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43 pupils in Nigeria’s Zamfara registered for entrance exam, not 28

This article is more than 6 years old

Calling the low enrolment figures for an entrance exam "all shades of sad!", Nigerian writer Temitayo Olofinlua asked Africa Check to verify the figures reported by Punch newspaper.

According to Punch, “[o]nly 28 candidates registered for common entrance exam in Zamfara” by 3 March 2018.

Pupils wrote the exam on 14 April to land a spot in junior secondary schools owned by the federal government. Typically for children in their 6th year of basic education, the exam tests maths, general science, English, social studies, along with quantitative and verbal aptitude tests.

Registration historically poor in northern Nigeria

The head of the body coordinating the exam told Africa Check 43 pupils eventually registered and sat for the exams in Zamfara state.

“There was a surge in registrations in the last 48 hours,” said Charles Uwakwe, registrar of the National Examination Council.

Uwakwe added that Zamfara, and other states in the northeastern and northwestern region of Nigeria, historically have lower enrolment figures in such exams.

Of the 80,299 pupils who registered, Zamfara’s 43 candidates were still the fewest, followed by Kebbi (63), Taraba (150), Bauchi (168) and Katsina (202). This is according to updated registration figures sent to Africa Check.

“It has to do with the insurgency and instability in the region, especially in the northeast. Also, the level of impoverishment is so high that a lot of [pupils] depend on government to do registration for them.”

With this in mind, the organisation allowed walk-in candidates, among other measures. - David Ajikobi (17/04/2018)


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