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Thursday, December 1, 2022

SSS Joint Exam: How schools register illegal students—Investigations 

By Saheed Ibrahim

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Despite efforts of the state government to sanitize and strengthen the education sector, the nefarious activity of some private school owners is jeorpadising the efforts as many of them encourage and engage in examination malpractices.

Some of the schools still register students in Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School for the State Joint Examination meant for students in SSS 2, organized by the State Ministry of Education, investigation by The Hope has revealed.

This has become one of their tactics to register external students for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) organised by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), in view of the requirement that only the students that pass the joint SSS 2 exams will be registered for WAEC exam.

The Hope investigation further revealed that the private school owners went as far as forging continuous assessment results for the unqualified students, whom will be replaced by external students in the next SSSCE.

Some students, teachers and parents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed to The Hope that it has become a norm among the schools.

“When my sister was in SSS 2, I was registered to take the exam and when I did mine, some students in SSS 1 were also added to sit for the exam.

“Even the one done this year, those in SSS 1 and JSS 3 were registered for the exams,” a student told The Hope.

Another student said, “we are not many in my class and the school registered students in other classes for the exam.

When asked how the junior students answered the exam questions, he said, “they (the school) usually give us the answers to write.”

A teacher in one of the schools also told The Hope that it is a normal practice to secure slots for external students for the WAEC exam.

“This is normal. We take many external students and there is no way you will bring them in if they did not sit for the joint SSS 2 exam.

“So, the gimmick is; the school registers students in SSS 1 and JSS 3  for the exam.

“We must also make sure they pass because only the number of those that pass will definitely be registered for WAEC when registration begins.

“So, once they pass, their names will be substituted with those that need to sit for the exam.

When asked if the names will not be checked, he responded, “we never had issues with that. It is the number of students that passed that matters and we will only make sure we do not register beyond that”.

Another teacher, who has thought in private schools for over a decade confirmed the fraud.

“Many of them do it, especially those that do not have many students to register for WAEC.

“The joint exam in the state has pushed many secondary school graduates, who resit WAEC outside the state. So, these schools devise means to get them in by registering unqualified students for the exam.

“WAEC time is money making time for private schools. If students in public schools pay N10,000, those in private schools may pay N40,000 while the external students may be charged N70,000”.

 One parent, whose son in SSS 1 was illegally registered for the exam expressed her concern.

“I first thought the school wanted him to try the exam because he is very brilliant. I later discovered he was only used. That was the last day I allowed him to go for the exam,” she narrated.

Reacting to the ugly trend among the private school owners, Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Lola Amuda said the Ministry will investigate and take necessary actions.

“We have heard that in time past and sanctioned those caught,” she said.

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