After the Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Emily Kadiatu Gogra has confirmed to media practitioners on the arrest and detention of nine persons caught in an alleged examination malpractice.
The West Africa Examination Council has in a public notice make known to Sierra Leoneans and the world at large that after an allegation of tip-off they had on examination malpractice alleged to have taken place at Agape Experimental School, Goderich.
Officials of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Officials, Monitoring Officers and the Sierra Leone Police Force barricaded their Freetown office situated at A.J Momoh Street, Tower Hill, on the above allegations.
The public notice explains that the above officials searched various offices of staff, the strong and script rooms and later carted away a huge volume of sensitive and confidential materials including the following, leftover constrained question papers for the just concluded WASSCE for private candidate, 2019, pre-printed objectives answer sheets for some clustered papers, completed malpractice forms from various examination centres for WASSCE for private candidates, 2019, questions banks for various examinations and subjects containing questions for subsequent years, plan of work for home science practical’s, past questions papers for previous years, draft marking schemes for WASSSCE for private candidates, 2019, code of conduct for staff of WAEC, telephone directory containing the mobile numbers of staff and the organogram of the council.
The Public Notice further explains that WAEC is an autonomous examining board, established by law to determine the examination required in the public interest in English-speaking West Africa countries to conduct the examination and to award certificates comparable to those of equivalent international examining authorities.
“WAEC wishes to assure the public of its total commitment to serve in their best interest and register its unflinching support to the Free/quality education.” The notice explains.
“We are constrained to inform the public that work cannot go on until access is gained into the Script Room and confidential documents carted away are properly checked/accounted for in the presence of MBSSE officials, the Sierra Leone Police Force and the Press.
According to the Deputy Minister, suspects are currently been held at the Criminal Investigation Department, according to Gogra.
The revelation was made during a raid made by the Deputy Minister, the Chief Education Officer and the Personal Assistance to the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) on Thursday night.
Anonymous sources reported to officials of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) that certain individuals were retaking the just-concluded private WASSCE examinations in someone’s home around the Agape Primary School in the Goderich section of Freetown.
The Ministry’s, WASSCE examination Monitors, accompanied by police officers raided the reported home and arrested individuals who were retaking the exams, police also seized completed answer sheets from the just-concluded private WASSCE examinations.
The suspects and the examination papers were taken to Lumley police station for further investigation. MBSSE officials led by the Deputy Minister, Mrs. Emily Kadiatu Gogra were accompanied by police to the headquarters of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for further investigation.
In an effort to find a lasting solution to the endemic and nationally embarrassing problem of examination malpractices in Sierra Leone, the MBSSE will stop at nothing to stringently monitor those exams, and bring academic crime rings to face the full penalty of the law. The case is now in the hands of the police and the entire WAEC is being investigated.