Ezekwesili Sets EFCC On School Principals

Ezekwesili Sets EFCC On School Principals

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:41 pm

The Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, yesterday said her ministry has taken some steps with the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the Nigeria Examination Council (NECO), and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) to review cases of examination malpractices with a view to prosecuting principals of secondary schools found guilty by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in court possible.

In her keynote address at the on going 4th African Convention of Principals Conference, Ezekwesili noted that the present administration was aware that with policies that nurture the minds of its youth especially in the education sector, the country can build a society where the people can compete with their counterparts from any part of the globe.

She said that the country currently has about 23 million children in primary schools, another seven million in secondary schools with about 10 million expected to come in through the UBE programme, explaining that if these children must get the right education to contribute to national development, then the country should look beyond mere provision of adequate infrastructure for teaching.

According to her, while the country must ensure that the school curriculum is relevant as is obtainable in an ever changing global environment, coupled with quality teachers, the students must be provided the opportunity to fully exploit their talents by leading efforts to change current perception of alternatives to university education by providing international standard solutions through Acting, Fashion, Entertainment, Vocational technology and Information Technology schools.

Pointing out that all these is possible only with the right calibre of teaching force in the country, the Minister said the government has concluded plans to restore the lost glory of the teacher through initiatives that would reward teaching excellence like the President of Nigeria's Excellent Teacher and Schools' Award as well as the in-service Education Training (INSET) targeted at 145,000 teachers in Nigeria.

The Minister however lamented that the spate of examination malpractice among secondary school students in JAMB, NECO, and WAEC examinations are reflections of the extent to which values and ethical behaviour has deteriorated in the country.

Stating that it is these students who cheat to pass in secondary schools that often end up as members of cult groups in the nation's tertiary institutions, Ezekwesili said that the Principals must be ready to carry part of the blame because it is under their watchful eyes that all these take place.

"The Ministry is working with these examination bodies to review all cases of malpractice and any school Principal found to have played a role would be appropriately sanctioned through speedy prosecution in the courts by the EFCC under whose mandate Examination Malpractice falls" she added.

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