Does Reduction of JAMB, NECO Fees Address Real Issues?
The Nigerian government would expect that their reduction of fees for the UTME, SSCE and BECE would help them score points with the people, but it doesn’t seem like things are going that way.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the downward review of the examination registration fees which will take effect from January 2019.
Some persons have commended the gesture and encouraged the government to do more, but some just see it as a cheap way of diverting attention from the need to overhaul the education sector.
An entrepreneur, Mr Sunday Ukachukwu, described the action as a ''good step'' in the right direction.
“I give the Federal government credit for the downward review, but I think they can still do better because the reduction is not so significant.
“If they reviewed the fees by 50 per cent, the reduction would have been significant, but what you have is 13 per cent reduction,’’ he said.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Mr Ben Ekiyi, commended the Federal Government for the reduction saying that it would ensure inclusiveness among other things.
“It is a good thing because any reduction in prices of goods or services always makes the masses happy, especially in these times where many people are facing a lot of hardship.
“I feel this reduction will ensure inclusiveness as more students will now be able to write these examinations.
“Since more students will now be able to write the examinations, hidden potentials will be exposed, because we have some intelligent students who have not been able to afford the examination fees,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, for Mrs Lelo Apena, a parent, the reduction of fees was a diversion from the real issues plaguing the education sector, such as poor quality of education, dilapidated infrastructure and out- of- school children.
According to her, this kind of reduction does not make any sense; N1,500 difference will not solve the problems bedeviling the education in Nigeria.
“I tell you, reduction in these fees is a kind of diversion from the real issue; has the government thought of reducing tuition fees so that those who are qualified will be enrolled and do not drop out for lack of fees.
“Our tertiary institutions always on strike; is it the reduction of JAMB fees and NECO that will solve the poor quality of students and lecturer impact?
“Are the out-of-school children and their parents and guardians being helped to ensure their children are enrolled in school and not drop out before completion for various reasons?’’ she queried.
Apena was of the opinion that state government should take over the payment of JAMB and NECO fees for poor students in their communities.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on Wednesday announced that Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) fees for UTME had been reduced from N5,000 to N3,500.
Adamu said government also reduced the SSCE fees charged by the National Examinations Council (NECO) from N11,350 to N9,850 while the Basic School Certificate Examination (BSCE) by NECO was reduced from N5,500 to N4,000.
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