No fewer than 160,000 pupils from public and approved private schools on Saturday sat for the 2019 Placement Test into Lagos State Public Junior Secondary Schools.
The Lagos State Universal Education Board and the Lagos State Examination Board gave the figures during monitoring exercise to some centres in the state.
Dr Oluwafemi Hassan, Director/Registrar, Lagos State Examinations Board, said the examination was compulsory for all primary six pupils in both public and private schools.
He said the test was a transit examination from primary to junior secondary school.
According to him, the essence of the test is to place pupils into government public schools and it is compulsory because it marks the end of the six-year primary education.
‘’This is a transit examination to junior secondary school.
‘’There has been progressive increase in the number of pupils year-in, year-out.
‘’Today, we have over 160,000 pupils sitting for this test, while in 2018, we had over 150,000 and over 140,000 in 2017.
‘’This year, we have over 40,000 pupils from private schools and over 120,000 pupils from public schools,’’ he said.
Hassan said there were little or no challenges during the conduct of the test, saying that he visited more than 10 schools.
‘’The examination has been smoothly conducted which is an improvement over that of 2018 and it will continue to get better. Government is putting in place all necessary facilities to cater for the children.
‘’There is no provision for pupils to have a re-sit after this test. The test is a straight jacketed examination and no plan for re-sit.
‘’There are facilities for pupils who failed in the technical colleges, vocational centres across the state.
‘’It is not all the pupils here today that will pass the examination but for those who will not make it, government has already made provisions for them to learn a vocation and be self-reliant,’’ he said.
Mrs Kehinde Ajimoti, Board Secretary, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the placement test was hitch-free.
Ajimoti said the test took place in 348 centres across the state and was well coordinated.
She said the pupils were tested in two subjects, English Language and Mathematics, for two hours each.
She said provision were also made for children living with disabilities in some of the centres.
‘’Today, the placement test was hitch-free in all the centres we monitored in Mainland, Somolu and Kosofe Local Government Areas.
‘’My observation is that, a lot of private school pupils sat for the test, which means that parents are beginning to realise that government schools are becoming better.
‘’With the number of private school pupils here today, we can say that our standard has improved than what it used to be in the past and we will not relent in our efforts to ensure quality and quantitative education for all.
“We have space to accommodate all successful candidates as the new Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed that all our schools should be renovated ahead of resumption in September.
‘’We will continue to expand and improve on all existing facilities,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the schools visited include Verland Senior Grammar School, Agege; State Junior High School, Oyewole, Agege; Station Junior Grammar School, Iju.
Others include Aje Comprehensive High School, Yaba; Birel Girls High School, Yaba; Jibowu Junior High School, Yaba; Baptist Junior and Senior Secondary School, Somolu; Immaculate Heart Junior Comprehensive, Maryland; and Mende Junior Secondary School, Mende, Maryland.
Mr Olalekan Majiyagbe, Education Secretary, Agege Local Government Authority, said the examination was a success because it was well planned.
Majiyagbe said the government mobilised all resources, personnel and parents for the examination.
He urged the government to improve on school infrastructure within the local government and provide more furniture.
Mrs Olubisi Ogunmokun, Principal, Station Junior Grammar School, Iju, commended the state government for improving the conduct of the examination.
Ogunmokun urged the state government to provide more support for the school as well as provide furniture.