Over 33,000 have signed a petition to stop foreign institutions from demanding an English proficiency test, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) from Nigerians.
Checks by The Nation show the petition on change.org titled “Stop asking Nigerians to write IELTS” has 33,800 signatures as at the time of filing this report.
IELTS is one of the world’s known English language tests for work, study and migration. It is an international standardised test of English language proficiency.
Annually, thousands of young Nigerian migrants take IELTS tests physically in different locations all over Nigeria as part of the requirements to secure admissions into universities overseas or work abroad.
The Nation learnt the test costs over N80,000 per time and expires after two years.
One has to re-sit if they have not been successful with their applications for UK scholarships.
But many Nigerians lamented that they had lost several opportunities because they could not afford the high cost of the test despite having tertiary education in English language.
Many social media users have taken to Twitter to proffer logical requests with the hashtag — #ReformIELTSPolicy topping Twitter trendsmap.
Some of the requests include cancellation of two-year expiry clause, including Nigeria in the UKVI exemption list, reducing test cost and increasing validity period .
The founder of Policy Shapers, Ebenezar Wikina, said: “Nigeria is not a French-speaking country but if a Nigerian writes DELF for N16,000, the result is valid for life but despite being an English-speaking country, I have to write IELTS for N89,500 and my result expires in 2 years Do the math! #ReformIELTSPolicy #IELTS #TOEFL.”
Another user, Samuel Ajayi said: “I join Nigerians asking for a change in IELTS policy. Why should my English proficiency expire after 2yrs? I heard the French proficiency test does not expire & it’s way cheaper than IELTS Help spread this till they respond. It’s a win for all. @UKinNigeria #ReformIELTSPolicy”
Jacob Sule advised: “Dear Ambassador, To further strengthen the partnership between Nigeria and UK, I join fellow Nigerians in solidarity to say #ReformIELTSPolicy, As you know, english is our official language. Therefore, the 2yrs validity of the #IELTS & it’s subsequent expiration is no longer acceptable.”