The attention of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has been drawn to the one-man protest carried out recently by Mr. Carl Ofonye, Proprietor of Skyset High School Okapanam to the Examinations and Standards Department of the Ministry located on Governor’s street, Asaba where he alleged that:
i. Officials of the Ministry aided and abetted examination malpractice in Oruchi Comprehensive Secondary School, Okpanam examination centre during the just concluded Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE),
ii. Officials of the Ministry colluded with School Heads in public schools to collect unauthorized levies.
The Ministry wishes to state categorically that the conduct of its examinations is its sole prerogative and nobody can dictate how they should be conducted which Mr. Carl Ofonye, wanted to do.
For the records, a total of 84,646 candidates from 462 public secondary schools and 781 private secondary schools sat for the examination in 630 centers across the state. The examination was conducted under the watchful eyes of 1,462 invigilators, 630 centre supervisors and numerous monitors from the Ministry’s Headquarters. Skyset High School, was one of the four secondary schools that wrote the examination at Oruchi Comprehensive Secondary School Okpanam centre.
This was in line with the Ministry’s decision to pool the various schools that enrolled for the examination into designated examination centres for ease of supervision and prevention of examination malpractice. Generally, candidates from schools in a given centre were assigned to exclusive class rooms. It is pertinent to note that no case of examination malpractice was reported to the Ministry by any of the officials that participated in the conduct of the examination at Oruchi Comprehensive Secondary School Examination Centre, Okpanam. However, Mr. Ofonye grouse was that the assignment of exclusive classes to schools was tantamount to discrimination against his school which was untrue. Therefore, it is unjust for Mr. Ofonye to call for the cancellation of an examination where over 84,000 students participated in, on the ground that the only 9 candidates featured by his school were purportedly discriminated against.
Furthermore, the Ministry wishes to state that there is no iota of truth in the allegation that officials of the Ministry colluded with the school heads to collect unauthorized levies from pupils and students. The ministry is willing and ready, as usual, to investigate and deal with any reported case of such collections in any public school in the state.
At the moment there is a Board of Enquiry constituted by the ministry looking into reported cases of collection of unauthorized levies. The Board of Enquiry submitted an interim report recently which is being considered for implementation while investigation is still ongoing. It cannot therefore be said that the Ministry that has put up all these measures is aiding and abetting illegal collection of levies from public schools in the State.
From the above, it is obvious that Mr. Carl Ofonye’s allegations are spurious, frivolous, unfounded and mischievous and hence should be disregarded as they hold no iota of truth.
Ministry of Basic & Secondary Education