No fewer than 11,879 primary six pupils on Saturday sat for the 2019 Paper Pencil Test (PPT) entrance examination into the Lagos State Model Colleges and upgraded junior secondary schools in 43 centres across the state.
The pupils were tested in English Language, Verbal Aptitude, General Paper, Mathematics, Quantitative Aptitude and Primary Science.
The candidates were divided into two batches in each centre to write the examinations with each batch lasting two hours each.
The schools monitored by government officials and journalists include: Government Senior College, Iyana-Ipaja; Keke Senior High School, Ijaye Housing Estate, Ijaye, and Agidingbi Junior Grammar School, Ikeja.
Mrs Folashade Lediju, Director, Administration and Human Resources, Lagos State Ministry of Education, said the placement test was smooth and hitch-free in all the 43 centres.
Lediju told journalists when the monitoring team stopped by at the Keke Senior High School within Ijaye Housing Estate, Ijaye, that the government provided conducive classrooms for pupils to write the examination.
She said that this was because the state government had zero tolerance for examination malpractice and had randomised both questions and answers to prevent cheating in any form.
“From the little I had seen this morning in the three schools we had monitored, we saw that everything was in order.
”Each of our answer sheets which we referred to as the Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) has the picture of each candidate, his or her examination number and name on the sheet giving to each of them. So, there will be no need for mix-up.
“We have ensured that the questions are also randomised, there is no room for unnecessary malpractice.
“We ensured that we all started the examination at 9 a.m. in all the 43 centres across the state.
“We did not have any overcrowded classrooms, we gave enough room comfortable for them to sit down to write the test.
“We are very hopeful that the students will perform very well,” she said.
Also, Dr Oluwafemi Hassan, the Registrar, Lagos State Examinations Board, told newsmen that the conduct of examination had been satisfying.
Hassan said that the state government introduced a new OMR sheet with large pictures of candidates embossed on them and other security features to prevent malpractice.
He said the conduct was tremendous because the board had not received any adverse reports from any of the centres as at the time of filing this report.
”The examination will elicit positive responses from the candidates.
” By the time they are admitted into the Junior Secondary school, you will see a greater improvement in what will happen at that level of education.
“By the time they get into JSSI, that is when you see them winning laurels for their various schools because we would have chosen the best for the schools from the beginning.
“The examination has improved the quality of education in Lagos State and that is our greatest achievement.”
Hassan said that 11, 879 candidates wrote the examination out of the over 12,000 candidates that registered.
He said that over 200 candidates did not turn-up.
“I have spoken with supervisors in all the 43 centres and there is no any adverse report.
“I have received commendation messages this morning from many people; if you look at my mobile phone, I had received over 500 congratulatory messages on the conduct of this examination.
“The conduct has been tremendous; it is an improvement over that of last year. Year-in year-out, we introduce new things.
“What we have done differently this year is that people are used to our OMR, the normal one we have been using for three years.
“But this year, we came up with a new OMR sheet that is a total departure from the one our people are used to, so people cannot cheat. Even, if we don’t put invigilators in the hall, candidates cannot cheat.
“If you look at the new OMR, the photographs are bigger and people can recognise the candidate from afar unlike the former one.
“There are also some particular security features embedded in the sheets. This OMR is highly full-proof compared to what we had in the past.
“The state government has zero-tolerance for examination malpractice and the examination board, as well as the ministry of education, also have zero tolerance, so we have to do new things every year to make us different,” he said.
Hassan said the state government had put various facilities, furniture and security in the schools and urged parents and guardians to allow their children and wards to attend the schools if given admission.
Similarly, Mrs Oludara Okelola, Tutor-General/Permanent Secretary, Education District Six, said the examination was a great success in all the six centres under the district.
Okelola said she was impressed with the conduct of the examination which showed that the board was ready for the exercise.
“When I got here this morning; everybody was on ground, the students were seated, the supervisors were on ground too and the parents were orderly.
“So far, there were no challenges in all the six centres I had monitored. The classrooms were not overcrowded and no room for unnecessary malpractice,” she said.
A candidate, Faheezah Alagbada, said after her first paper, that the examination was well organised, adding that the questions were tough.
Alagbada, a 10-year-old pupil of Kudiratulahi International School, Abule-Egba, said she hoped to come out in flying colours in the examination.
A parent, Mr Ayodele Oshifeso, commended the state government for improving on the conduct of the examination, which he described as “perfect.”
Oshifeso said government had successfully eliminated parents’ interference in the examination centres, as they were kept far away from the halls.