Rivers replaces the first school leaving certificate with the BEC

The Rivers state government on Thursday announced the abolition of the first school leaving certificate, saying it would now issue the basic education certificate.

The state education commissioner, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, said the issuance of the BEC was in line with the federal government’s 9-3-4 education policy.

Ebeku, who spoke at the official launch of the BEC in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said the state would now start issuing the BEC to students at the end of lower secondary education.

He also called on all junior high school principals, parents, guardians and the general public to be aware of the new policy.

Ebeku said that with the development, employers would no longer ask for FSLC but for BEC.

The commissioner added that since 2006, the Rivers State government had not issued BECs to junior high school students, noting that this now paves the way for other states.

He said: “Today we are sending a message to the world that we will no longer issue the first school leaving certificate. Students must pass the Basic Education Certificate exams to obtain the BEC.

“The first certificate to be issued to a student will now be the BEC, after students have passed the Basic Education Certificate examinations at Basic Nine. There is no longer a first school leaving certificate. Students cannot access high schools without the BEC.

“As of 2006 the BEC has not been issued in Rivers State but it can now be issued on application. Anyone claiming to have BEC from 2006 is wrong.

“The department is available to verify all certificates from 1960 to date. The BEC cannot be forged. The certificate has a relief that will make it difficult for fraudsters to reproduce. Also, the list of masters is at the ministry. Any scammers caught will be dealt with in accordance with Nigerian laws.”

Rivers State Senior Secondary Schools Board Chairman Dr. Wisdom Ade said the development was a milestone, describing the commissioner as a silent achiever.

“This is another significant milestone for Rivers State’s education sector. Other administrations abandoned it but Ebeku took the bull by the horns,” Ade said.

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