The Federal Ministry of Education has warned schools to comply with the reduced fees for the National Examinations Council’s Senior Secondary Certificate Examination for senior secondary schools and the Basic Education Certification Examination for junior secondary schools.
The examining body’s examination fees had been reviewed downwards from N11, 500 to N9,850 for SSCE and from N5,500 to N4,000 for BECE.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated this during a press conference held in Abuja, on Thursday.
Adamu, who delivered a paper themed, Increasing access to and improving the quality of education, during the conference, described population explosion in the country as one of the factors hindering citizens’ access to qualitative education, while pledging that the government would do everything within its powers to revive the education sector.
The minister noted that the reduction in NECO fees was meant to ease the financial burden on parents and increase access to education.
Adamu said, “When I became the minister of education, I noticed that a number of fees and levies at the secondary school level had constituted major impediments to access to tertiary education.
“The fees for NECO and the West African Examination Council also rose astronomically. At some point, many state governments had to take over the payment of these fees to enable their pupils to register for these examinations. Today, we have reduced NECO from N11,500 to N9,850 and the Basic Education certificate handled by NECO from N5,500 to N4,000. Let me emphasise that it is important for stakeholders to abide by these charges as stipulated. Violations will not be treated lightly.
“Apart from representing a show of transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources, these reductions will, no doubt, reduce the financial burden on parents and increase access to those who may not have been able to afford the charges if they had remained unchanged.”
The minister added that the Federal Government had developed a Ministerial Strategic Plan, which had several plans for the sector.
“Access to quality education has been a major challenge to our people over the years. Apart from many other factors militating against the legitimate desire of our people to access quality education, the astronomical increase in the country’s population, now estimated at 180 million people, has not helped matters.
“Nevertheless, we have a duty as a government to continue to strive hard and do whatever that is humanly possible within the limits of resources available to us to ensure that our people have unfettered access to quality education. Consequently, when this administration came into power in 2015, we came up with a blueprint for the sector known as Education for Change,” Adamu said.