With the harsh economic condition in Nigeria, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) did not consider the plight of parents before increasing their registration fees. The hike in prices of goods in the market has made it difficult for some people to afford three square meals a day. Many people are suffering and languishing in poverty due to the current situation of the economy and the government has remained insensitive to the needs of the people. Pensioners are dying every day in all the states due to the inability of the government to pay their gratuity. Civil servants are being owed in various states because their governors claimed they do not have enough funds to pay their salaries thereby subjecting people to more suffering and pain.
The increase in the WAEC fees registration from 13,500 to 18,000 is on the high side considering the economic situation of Nigeria. They want to deny some students the opportunity to take WAEC whose parents may not afford the fee thereby leaving only the rich to have access to it. This is disheartening. Many students whose parents are being owed salaries and gratuity for long may not have the opportunity to register for WAEC because they cannot afford it. Most of the students whose parents are being owed by the government are currently fending for themselves in the street thereby becoming vulnerable to bad social vices in the society. Not only that 18,000 will be needed for registration but extra fees will also be collected from these students at the computer center for registration which might amount to about 20,000 or 23,000.
The stakeholders of education in Nigeria are not helping matters in the education sector. How would the federal government and education stakeholders allow the WAEC board to increase their registration fee when they know that all hands are not equal. They did not consider the poor. Even the public primary and secondary schools which have been made free education are no longer free. Students are being taxed by their school administrators and teachers to pay some fees which are not appropriate and the government is not ready to investigate the shady deals of some school administrators in schools.
Some of these students in public secondary schools are being subjected to unfair treatment by their teachers. They lack quality facilities in the school to improve learning and sometimes the environment is not conducive for learning. Teachers in public secondary schools do not take their teaching profession seriously because they lack motivation from the government and most times they are underpaid and being owed for long.
The West African Education Council should consider reducing the registration fee of WAEC so that poor students can afford to take WAEC like others and the government should also offer free WAEC registration for students in public secondary schools every year to reduce suffering among the downtrodden in the society.