The Rivers State government has directed the withdrawal of operational licences of 21 private secondary schools in the state for allegedly being involved in examination malpractices during the conduct of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) exams in 2021.
It also directed that no fewer than 14 principals of government-owned secondary schools in the state be demoted to the next junior rank for allegedly aiding examination malpractices in their schools in 2021.
The State Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, disclosed this in Port Harcourt on Monday while reacting to the de-listing of 35 secondary schools in the state from further serving as centres for WAEC examinations.
The sub-regional examination body had in a letter dated March 3, 2022, and addressed to the Commissioner for Education, accused the schools, made up 21 private and 14 government-owned secondary schools of engaging in examination malpractices during last year’s examinations.
Ebeku said: “We received a letter from WAEC containing list of 35 secondary schools in the state that have been delisted for the purpose of writing WAEC examinations. Their offences especially bothered on the fact that it was discovered that there was some malpractices in the conduct of last year’s examinations.
“Now, upon the receipt of the letter, immediately, we invited the affected schools to a meeting and we presented this information to them and frowned at the fact that those at the helms of affairs of the affected schools allowed this sort of situation to arise.
“Following that, we decided on certain sanctions: For principals who are still in service and who supritended as at the time this situation arose, we have directed that they be demoted.
“For all private schools that are found in the list, we have directed that their licences be withdrawn forthwith. This is the situation of things right now.
“We have said it again and again that we have zero tolerance to examination malpractices. WAEC is aware and WAEC has actually written a letter to commend the Commissioner for his effort to ensure that there are no malpractices in schools.
“But we are living in a human community; we have criminals. Despite the fact that we have Criminal Justice System, criminals are still operating. So, we don’t tolerate malpractices and we will never.
“In the past, the state government has disciplined and dismissed principals who are erring in any way, flouting the state government’s rules and regulations and also, engaged in malpractices. The public is all aware of this.”
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