The Niger State Universal Basic Education Board, NSUBEB, has disclosed that more than 90 per cent of pupils in exit classes in public schools can neither read nor write.
Dr Isah Adamu, Chairman of NSUBEB, disclosed this during a two-day roundtable discussion on revamping basic education in Niger State in Minna on Thursday.
He explained that the roundtable discussion brought together critical stakeholders in the education sector to access the challenges and performance of basic education in the state.
Mr Adamu explained that the event became necessary after the board mobilised resources to register 250 public primary school exit pupils for Suleja Academy but lamented that records showed zero per cent performance.
He added that for the national examination into Unity Colleges, 21 pupils passed the examinations out of 250 that were registered.
He added that over time, there was no standard unified examination for primary six exit pupils in the state.
He explained that for the standard unified examination, schools individually sent names of their pupils for placement into Junior Secondary School, JSS 1, classes.
Mr Adamu said the board in collaboration with the Ministry of Education came up with a Unified Common Entrance Examination of National Standard, by engaging the National Examination Council, NECO, to set the questions for pupils.
He said out of the 61,874 pupils that sat for the examination, 55,363 pupils passed representing 89.5 per cent, adding that the meeting was to obtain support of stakeholders on how to address challenges of basic education.
In his address, Niger Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello urged participants to develop a viable solution to challenges toward a sustainable system of education at the basic level.
Mr Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso, decried that basic education had declined abysmally.
He expressed the need to take the children towards a system that promoted practice rather than theory.
He said his administration was committed to providing quality education in the state by clearing backlog of Universal Basic Education, UBE, matching grant from 2013 to first quarter of 2019 to improve access to learning.
Earlier in her welcome address, Hannatu Salihu, the Commissioner of Education, had called on participants to come up with diverse ideas and opinions on how to improve educational standard in the state.