Rivers Launches BEC, Abolishes First School Leaving Certificate

The Rivers State Ministry of Education has unveiled the Rivers State Basic Education Certificate (BEC) to replace the First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC).

Commissioner for Education, Prof Kaniye Ebeku, who made this known at the official unveiling of BEC said students henceforth would study from primary one to Junior Secondary School three, (JSS 3), before they can obtain the BEC which enables them enter Senior Secondary.

Ebeku explained that the unveiling of BEC was in line with the federal government’s extant policy on education, adding that employers should no longer ask for First School Leaving Certificate  but BEC and called on all principals of junior secondary school, parents and guardians to be on the know of the new policy.

The commissioner, who disclosed that the state Government has not issued BEC to students since 2006, said however that it was leading the way for other states to follow.

“So, today, we are sending message to the world that we will no longer issue the First School Leaving Certificate. Students must write the Basic Education Certificate Examinations to obtain BEC.

“The first certificate that will be issued to a child will now be BEC, after the student must have sat for the Basic Education Certificate Examinations at Basic Nine.

“There is no more first school leaving certificate. Students cannot proceed to senior secondary schools without the BEC.

“Since 2006, BEC has not been issued in Rivers State but it can be issued now on demand. Anyone claiming to have BEC from 2006 upwards is fake. The ministry is available to verify all certificates from 1960 till date.

“BEC cannot be forged, the certificate has some emborsement that will make it difficult for fraudsters to replicate. Besides, the masters list is with the ministry. Any fraudster caught will be dealt with in accordance with the Nigerian laws.”

The Chairman of Rivers State Senior Secondary School Board, Dr Ade Wisdom, said the development was a major milestone in the state’s education sector.

Describing the commissioner as a silent achiever, Wisdom said, ”this is another milestone in the education sector of Rivers State. Other administrations abandoned it but Prof. Ebeku took the bull by the horn.”

On his part, the President of All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools(ANCOPSS), Mr Ewoh Ellah Gordon, said the unveiling of BEC will put an end to certificate racketeering, while calling for wide publicity.

“The ministry should make a wide publicity that there is no longer First School Leaving Certificate, that what we have now is Basic Education Certificate under the 9-3-4 education system, so that the issue of certificate racketeering will end’, Gordon stated.


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