By Olayinka Olawale
The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) said 181,000 primary six pupils from private and the public schools across the state sat for the 2018 Placement Test into Junior Secondary School 1.
Dr Ganiyu Sopeyin, Executive Chairman of SUBEB, disclosed this to journalists after monitoring the exercise at Mende Junior High School, Maryland, Lagos.The test took place in 361 designated centres across the state.
Sopeyin described the conduct of the test as satisfactory in the centres he monitored, which also included Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Junior and Senior High School, Maryland, Lagos.
“This is an annual event. What we are witnessing today is the placement for primary six pupils to gain admission into junior secondary schools in Lagos.
“As you can see, the whole place is peaceful; we have been to the classrooms and it is conducive for the purpose.
“On the whole, in all the centres, we are expecting 181,000 pupils to write this test as against 160, 000 in 2017.
“ This is a pointer that parents are now getting interested in enrolling their children in Lagos schools.
“We have to congratulate and thank Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, for his passion for education in the state,’’ he said.
Sopeyin said that parents enrol their wards in Lagos primary and secondary schools due to the upgrade of infrastructure to meet international standards.
“About three days ago, his Excellency magnanimously announced that very soon, Lagos State will be employing more teachers for its schools.
“With all these, we can only enjoin parents to take their own part seriously, ensure that their children come to school and provide necessary materials for them, to enable them have very sound education as prepared for them by the government,” he said.
Sopeyin also said that the conduct of the 2018 test was an improvement on what obtained in 2017.
According to him, saying there is a lot of improvement with the use of Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheet.
“If you look at the OMR sheet, the paper was customised; the children’s details were printed on the sheet for easy identification.
“That is why you can see there is no rancor or problem, unlike in the past when the pupils will be running around because they could not find their names.Thank God we have taken care of that.
“Some parents were even agitating that they forgot their slips at home and we told them not to worry, that there are other means to identify the pupils,” he said.
Sopeyin commended the parents for conducting themselves in orderly manner and trusting in government.
He said security men were deployed to various centres to ensure safety of the pupils.
The chairman said the results of the test would be ready in one week, urging proprietors, headteachers and other school owners to check for them at the SUBEB office complex.
A parent, Mr James Okon, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended the state government for the smooth conduct of the test.
Okon said his daughter was admitted into the examination hall without officials requesting for anything.
“I am happy about the conduct of the test, everything was well organised, we did not stress ourselves to locate the centre,” he said.
NAN reports that 168,843 pupils sat for the test in 2017 in 255 centres, while 140,000 pupils sat for it in 160 designated centres in 2016.