WASSCE 2023: The Alarm Bells Have Rung Crystal Clear

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

As this year’s West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) is entering its second week, none other than the Minister in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Education (MBSE), Dr. Moinina David Sengeh has warned that, many candidates would have their results seized as a result of malpractices and registration anomalies currently under investigation.

He was speaking during the Wake Up Sierra Leone programme aired on AYV on Thursday 18th May, 2023.

According to him, the Ministry is investigating a number of registration anomalies which occurred during the registration of pupils for the WASSCE in various schools suspected of registering people for the exams that are not supposed to be direct beneficiaries either because they have been out of the school system for ten or more years and want to take advantage of the free examination payment scheme provided by the Government, or because they are not qualified to take the WASSCE as they do not have the requisite Basic Education Certificate which qualifies them to take the WASSCE.

Against this background, it must be stated that this is the first time pupils of primary and secondary schools in Sierra Leone are enjoying the luxury of not having to pay any formal fees to take the NPSE, BECE and WASSCE – thanks to the Free Quality Education package introduced by President Julius Maada Bio and administered by Dr. Moinina David Sengeh.

However, it must also be stated that, those people (candidates and Principals) that are taking advantage and corrupting the system in a bid to line their pockets with ill-gotten money at the expense of the Government spending billions of Leones to pay the fees of actual school-going candidates, should understand that what they are doing is unjustified and even criminal because all they are doing is trying to beat the system by circumventing it.

For goodness’ sake, the WAEC conducts Private WASSCE for candidates who otherwise might not have been fortunate to make the necessary grades at the two free opportunities provided by the Government. For those that have been out of school for ten or more years, the Private WASSCE is also the best option. But colluding with Principals to register ‘full-blown adult men and women’ as mere pupils all because they want to enjoy free examination without cost is  very unpatriotic and a criminal act. Those engaged in this unholy act must be caught and soberly punished to set a precedent for others not to follow.

According to Dr. Sengeh, the manner in which hordes of ‘unqualified’ candidates are being registered by unscrupulous Principals and heads of secondary schools especially some little-known private schools is becoming a serious cause for concern. He highlighted that President Julius Maada Bio in his wisdom saw the need and importance of creating a scheme for school-going pupils to have easy access to sitting examinations at no cost. Lamentably, according to the MBSE Minister, hundreds of ‘unqualified’ and unscrupulous candidates that have been out of school for years are exploiting and taking advantage of the free exam payment scheme by paying monies to corrupt Principals and secondary school authorities to register them for the examination to the disadvantage of school-going pupils for whom the scheme was created.

This must stop, otherwise those for whom the system was created will lose out and those with money to pay corrupt Principals will overwhelm the system.

Thankfully, the anomalies which took place during the 2023 WASSCE registration process have been picked up and it is expected that the culprits will have no one to blame except themselves as well as face the full force of the law when caught.



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