Delta ministry denies collecting unauthorized levies, exam malpractice
The Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has denied allegations by the proprietor of Skyset High School, Okpanam, Mr. Carl Ofonye, of collecting unauthorized levies and aiding exam malpractice.
The ministry described the allegations as ‘spurious, frivolous, unfounded and mischievous,’ in a statement signed by its public relations officer, Mr. Oghenero Orovwuje.
“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 Okpanam to the Examinations and Standards Department of the Ministry located on Governor’s Street, Asaba where he alleged that one official 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), and two officials of the Ministry colluded with School Heads in public schools to collect unauthorized levies,” Orovwuje said.
In explaining away the allegations, Mr. Orovwuje stated that the conduct of BECE examinations was the sole prerogative of the ministry and nobody can dictate how they should be conducted, which he alleged, Mr. Carl Ofonye wanted to do.
According to Orovwuje, a total of 84, 646 candidates from 462 public secondary schools and 781 private secondary schools sat for the examination in 630 centres across the state and that the examination was conducted under the watchful eyes of 1, 462 invigilators, 630 centre supervisors and numerous monitors from the ministry’s headquarters.
He stated that Skyset High School, was one of the four secondary schools that wrote the examination at Oruchi Comprehensive Secondary School Okpanam centre, saying it 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.
The ministry’s spokesperson added, “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’s groups 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”.
He affirmed that there was no iota of truth in the allegations that officials of the ministry colluded with the school heads to collect unauthorized levies from pupils and students, assuring that the ministry was willing and ready to investigate and deal with any reported case of such collections in any public school in the state.