31 principals in Cross River get suspended for WAEC exams racketeering

The Cross River State Government has suspended 31 principals from some public secondary schools in the state after they were accused of exam racketeering and doctoring of the 2024 WAEC students’ lists in order to embezzle funds earmarked for the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exams by the State.

The principals were suspended by the State Government after rumours circulated that some public secondary school principals had inflated the lists of students scheduled to take the 2024 WAEC exams, prompting an immediate investigation and security reports that ultimately led to the suspension of 31 principals.

It was gathered that Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu had previously announced free WAEC Exams registration for all indegenous and resident Senior Secondary School (SSS 3) students in all Public Secondary Schools, but some officials allegedly conspired with some School principals to defraud the government by registering non-indigenes and non-residents of the State for the said exams.

The State Government, on the other hand, established a Disciplinary Committee, which ruled the suspended principals guilty, and they were later suspended by the Cross River State Government.

Speaking during a Press Conference held in his office in Calabar, the State Capital on Monday, Stephen Odey, the Commissioner for Education, debunked claims in some quarters that the entire lists of Cross River indigenous students submitted by the Public School principals were padded and inflated, explaing that some of the lists and principals found wanting were under investigation.

Odey said that the Cross River State governor had volunteered to pay for all indegenous students of Senior Secondary School writing West African Examinations Council (WAEC) exams for 2024 which prompted the perceived malpractices, pledging however that due diligence would be done in registering those that merit the exams.

“In line with the directives from the governor, some principals submitted list of both indigenes and non-indigenes, while some submitted duplications of names leading to the setting up of a Disciplinary Committee.

“The Committee found out that 31 principals were culpable and should be suspended, while six were exonerated from the offence”, the Commissioner said.

Odey also promised to “clampdown on all illegal schools operated by people who don’t have the capacity to run schools in the State”, saying , “We will go after them, we will close them down because they don’t have the capacity to run schools”.

Odey, who decried the lean resources available to the State Government, which he said, caused shortage of teachers in the State, noted however, that he had sought the approval of Governor Bassey Otu for the immediate employment of 6,000 teachers across the State.

The Commissioner explained that his mission in the Cross River State Ministry of Education is to identify the perceived problems in the sector and provide solutions to them.