Don’t sabotage our efforts in paying students’ WAEC fees, Kogi Govt warns principals

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The Kogi Government has warned principals of public secondary schools against sabotaging its efforts in paying West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) fees for final-year students.

The state’s Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Mr Wemi Jones, gave the warning on Thursday during the verification of government-sponsored 2024 WAEC candidates at Bishop Delisles College, Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Yahaya Bello had in November 2023, approved the disbursement of N497 million for payment of WAEC fees for students enrolled in the state’s public schools.

Jones urged the principals to cooperate with the government to achieve its aims of payment of WAEC fees for SSS3 students in the state.

He stated that principals and school heads were important for the successful implementation of the government’s payment of internal and external examinations programme.

He lamented the none submission of accurate figures of students by some principals, describing the action as not only a disservice to the state but jeopardising the future of the students and the state.

He stressed that Gov. Yahaya Bello had ensured that the Ministry of Education remained alive and very active to its responsibilities by kick-starting payment of WAEC fees for students in the midst of politics in 2023.

“We will not only pay for WAEC but we will also pay for JAMB and other internal examination fees.

“But the principals and head of schools have made it extremely difficult for government to progress with WAEC payment because people are not just sincere.

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“We called for the register of students from JSS1 to SS3, because we needed it to update the Annual School Census (ASC); We want everything to be done electronically.

“In addition, we also want to know who we are paying exam fees for in order to ensure effective planning ahead of time.

“But some of the principals have refused to give us the accurate figures, and embarking on all manner of blackmailing,” Jones said.

He said the erring principals should know that the lives kept under their care were the future of the state and everything must be done to ensure that the programme succeeds.

The commissioner disclosed that 15,033 students had been captured to benefit from the gesture in 2024 WAEC.

He stressed the need for the principals to be truthful in making available the original registers that contained the accurate number of 15,033 students who were already in the ministry’s data base.

Also, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Yakubu Musa, implored the principals to complement government’s efforts by doing the right thing to ensure successful implementation of the programme.

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