By Stephen Adeleye, Lokoja
The Kogi Government on Friday, threatened heavy sanctions to any school and principal involved in any form of examination malpractices in the state.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, gave the warning at the inauguration of distribution of free Chemistry and Physics textbooks to 95 public school students in Kogi West Senatorial district at Saint Augustine College Kabba.
He noted that 61 secondary schools in Kogi was recently de-recognised by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) on account of malpractices in the 2022 West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
According to him, similar complain was tendered by the examination body in 2019, where 51 secondary schools were involved, noting that things got better in 2020 and 2021 when the numbers of derecognised schools were reduced drastically from 51 to only one.
This, he said was as a result of serious warning by the ministry of education to principals of schools coupled with the commitment and determination of the state government to halt examination malpractices in the state.
The Commissioner lamented that just on Thursday, WAEC officials forwarded a letter to his office intimating the ministry that 61 secondary schools were grossly involved in examination malpractices in the 2022 examination.
“This, I am not going to let it go. We are going to sanction any principal found wanting in this unwholesome behaviour trying to tarnish the good image and reputation we have built in examination conduct in the state.
“The ministry of education will set up a committee that will investigate the involvement of principals in this disgraceful act before we sanction appropriately to serve as deterrent to others.
”The state government can not be investing hugely in education sector then somebody somewhere will be sabotaging our efforts
“We are aware that when WAEC charged registration fees of N23,000, but principals charged over N40,000 ” logistic” involved to indulge in examination malpractices.
We are not unaware, we will curb the situation by sanctioning whoever found wanting in the act according to the 2020 Kogi State Educational Law
”We will kill ‘miracles centers’ in Kogi, we will halt all forms of examination malpractices, and some erring schools would be closed down,” the commissioners warned.
He, therefore warned all schools’ principals in the state against involvement in any form of examination malpractices, saying defaulters would face heavy sanctions according to the state’s education law.
Jones also frown on the existing of illegal private tertiary institutions in the state, and assured that very soon the ministry would clampdown on them.
The Commissioner enjoined the affected tertiary institutions to put their house in order by doing the heedful.