The determination and commitment to totally eradicate all forms of examination malpractices in schools across all the local government areas in Kogi State are in top gear.
Wemi Jones, the state’s commissioner for education, science and technology made the statement in Lokoja on Wednesday during a meeting with principals of 61 de-recognised secondary schools by West Africa Examination council (WAEC).
He said “The 61 schools which comprised 21 private and 40 public schools, were derecognised on account of malpractices in the 2022 West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE)”.
Jones noted that the punitive measures of imposing fines and sanctions by WAEC would not solve the problem of examination malpractice.
”We need to go back and strategise using the Education law with thorough investigation to ensure that we totally eradicate examination malpractice in our schools.
”This meeting has brought out a number of issues, and we have seen that the previous approach of just sanctioning the erring schools is like a ‘medicine after death,” he said.
Jones pointed out that the ministry would do a thorough diagnosis to get to the root causes of examination malpractice, and carry out some major surgical operation, which would hurt a number of people, adding that the state government could not be investing hugely in education sector , then some people somewhere would be sabotaging the ministry’s efforts.
He reiterated that the government would get to the root causes of the menace, and whosoever found wanting would be prosecuted according to the State’s Education Law, stressing that anyone involved in the conspiracy of Paper a ting and abetting examination malpractice such as principals , teachers, invigilators, supervisors ,parents and WAEC officials would be prosecuted.
Speaking also, the Branch controller of WAEC, lokoja , Babajide Tijani disclosed that a total 527 secondary participants participated in 2022 WASSCE in the state , 61 were de-recognised on account of examination malpractice.
“Erring candidates’ results have been cancelled, supervisors also penalised, while the affected schools will pay a fine of N500,000 each with other sanctions.
He equally noted that WAEC remained a third party body in the conduct of its examination, saying the principals, teachers and schools were the major players, as he urged schools principals to take full responsibility by ensuring proper monitoring of candidates, invigilator as well as supervisor in examination hall.
Also Kasim Muhammed, 2nd vice president of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), decried the high rate of syndicates and proliferation of WAEC centres in many substandard schools in the state , as he urged the ministry and WAEC to put better mechanism that would thoroughly checkmate the menace of examination malpractice in the state in place.
However , he appealed to WAEC to consider a reduction in the fine of N500,000 per school, saying, ”it is too outrageous which will not in anyway put to check the menace”.
Some of the affected schools’ principals: Hassan Suleiman, Aitam Science Academy Anyigba; Aminu Adeyemi, Oluyori Secondary School Isanlu; and Ibrahim Umar, Community Secondary School, Okene, and others, all appealed to the commissioner and WAEC to temper justice with mercy.
They promised to put machinery in motion to forestall such recurrence in their respective schools.