Osogbo — Over 27,500 applicants, out of which over 19,000 were female sat for the recently-concluded teachers' recruitment test exercise conducted by the Osun State Government.
The Special Adviser to the state Governor on Education, Jamiu Olawumi, in an interview with Vanguard, said the state government deliberately outsourced the computer-based test to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to ensure credibility.
He berated those spreading rumour that the state deliberately wanted to fail candidates, saying the questions were such that they met prerequisites for teaching, including questions in Mathematics, English Language, Education Psychology and Education Management.
He added that the cut-off mark arrived at by the State Executive Council meeting was 40% for an average graduate teacher and 35% for an average NCE teacher.
"A major problem is that some of them couldn't operate computer and scored zero and they want to give Osun students 21st Century education, it is not possible. Don't forget about 32,000 registered for it, 29,000 accessed the internet for the exam, while 27, 000 wrote the exam proper.
"Out of this, we have close to 19,000 female candidates and about 8,500 male candidates. There are also candidates from other states of the federation that came. So, if you now say the cut-off mark is this, do they expect an examination not to have a pass mark? So you can't deliberately fail anybody
"Our pass-mark, as approved by the state executive council, is 40% for an average graduate teacher and 35% for an average NCE teacher. Even with that, we have 11,000 that will be attending interviews.
"Osun State Government is the first government in Nigeria to outsource recruitment exercise to JAMB and you and I know that JAMB has an uncommon pedigree. At least, on the continent of Africa today, no examination body can rival JAMB.
"What we specifically told JAMB is that we want standard questions. The same questions degree holders will not see as just a common question and an NCE holder will not see as a too tough question. So they came to an equilibrium which is standard of 300 level of NCE.
10 mathematics questions and others on education psychology and education management. If you are indeed a teacher, qualified and wanted to teach in school, give 21st century knowledge to students and you can't answer questions mainly and majorly from the course you have studied, then there is a problem."
He also disclosed that unlike the previous administration, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has resumed partnership with the state on children education as the childhood education care has returned to the school system
"When we decided to cancel early childhood care development education. That is the Kindergarten or the Pre-School Age. Which is already in the policy of the Federal government.
The policy is now 1-6-3-3-4. We also remove primary five and six to secondary school. We don't have full compliment of primary education and you know UNICEF is about children. If they feel you are not treating them well, they will protest. They protested and we said that was the way to go and they have to leave our state but I can tell you for over six months now, they have returned back to the state and they have started to assist us", Olawumi added.