BENIN CITY â€” Edo State chapter of Association of Private School Owners of Nigeria (APSON), has appealed to the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Ngozi Osereren, to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate alleged physical assault inflicted on some of its members by officials of the Ministry of Education.
The association alleged that the officials descended on the Proprietress and Coordinator of Examinations, Sacred Wealth Schools, Benin City, and his staff, because of their alleged refusal to pay what it described as â€œco-operationâ€ fees for examination malpractice in the on-going Junior School Certificate Examinations.
According to a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Osaretin Enogieru, made available to Vanguard, the ministry officials insisted on the payment â€œas they needed to make returns to higher authoritiesâ€.
â€œBut for the avoidance of doubt, the school objected to examination malpractice because the children were adequately prepared for the examinationâ€.
The statement condemned the alleged â€œaction of the Ministry officials which is a negation of the desire of the government and people of Edo state to stamp out examination malpractice from the school system.
â€œWe hereby call on the commissioner for education to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate the matter.
â€œThe panel should of necessity include representatives of the Ministry of Education, PTA, NMA to allow fairness, justice and transparencyâ€â€ it stated.
On the closure of some schools for alleged malpractice during the NECO examination, the association said â€œwe condemn the non-adherence to due process and deprivation of childrenâ€™s right to complete their examination.
â€œThe children ought to be allowed to complete their certificate examinations while invoking sanctions against erring schools in accordance with the enabling lawâ€.