As part of measures to check the falling standard of education, the Rivers State Government says it would stop automatic promotion in secondary schools across the state.
The Chairman, Rivers State Secondary Schools Board, Chief David Briggs, who disclosed this during a live radio programme monitored by The Tide in Port Harcourt, the state capital, said the measure would begin by next academic session.
Briggs explained that the automatic promotion system was one of the causes of decay in the system in the state and the country at large, saying such practice should not be encouraged, especially in the post primary schools.
“We have noticed that one of the causes of decay in our education system in the state and indeed the country is the automatic promotion system.
“You find out that students are being promoted automatically from class 1 to class 2, to SS1, to 2 , SS2 to SS 3 and they go in for the West African Examination Council (WAEC). This should not be encouraged from the secondary school level.
“It (automatic promotion) has caused a lot of problems. We all know the problem of leakages; some call it expo that has characterised the school certificate examination. We will not pretend, it is not a Rivers State affair alone. It is a national issue,” Briggs said. He said there are situations where graduates find it difficult to defend their certificates, wondering how such an individual can teach or impact knowledge, describing the development as unfortunate.
“I have found myself in a situation where I went for inspection in Western County Grammar School, Ahoada (Rivers State), a youth corps member posted to this state and she has a first degree in Physics and she was asked to teach Physics. She rather opted to teach Home Economics. It is very unfortunate. .“I have been in the commissioner’s office sometime where somebody made a complaint, and he looked at her and said okay take a paper and write an application let me approve and direct the chairman to act on it immediately.
“Since I came in, she has not started the application and she was sweating in an air conditioned room,” He lamented.