By Adesina Wahab
A total of 46 secondary schools in Lagos State have been penalised for examination malpractices and other acts committed during the 2020 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination, WASSCE, and the Basic Education Certificate Examination, BECE.
Twenty-seven schools were penalised for malpractices in WASSCE, while 19 were punished for infringements in the BECE.
In a statement by the Public Affairs Officer of the Office of Education Quality Assurance, OEQA, Mr Olaniran Emmanuel, the steps followed the directive by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, that two Investigative panels should look into the issues.
The Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM, Mrs. Elizabeth Ariyo, led the investigation panel of enquiry where 19 schools were investigated and indicted for general examination malpractice and document falsification by the OEQA during the year 2020 WASSCE and the BECE.
Letters of advice and warning were issued to some of the schools while others were told to pay fines as a punishment.
The TESCOM chairman, speaking to the affected school owners said, “A level of trust has been reposed in schools to uphold the virtues of a qualitative educational system and not continue to bring disrepute to the state ministry of education”.
She affirmed that the state government would continue in its quest to identify recalcitrant schools and sanction them accordingly.
She pointed out that the schools must support the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who would leave no stone unturned at ensuring that students enjoy quality and sound education.
In the other investigative panel led by the Director- General, OEQA, Mrs. Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, 27 schools indicted by the West African Examination Council, WAEC, for general examination malpractice where fined up to Five Hundred Thousand Naira payable to the state government’s coffers following the conclusion of the investigations.
The fine, she noted, was to serve as deterrent to offenders.
She emphasized that the decisions of the investigative panel of enquiry were corrective measures, adding that recalcitrant offenders could have their approval totally withdrawn and school deregistered.
All indicted schools are to repeat Whole School Evaluation, WSE, and Subject Recognition Inspection, SRI, process with OEQA within the two years derecognition period as mandated by WAEC.
In her remark, Mrs. Seriki-Ayeni urged owners of schools to ensure that their students are adequately prepared for external examinations to avoid any form of examination malpractice.
She said; “You must ensure to instill good morals in your students because the Lagos State Government has zero tolerance for examination malpractice and any form of social vices. Therefore, all school administrators must see to it that their students are self-confident, rooted and well groomed academically”.
She advised the indicted schools to henceforth inculcate into their system a model that works against examination malpractice to regain the trust of parents.
She urged the affected school owners and the general public to continue to strictly adhere to government policies and regulations concerning the conduct of examinations in the state in order not to be found on the wrong side of the law.