Ladan Salihu, the Chief of Staff (CoS), Government House, made the disclosure in a news conference in Bauchi on Friday.
Salihu said while the state government was committed to improving the standard of education in the state, the issue of corruption in WAEC sponsorship had been a lingering problem for previous administrations in the state.
He said the government conducted an aptitude test for 21,000 students from 216 secondary schools, revealing that only 13,011 passed the test.
By this, he said, the government would only be responsible for the fees of only those who passed the test.
“The attention of the Bauchi State government is drawn to the reaction of some students in Bauchi metropolis today regarding the full implementation of the 2018 government policy on sponsorship of candidates who passed the mock aptitude test.
“Though the deputy governor, Senator Baba Tela, has addressed the protesting students, it has become pertinent to inform the public that this government is committed to improving the standard of education in the state as it has taken cogent steps in that direction.
“However, the issue of corruption in WAEC sponsorship is one of those that could not be solved by the recent governments until now.
“As a responsible government, committed to reforms, this government conducted an aptitude test in all public schools.
“Out of the 21,000 students who were tested, 12,000 were found to be eligible; this figure, in addition to those in special schools, is what made a total of 13,011 candidates of whom the government would sponsor this year,” said the Chief of Staff.
He further stressed that the state government had pleaded with WAEC to allow parents of students who didn’t make the government sponsorship list to pay for their children.
According to him, the examination body had agreed to do so.
“It was never the policy of the government to sponsor all candidates in the first place.
“The money to do so is simply not there and this would not encourage hard-work among the students,” Salihu maintained.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some Senior Secondary School students had on Friday taken to the streets to protest the government’s decision to pay the fees of only those who passed the test.
They argued that the state government should pay the WAEC fee of all students sitting for the examination.