THE Kogi State government has warned the principals of 108 secondary schools involved in examination malpractice across the state to desist from cheating or face the full wrath of the law.
Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in the state, gave the warning at a meeting with principals of affected schools on Friday in Lokoja.
According to her, stiff penalties as prescribed by law will be used to curb the menace of examination malpractice in the state.
She said the 108 schools, which consist of 84 public and 24 private secondary schools were “seriously warned” by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for engaging in one form of examination malpractice or the other.
Osikoya noted that 30 schools had been perpetual offenders for three consecutive years, which she said needed urgent attention adding that 47 schools were recently de-recognised by WAEC due to various examination malpractices.
“We are sounding serious warning to all the affected schools to have a change of attitude. Let us be law-abiding citizens; let us tell our people that it is no longer acceptable to engage in examination malpractice in Kogi.
“Governor Yahaya Bello says no to corruption; let us together raise a generation that is free of corruption, and build a great nation.
“Every parent also has a responsibility to ensure that their children do not engage in any form of examination malpractice. Stop giving money to your children to bribe officials to aid examination malpractice,” the commissioner warned.
Earlier, the Head of Examinations, WAEC, Mr Oyeniran Akanni, said the council had zero tolerance for examination malpractice, and would not condone any such act. He stressed that everything would be done to curtail the menace.
“We urge all stakeholders to join hands with us and stamp out this menace that has penetrated into the fabric of our education sector. I charge you to go back to your various schools and do the needful,” Akanni said.
On his part, the chairman, Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Mr Afolabi Raji, said that it was unfortunate that it was coming in a quick succession after 47 schools in the state were recently de-recognised by WAEC.
“It is a disservice to our state, and we must tackle the monster. We need to seriously address the menace so that going forward, such will not happen again,” he said.
The state president of Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Dr Ibrahim Muftau, who spoke on behalf of the principals, promised that they would go back home and do the needful.
“We will work assiduously to sensitise our immediate environment to have a change of attitude. We pledged our loyalty to uphold the ethics of the teaching profession free of examination malpractice,” Muftau said.