The Oyo State Government has said that the automatic promotion policy in the state has resulted in indolence and nonchalant attitude on the part of pupils of schools in the state. It also vowed to reverse the situation in which pupils achieve 20 per cent pass rates in external examinations.

 The Special Adviser on Media to the state governor, Mr. Yomi  Layinka, lamented that some pupils had been turned into “riotous minds and arsonists.” .

A few weeks ago, some pupils in Oyo town and Ibadan, the state capital, allegedly burnt down sections of their schools to protest the decision of the state government to stop automatic promotion for pupils in the state.

But Layinka, who stopped short of saying that the state government regretted the policy, added that it has to be reviewed because the administration has  discovered glaring loopholes in it.

He said, “The policy was not initiated by this administration and I guess that it was basically thought that we need to produce children who could at least read and write and hopefully some of them would go on to higher institutions of learning and the others would go for vocational training. But we have found gaps in the policy because of the low pass rates in external examinations.

“We have a generation of children who have taken it for granted that they don’t need to read or work hard.  The Government is looking at the overall strategy of rescuing the state from the unenviable path of failure in external examinations.”

Layinka added that the decision to stop automatic promotion was part of a rescue package that the state government introduced last year.

‘’We don’t want to talk about regret, we want to about the need to face reality. Gaps have manifested and we had to review the policy. A circular went out through the Ministry of Education in April 2015 to give stakeholders notice of the decision to stop automatic promotion.  It is just that the state government has decided to enforce the directive. Aside from stopping automatic promotion for pupils, attendance is also very important. If you are supposed to be in class 100 times and you attend only 10 times, you are not going to be promoted, even if you pass your examinations.

“We have to ensure that parents wake up to their responsibilities and that children do not roam during school hours. What the government is concerned about is the safety of lives and properties, as well as reversing the ugly trend whereby pupils achieve 20 per cent in external examinations. Pupils have been turned into   a cesspool of riotous minds and renegades in some cases. It is disturbing that children as young as 16 years and 17 years have become arsonists.’’

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