From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Governor Yahaya Bello has expressed displeasure over the report of Kogi being the highest state with examination malpractice in the country, saying, ” I felt so bad because it is a shame and embarrassing. The government of the day is very embarrassing by the report”.
The governor noted that the state government had been given every support and all it takes to make sure that education takes priority place in the new direction government under his leadership.
“Let us task ourselves that we want to produce students that will produce the best results in the country and put in everything that will cost us to say ‘zero tolerance’ to exam malpractice.
“We do not even want to hear reduction in exam malpractice, no, we want total eradication of examination malpractice in Kogi state.
“That is what this government believes in and it is possible. We have schools and states that have zero tolerance to exam malpractice, why not Kogi state?
“The government is saying no to examination malpractice, and there will be proper monitoring at the state level; we will not just leave it for the ministry.
“We have a lot to do in our hands, so we must take it up as a challenge so that when they are mentioning Kogi, we can stand tall anywhere and beat our chest that no exam malpractice in Kogi,” Bello reiterated.
The governor commended the commissioner for calling together all the principals and examination officers to look into the menace of exam malpractice and finding the lasting solution to it.
He restated the state government’s readiness to ensure zero tolerance for examination malpractice in both public and private secondary schools across the state.
Bello made the pledge in Lokoja at a workshop organised by the Kogi Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, for all Principals and Examination Officers of public and private secondary schools across the 21 local government areas of the state.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Folashade Ayoade-Arike, Bello warned the participants against any form of examination malpractice that had bedevilled the state in the past, stressing that education remained the top priority of his government.
The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Edward Onoja, said that education should be a shared responsibility among all the stakeholders in the sector including government, principals, teachers, parents, and students; and not government alone.
Earlier, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said that the workshop was organised to strengthen the state’s institutional structure and quality assurance of the sector which hitherto had been very weak.
According to the commissioner, Kogi needs to change its approach to education issues, 47 secondary schools were proscribed and de-registered, while 108 schools were warned by WAEC due to examination malpractice.
The commissioner urged the participants to pay rapt attention to every aspect of the workshop and asked questions where necessary, warning that inefficiency on their part would no longer be tolerated by the state government.
“We are interested in the destiny of the children under your care, we are demanding for seriousness and hardwork from teachers and principals; you must take ownership of your schools.
“We will be appraising schools across the state and any school that is found wanting, its principal will be held responsible. Therefore, all challenges and issues should be related to the appropriate quarters,” Osikoya advised.
The commissioner noted that Kogi Government on Monday March 19, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, organised one-day training for the state’s Area Education Evaluators, who would carry out the 2016/2017 School Census from March 21 to 23 across the state.
The theme of the workshop is “Effective Management, Integrity of Exams Conduct & Addressing Examination Malpractice in Kogi State”.
Other stakeholders in education who delivered goodwill messages at the occasion includes: University Press PLC, Confers Ltd, National Mathematics Centre, WAEC, STETSCOM, NECO, NAPTEB, Federal Ministry of Education, NAPS, ANCOPSS, among others.