Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 September 2019:
President Julius Maada Bio has today announced measures to curb the increasing spate of examination malpractices. He made this announcement at the opening of the newly Comprehensive Primary School at No.9 Community in Freetown.
Addressing the nation, president Bio said: “Examination malpractice destroys the soul of our education system and we must all support the current efforts by the Anti-Corruption Commission, ACC, to pursue all those involved in examination malpractice.
“However, those efforts by the ACC must be within the law, adhere to due process and respect human rights. As a government we have engaged in heightened and robust monitoring of all public examinations which has led to the uncovering of the huge scale of examination malpractice.
“Therefore, as immediate steps to address examination malpractice, I wish to announce the following: First, all those caught or suspected of examination malpractice should be prosecuted without delay or exemption; second, any teacher or school head caught and prosecuted should be terminated from service and third, all centres suspected of examination malpractice should have their results cancelled”.
President Bio also mentioned that his government would strengthen school management and supervision, adding that school boards and management committees will be provided with leadership skills training.
He said that schools inspectors and supervisors will ensure regular and systematic monitoring and supervision.
The Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education – Emily Gogra, said that the completion of the newly constructed school in Freetown, is a fulfilment of President Bio’s vision to provide quality education in the country.
She also commended the Member of Parliament for Constituency 132 – Ibrahim Tawa MP, for his relentless efforts in constructing the 15-classroom modern building, saying that this example is worth emulating by all MPs.
Addressing the audience, Ibrahim Tawa MP said he is proud to have undertaken the ambitious project of constructing a school that will cater for under-privileged children in three communities within his constituency.
He said he has constructed the school to a standard befitting the status and correct ambiance for the dispensation of education and learning.
The new school. He said. Will undoubtedly benefit children within the communities and thanked President Bio for his support towards the completion of the project.
At the formal opening of the school ceremony, President Julius Maada Bio said that his government will continue to invest in quality education for sustainable national development.
He thanked the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, SLPP, Member of Parliament for Constituency 132 – Ibrahim Tawa Conteh MP and his people for inviting him to the launch, adding that the government will continue to dedicate 21 percent of national budget to education, and open access to education for every Sierra Leonean child regardless of gender, ability, ethnicity, religion, or region.
“My Government believes that education is a critical enabler of national development. We shall, therefore, spare no expense because we know the cost of ignorance and we know the cost of lagging behind in development. Our new Sierra Leone refuses to languish in backwardness. This is our new pathway and we will succeed as a nation because we are investing in young people,” he said.
President Bio said that the government is doing all of that because the future of the nation depends on good quality education, adding that the country will need the best medical personnel, the best engineers to build the roads and hospitals, to mine the enormous natural resources, to provide infrastructural solutions and would need the best scientists, ICT engineers to take full advantage of advances in communications technology for development.
“So I am very much gratified this morning to be here to formally open these educational facilities. For us all, this is a moment of inspiration; it is a moment of great hope. It makes us all believe what is possible when our hearts are in the right place and when we care very deeply about our communities, our people, and about the future of this nation.
“We will make schools safe spaces for girls and we will vigorously campaign against early child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and protect our girls from sexual and gender-based violence. We will pass laws that protect girls and women,” he said.
This is President Bio talking tough to teachers, parents and heads of schools:
Opinion varies. I am with the view that naming and shaming which is enshrined in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2014 – 2018 and now revised should be thrown out if we are condemning the action of the ACC on naming and shaming. The action to me was good, the only mistake was that ACC did not allow the law to take its course or should have engaged them to do out-of-court settlement including naming and shaming. Any action that is widely condemn always bite deeper and will produce better result.
Out-of-court settlement is yielding fruit with the money but attitude not changed. Naming and shaming will produce a bigger result if we have this in the ACC policy. It should be part of the penalties after found wanting through due processes of the law. The penalties should include – name/shame at the public square, pay and go to jail. This will minimize corruption.
The reason why the outcry that day was because the big rats who are under investigation or have been investigated knew that they will be the next to be named and shamed at the public square. In Nigeria, similar actions are going on by the EFCC but after found wanting. Maada if we have this particular naming and shaming enshrined in the ACC Act, people will be afraid to engage in corrupt practices because your girl friend will see you displayed at the public square.
Examination malpractices have become the order of the day during all examinations from primary to universities. Spying during exams are very common. Teachers and lecturers receiving money to pass pupils is also very rampant. The exam body itself has part to play. Special charges are levied per subject ranging from Le500,000 to Le2,500,000 depending on the kind of examination – NPSE, BECE or WASSCE.
These monies are paid directly to the so called examiners who pass it unto the syndicate group at the examination body. The Examination Data Entry Officers should also be investigated as they also have part to play in this examination malpractices. Others are assisted directly by some teachers and examination centers. We need to organize undercover agents to crack down on these criminals in schools and universities.
To blindly hate someone is a sickness and whosoever has such symptoms must be cured,…..Your fanatical outrage is always directed at the wrong person. Your aim should be to get progressive politicians to lead your ‘rising Sun’ party which could be of great help to us all. Most of the first one and the half years of this government has been in cleaning up the social, economic and moral mess of your ‘chairman for life everlasting’:
– fighting corruption against unpatrotic and criminal structures in almost all our institutions
– bringing sanity in the day to day running of this country
– developing our educational system
This government has also made mistakes in the economy and national cohesion but by far better than the previous APC government. To be humble in life is never a mistake. And always remember, less is More!!
What preventive measures have been put in place by the government to drastically reduce the rampant examination questions leak in the country? Remember, prevention is better than cure.
I am very pleased and delighted with President Bio’s LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOR since the recent controversial HUMAN RIGHTS MESS by the ACC. To see President Bio coming out and taking control of explosive national issues is extraordinary. The fact that the President is condemning the BARBARIC actions on some of our fellow Sierra Leoneans by institutions who should know better and at the same time taking actions with tangible solutions, is HYPER SATISFACTORY. VICTORY all the way.
I reckon that, the President has started listening and doing what I have always been asking him to do. My expectations have for now been fully met. If he continues showing such LEADERSHIP SKILLS, then the OPPOSITION PARTIES will have difficult times come 2023.
Thank you very much President Bio and continue to rule as a GOVERNMENT and not as a SLPP PARTY. We will support you throughout your rule although I will not confirm to support you in 2023 elections. RIVALRY. GOD BLESS President Bio for exercising his LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND MAY GOD GRANT HIM AND HIS FAMILY LONG LIFE.
And there you have it – words of confirmation legitimizing what i have been saying day in and out,coming straight from the horse’s mouth – inadequacy,and incompetence in its worst,and crudest forms,being spewed out,by the principal architect of all the controversies,and ongoing madness in our beloved Sierra Leone. What more proof do you need children, to draw solid conclusions,that this government is heading in the wrong direction: There he stands,the man in State House himself,outrightly telling the good people of Sierra Leone that they will be focusing on getting rid of the disease,and not interested in its root causes,at all. Truly laughable!
How can such flimsy,superficial,cosmetic,measures ever succeed,when the problem is firmly rooted,engraved,and grounded in the hearts,minds,and souls of a struggling people, having no other credible alternatives,but to engage in corrupt practices to make ends meet? Not a word about financial incentives,bonuses,and increasing the wages,and salaries of teachers,and educators – absolutely nothing whatsoever!
Imposing penalties,and punishment for examination malpractices,and using threats,bullying,and intimidation tactics will never work – they have failed miserably already,without even knowing it;and will continue to stumble,and fall disgracefully,like hopeless,inebriated,pathetic drunkards,until they can learn to think properly,constructively,and do things right…. Rising Sun Will Rise Again.