As a way of catching them young in Information and Communication Technology like their peers in the developed countries, the Lagos State Government has started conducting its common entrance examination online.
The state began the exercise, which is popularly known as Computer- Based Test (CBT) with this year’s edition held last Saturday across the state. However, only 18 out of the total 8,900 candidates opted for the CBT mode at the only CBT centre located within the State’s Examination Board at Iyana-Ipaja.
The rest chose the conventional paper and pencil format (PPT) at the remaining 15 centres across the state. The Common Entrance exam also known as placement test is a mandatory examination conducted by the state’s Examination Board for primary six pupils from both public and private schools in the state who are seeking admission into any of the state’s model and upgraded schools.
National Mirror monitored the exercise at the centre as well as some PPT centres including Government College, Agege and Vetland High School, Ifako–Ijaiye, where the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye and her team, also visited. It was observed that candidates sat confidently before the computer, which were attached to a UPS each reading their questions and ticking their choice answers online.
The pupils were tested alongside their counterparts in three subjects, namely: English language, mathematics and General Studies and their questions were randomised to prevent malpractice. National Mirror further observed that each candidate’s answer scripts were also embossed with their passport photograph as a way of preventing impersonation, according to the officials.
The state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye told journalists during the exercise that the CBT mode was voluntary for willing candidates, adding that the state had to limit their number to only 20 to enable the examiners manage them well. “But we eventually registered 18 candidates for the mode and this is quite high because of the level of students involved,” she said.
Expressing her satisfaction with the exercise, Olayinka said she was impressed with the manner the candidates, particularly at the CBT centre, conducted themselves during the exercise. “Everywhere is calm. The question papers are sufficient, likewise the customised answer sheets. The children are focused on their papers and I can also see enthusiasm in them.
Now with this good outing, I can say that CBT has come to stay for this particular exam in the state while we hope to have more candidates and centres for the mode in subsequent years.”
Interestingly, while those who sat for PPT were still waiting for their results, the CBT candidates got theirs through the short messaging service (SMS) shortly after the exam.
Asked about the number of pupils that are likely to be offered provisional admission out of the total candidates, the commissioner refused to disclose a specific number but said admission would be based on merit.
While noting that it is the general performance of candidates that would determine the cut off marks for individual school, she however assured any candidate who scores 70 per cent and above of admission into one of the colleges. But this, according to her would depend on the cut off marks for the candidate’s choice of school.
“If a candidate chooses Vetland Grammar School for instance, as his or her first choice and scored 70 per cent in the exam but could still not meet up with the cut off marks for Vetland, such candidate will have to be taken to any other school with lesser cut off marks irrespective of location.
“I am not rating any of the model colleges better than the other. They are all good but some parents chose particular schools for their children based on proximity and should their children score says 70 per cent and above without meeting the cut off mark, they may be taken elsewhere.
admission will be transparent,” she emphasised. There are a total of 15 model colleges and upgraded schools in the state. Although, they offer the same curriculum with other public and private secondary schools in the state and other parts of the country, they are believed to offer better quality education just like the Federal Government colleges popularly known as unity schools.
This is why admission to the schools is usually competitive as almost every average parent always prefers them for their children. With the exemption of Vetland Grammar School in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government area which is run as a day school, others, including Model College, Meiran; Model College, Igbokuta; Civil Service Model College, Igbogbo; Oriwu Model College, Ikorodu; Government College, Ikorodu; Badagry Grammar School and Epe Grammar, among others have boarding facilities.
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