Three years after their academic endeavours were truncated as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency, 250 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, are currently taking part in this year’s West African Examination Council’s examination for senior secondary school students.
This follows a directive by Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima in 2016 that eligible students be registered for the exams.
Chairman of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, BOSEMA, Ahmed Satomi, made this known after monitoring the exams in three centres across Maiduguri, the state capital.
He noted that the 250 IDPs were those who passed a special mock exam that was conducted for about 1,000 final year secondary school students before they were displaced.
According to Satomi, this is the first time IDPs are writing WAEC examination since they were forced out of their homes by Boko Haram insurgents at different times in 2014.
The candidates, comprising of 94 female students and 156 male students, are mostly from Kukawa, Gwoza, Ngala, Bama, Monguno, Guzamala and Nganzai local government areas of the state.
Satomi said the students participated in practicals on Wednesday at the three WAEC centres namely; Maiduguri Government College, Government Girls College and Mustapha Umar Elkanemi Arabic Teachers College.
The BOSEMA chairman noted that prior to the exams, there were series of tutorial classes for the candidates organized by the state government to guide them through the WAEC syllabus and prepare them for the exams.
Volunteer tutors including some local Non-Governmental Organizations, some aides of the Governor as well as some graduates associated with the governor.
He explained that the IDPs were first evaluated and enrolled into four senior secondary schools: Government Secondary School, Jajeri, Govt Girls Second school, Yerwa, Govt College, Maiduguri and Government Girls College Maiduguri and provided with free school materials in addition to special tutorials after school hours.
“Governor Kashim Shettima released funds to the Borno State Emergency Management Agency which we used to pay the WAEC fees of all the students,” Satomi said.
“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 organized for over 1,000 IDP’S but out of them, 250 did well and were believed to be emotionally and academically set for this year’s WAEC.”
The government official further disclosed that Governor Shettima had also directed that JAMB forms be secured for all of the candidates currently writing WAEC.
He expressed optimism “that all of them will do well to become eligible for University admission by end of the year.”
Satomi added that candidates 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 as the state Government hopes that they must have returned to their communities by next year.