECO, and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Rufa'i, who stated government's disappointment at the opening ceremony of the 2012 National Conference on Examinations in Abuja, however, admitted that there was marginal improvement in the 2012 WAEC examinations, with just 39 per cent having a credit pass in five subjects, including English and Mathematics.
She regretted that the performance of candidates in public exams had over the years showed steady decline in the number of candidates who obtained five credits and above, including English Language and Mathematics.
Rufa'I said this had become more worrisome, given that this was the basic entry requirement for transition to higher education.
She added that while 30.9 per cent of candidates obtained five credits and above in WAEC in 2011, only 8.06 per cent had same in NECO, although the performance improved marginally to 31.58% in NECO in 2012.
The minister particularly tasked state governments to do more in addressing the problem of poor performance of students, saying "we all know that States have greater role to play in turning round the massive failure in our examinations, especially when viewed from the fact that basic and secondary education are controlled by the states."
Statistics obtained at the event showed that students from the Northern states of the country performed more poorly in public examinations.
For instance, out of a total of 16,633 that sat for WAEC in 2012, only 251 of them were able to obtain five credits and above, including English and Mathematics.
In Gombe State, only 906 out of 21,233 had five credits and above; Adamawa, only 1,706 made it out of 32,410 in 2012 WAEC.
The Minister, therefore, said the gathering provided an opportunity for wide-ranging exchange of ideas on the best approach to enhancing quality of education delivery which would ultimately lead to better performance in public examinations.
Also speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike, noted that bad results could stunt the dreams of higher education for the children, adding that government would not rest on its oars to build sustainable education system for the country.