Following Governor Kashim Shettima’s directive, 250 internally displaced persons (IDP) have began writing this year’s West African School Certificate Examination (WASC) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) for secondary school students in preparation for entry into universities and other tertiary schools.
It is the first time the IDPs are writing the WAEC since they were forced out of their homes by Boko Haram insurgents at different times in 2014.
The IDPs, made up of 94 female and 156 male students, are among hundreds of students whose schools and communities were attacked by Boko Haram resulting in their displacement.
The 250 IDPs are mostly from Kukawa, Gwoza, Ngala, Bama, Monguno, Guzamala and Nganzai Local Government Areas.
The students wrote their practicals yesterday at three WAEC centres: Government College, Government Girls’ College and Mustapha Umar Elkanemi Arabic Teachers College all in Maiduguri.
The Chairman of the state Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Ahmed Satomi, who monitored the IDPs’ participation at three centres in Maiduguri yesterday, disclosed that they were those who passed a special mock exam conducted for about 1,000 IDPs who were in final year at secondary schools before they were displaced. The Chairman said the mock exam was meant to evaluate the IDPs that were able to catch up after undergoing classes and comprehensive tutorials organised for them in camps on the orders of Governor Shettima.
Volunteer tutors including some local non-governmental organisations, some aides of the governor and some graduates associated with the governor took part in guiding all SS 3 IDPs through the syllabus.
He explained that the IDPs were first evaluated and enrolled into four senior secondary schools: Government Secondary School, Jajeri, Govt Girls’ Secondary 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 Shettima released funds to the Borno State Emergency Management Agency which we used to pay 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 organised for over 1,000 IDPs 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 authorised the purchase of JAMB forms for the 250 students, while some of the 1,000 IDPs 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 that they remain IDPs by next year.