Isa Gusau, Maiduguri: Following Governor Kashim Shettima’s directive, two hundred and fifty internally displaced persons have began writing this year’s West African Examination Council’s (WAEC) graduation exams for secondary school students in preparation for entry into Universities and other tertiary schools, our correspondent reports.
It was the first time IDP’S are writing the WAEC since they were forced out of their homes by Boko Haram insurgents at different times in 2014. The IDP’S, made up of 94 female students and 156 male students were amongst hundreds of students whose schools and communities were attacked by Boko Haram resulting in their displacement. The 250 IDP’S are mostly fromKukawa, Gwoza, Ngala, Bama, Monguno, Guzamala and Nganzai local government areas.
The students wrote practicals on Wednesday at three WAEC centres,Government College, Government Girls College and Mustapha Umar Elkanemi Arabic Teachers College all in Maiduguri.
The Chairman, Borno State Emergency Management Agency, Engineer Ahmed Satomi who monitored the IDP’S participation at three centres in Maiduguri on Wednesday, disclosed that the 250 IDP’S were those who passed a special mock exam conducted for about 1,000 IDP’S who were in final year at secondary schools before they were displaced.
The Chairman said the mock exam was meant to evaluate the IDP’S that were able to catch up after undergoing classes and comprehensive tutorials organized for them in camps on the orders of Governor Shettima. Volunteer tutors that include some local NGOS, some aides of Governor Shettima and some graduates associated with the Governor took part in guiding all SS 3 IDP’s through WAEC syllabus.
He explained that the IDP’S were first evaluated and enrolled into four senior secondary schools: Government Secondary School, Jajeri, Govt Girls Second school, Yerwa, Govt College, Maiduguri and Government Girls College Maiduguri and provided with free uniforms, sandals, bags and books in addition to special tutorials after school hours to enable them catch up after missing school due to displacement.
“Governor Kashim Shettima released funds to the Borno State Emergency Management Agency which we used to paying the WAEC fees of all the students. As you know, in Borno, the State Government pays for WAEC but parents pay a counterpart of N6,500 as show of commitment.
So, what SEMA paid was the counterpart since the Government already paid for all WAEC students across Borno State. Mock exam was organized for over 1,000 IDP’S but out of them, 250 did well and were believed to be emotionally and academically set for this year’s WAEC.
The Governor also asked us to secure JAMB forms for all of them which is being done, we hope that all of them will do well to become eligible for University admission by end of the year” Satomi explained.
The Chairman added that Governor Shettima had authorized the purchase of JAMB forms for the 250 students while some of the 1,000 IDP’S who showed some good signs after the mock exams are likely to sit for exams to gain entry into other tertiary schools even though they will undergo more tutorials to prepare them for next WAEC examinations in their communities since Government doesn’t hope thaat they remain in IDP’S by next year.