By; IBRAHIM ADAMU, Kaduna
The Zamfara State Commissioner of Education, Muntaka Rini has dismissed recent media reports suggesting that only 24 candidates passed NECO examinations and that it was the worst in the history of the State.
He accused persons working against the interest of the state of spreading falsehood, explaining that the reports were unfounded. He also expressed concern over how it went viral on the social media of late.
The Punch newspaper had recently reported that the State had recorded the worst NECO examination results in its history
Rini, while addressing staff and directors of the ministry when he assumed office on Monday as its new commissioner following a cabinet reshuffle, described the news as an attempt to tarnish the image of Zamfara State.
The new commissioner, who was deployed from the Ministry of Local Government, said the education ministry and Zamfara populace were upset by the “false and malicious news”.
He stressed that “the said NECO result involving the 24 candidates from Zamfara did not emanate from conventional exams sat by the candidates, “but a private and optional one organized by NECO for those who wanted to meet-up the requirement for tertiary institution admissions, which the examination body holds between November and December of every year.”
He further stated that the newspaper report “failed to differentiate between that of conventional and private, which was only organized for those candidates sitting for either Mathematics or English privately.”
He revealed that the total number of candidates that were registered and sat for the 2017 conventional NECO examination from Zamfara State was over 24,000 out of which over 11,000 representing a score of 48.8 percent were found to have passed the exams, inclusive of five credits in both Mathematics and English.
The commissioner urged the NECO examination organizers of and its council to “always specify information, before announcing to newsmen”, adding that this would enable readers to easily differentiate between the information meant for either A or B.
Muttaka Rini, who served for almost seven years in the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs before his latest redeployment, said he was glad to be there as an educationist who taught for about 30 years, stressing that he now has a “golden opportunity” of boosting education in the state.
He reminded the directors of the various departments of the ministry that the zeal of Governor Abdul’azeez Yari Abubakar, was to make Zamfara a role model in terms of quality education, especially for the girl-child, urging them to put in their very best as he has lined-up strategies for consultation on policy issues in order to compete favorably with other states of the federation.
He also noted that the administration would recruit better-qualified teachers with the minimum qualification of NCE to teach in primary schools and in tune with the provisions of the Zamfara 2018 bbudget.