The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has de-recognised 13 secondary schools and warned 56 others in Kogi for their involvement in examination malpractice during the 2018 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
Mr Ademu Amos, WAEC Desk Officer, Kogi Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, disclosed this at a meeting with the principals, vice principals and examination officers of the affected schools on Thursday in Lokoja.
Amos said that 13 secondary schools were de-recognised while 56 others were seriously warned by the council due to examination malpractice.
He noted that the state government was not happy about the development, describing it as a serious issue that could dampen the hope of a nation, NAN reports.
According to Amos, the Examination Malpractices Act No. 33 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), offenders are liable to four years imprisonment and a fine of N100, 000 per student and N250, 000 per school.
Amos explained that the major offences committed ranged from the use of mobile phones and sameness of work by copying one another in the examination.
Dr Natty Bobai, WAEC Branch Controller in the state, said it had zero tolerance for examination malpractice and would do everything to curtail the menace.
He, however, commended the commissioner for tackling issues bordering on examination headlong and commended her resolve to stand with the council for what it stood for.
Amos also urged the stakeholders to join hands with the council in stamping out the menace of examination malpractice in the nation’s education sector.
Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, reiterated the commitment of the state government to reduce examination malpractice to its barest minimum in the state.
Osikoya stressed the need for stiffer penalties as prescribed by law and other stringent measures to curb the menace in the state.
She noted that 47 secondary schools were de-recognised and 108 warned in 2017, while 13 schools were de-recognised and 56 warned in 2018.
According to her, the state government had been able to reduce the trend to 27. 6 per cent for de-recognition, 50.9 per cent warned, while 1.38 per cent were indicted.
She restated the commitment of the state government in restoring standard and quality education in schools across the state.
She, however, urged all the school operators, both private and public, to visit the ministry’s website and update their school profiles and records not later than March 31.
”All the de-recognised schools will not be used as examinations centres in 2019, and their names will be sent to the police for prosecution according to the existing law.
”We have strengthened the policy structure in education in the state and emphasised the importance of record keeping in schools,” Osikoya said.
Dr Ajole Goswins, the State President of All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), who spoke on behalf of the principals, expressed disappointment over the re-appearance of some schools on examination malpractice list.
”The state government is doing its best and we must complement its efforts. We cannot allow this to continue, we must improve on ourselves,’’ he said.
He, therefore, appealed to the state government to checkmate the proliferation of substandard private schools in the state.
The de-recognised schools include: Jama’atu Nasril Islam Sec. Sch, Ankpa, Christ the King College, Govt. Girls Sec. Sch, Okaba, Ikah Comm. Sec. Sch, Ikah, Iyale Comm. Sec. Sch, Iyale, and Aitam Science Academy, Anyigba.
Others are: Al-Ansar Sec. Sch, Lokoja, Bright Future Int. Sec. Sch, Obangede, Okehi, Comm. Sec. Sch, Uboro, Okehi, Paramako Sec. Sch, Ogbogbo, Omabo Comm. Sec. Sch, Omabo.
Also, First Grade Success Academy, Okenya, and National Sec. Sch, Agala-Ate road, Anyigba.