The Lagos State Government has said that the N10,000 admission tests fee it recently introduced is only for pupils seeking admission to its 15 model colleges and upgraded junior secondary schools.
Jide Lawal, Public Relations Officer in the state Ministry of Education disclosed this in a statement.
Lawal also described as malicious the positions of the Education Rights Campaign and the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, that the administrative fee is exploitative.
“Our attention has been drawn to the objections of both the Education Rights Campaign and the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria to the payment of N10, 000 only for the sales of forms for the screening tests for admission of primary six pupils into Model Colleges/ Upgraded Junior Secondary Schools for the 2015/2016 academic session. We wish to state categorically that the payment of the sum for the screening tests is not a new thing as that has always been the practice for the past years; hence, one begins to question the motive behind the objections of the two groups,” the statement said.
Lawal, who also denied charging fees for its pilot computer-based testing of the examination, noted that parents had a choice to send their children to other public schools in the state.
“It is pertinent to point out that the fee cannot in any way bring hardship to parents as the screening tests into Model Colleges/Upgraded Colleges are for parents who wish to have their children and wards in these colleges that are indeed boarding schools. Moreover, placement tests into our 348 junior secondary schools in the state are free of charge and parents and guardians who cannot afford the fees for the Model Colleges/Upgraded Schools can easily access these schools. It is also important to emphasise that the fee is purely an administrative fee usually charged for
external examinations and not for the pilot computer -based testing as alleged,” he said.
Lawal added that, “The CBT is a pilot scheme we have introduced to further enhance the process and it is only open to a limited number of interested candidates that will like to participate in the pilot scheme. The regular Pencil Based Test, which is the usual pencil and computer answer sheet test, is however still available for candidates who do not wish to participate in the pilot CBT exercise.”