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Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #1 
What’s the background story on students who were arrested after protesting about WAEC exams?

Some links to related stories will be appreciated.
Researcher
Reply with quote  #2 
[8-2-696x391]

On Thursday 16th May 2019 the Sierra Leone Police raided a private residence where they arrested 31 individuals said to be engaged in exam malpractices, among them were teachers, pupils, exam supervisors and tenants.

The arrest came in the wake of a tip-off by citizens who had got wind of exam malpractices involving pupils of Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood Secondary School in Freetown.

Assistant Inspector General of Police, T.M Lahai told a news conference how the police got wind of the information. He said that the Local Unit Commander in charge of the jurisdiction was informed by concerned citizens that a particular unfinished house within the locality of Oniel Street was housing over 150 pupils writing their exams. AIG T.M. Lahai added that the Police during the raid discovered that 150 pupils were taking the examination away from the approved examination hall.

Explaining further, he said, the Police during the course of their investigation discovered that the pupils were asked to pay Le500,000 each in order for them to write their exams away from the examination centre.

During the operation, he continued, the Police arrested 31 people including invigilators, supervisors and 5 people claiming to be tenants within the locality. The Police also revealed that some of the items discovered in possession of the pupils included 9 mobile phones, 10 mathematical sets, 20 calculators, 15 blue shirts, 8 white shirts together with other items which are currently in possession of the Police.

AIG T.M Lahai informed journalists that the matter is still under investigation whilst the 31 people arrested are in custody helping Police with their investigations.

Source: https://thecalabashnewspaper.com/sierra-leone-news-exam-cheats-caught-red-handed-during-police-raid/

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #3 
Due to widespread malpractices in the administration of WAEC exams, Nigerian universities decades ago required supplemental exams administered by JAMB. Perhaps we need something like that to evaluate the competence of students.

https://www.jamb.gov.ng/home.aspx
Updates
Reply with quote  #4 

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 21 May 2019:

There were ugly violent scenes outside a secondary school in Freetown last week, where pupils ran amok with police officers firing tear gas to control the riotous behavior of the pupils.

Dozens of pupils are now in police custody. But there are concerns they are being deprived of their human rights – especially preventing them from taking their WASSCE examination.

The cause of the rioting by the school pupils is unclear. But it is understood that some pupils were caught cheating by examination officers, and when apprehended – a group of pupils attacked the teachers and threw stones at vehicles, causing damage.

The police were able to return calm after several hours of running battle with the pupils, dozens of whom are now in police custody.

Responding to the rioting, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education – Alpha Osman Timbo and senior staff of his ministry have embarked on what the ministry describes as “a national social mobilization in Sierra Leone to condemn the ongoing violence by students against Education officials who are stringently monitoring the public examinations (WASSCE)  in the country”.

According to the ministry, “the Minister and his upper management officials send tough messages to those who are undermining the quality of education in Sierra Leone”.

Source: https://www.thesierraleonetelegraph.com/sierra-leones-minister-of-basic-education-speaks-out-against-pupils-riotous-rampage/

 

More On Exam Fraud
Reply with quote  #5 

By Allieu Sahid Tunkara

The spate of exams malpractice has taken a more sinister turn at the ongoing school-leaving West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Such is how brazen the exams cheats have become that they are prepared to be violent and even confrontational with the security forces.

The head of the West African Exams Council (WAEC) in Sierra Leone, Arnold B. Kamara told Politico that unknown persons, suspected to be candidates writing the WASSCE exams, yesterday broke into the Strong Room in Jaiama Sewafe in Kono district. The Strong Room is usually where question papers are kept ahead of the exam.

He said they left a note threatening to attack the WAEC official in the area.

“Thankfully,” he went on, “there were no question papers in the room because we have changed our tactic and now dispatch them at dawn to centres across the country”.

Kamara said that three weeks ago a similar attack happened in Bumbuna in Tonkolili District, calling this year’s incidents unprecedented. He said several of his invigilators had been injured at the hands of candidates and their collaborators. 

All of this comes as students went on violent protests in Freetown and Waterloo.

In the capital the students of the Sierra Leone Muslim Brotherhood (SLMB) ran amok with the security forces. It followed the arrest by police of people alleged to have been writing the exam somewhere not designated as a centre.

There were even more violent confrontations at the Kowama Secondary School in Waterloo and the Tomlinson Secondary School at Songo where 42 students were arrested for riotous conduct and disorderly behaviour after they pelted missiles at the police.

Vehicles were damaged and many people injured.

The Secretary to the exams supervisors deployed at Kowama, Mohamed Dixon Kamara told Politico that the candidates of the two schools manhandled WAEC officials occasioning multiple injuries. The situation spiralled out of control until the police guards deployed at the WASSCE Centre contacted the Waterloo Police Divisional headquarters for reinforcement.

There are conflicting accounts as to what led to the riots. While one account says the candidates were arguing among themselves after writing the paper, the head of WAEC said they busted a “Special Room” where some candidates were allowed to write the paper secretly.  

Whatever the truth, the marauding candidates and the Kowama community, Dixon alleged, resisted the police who tried to put the situation under control.

As the waves of resistance continued and became violent, police fired teargas.

“When the conflict subsided, WAEC officials and materials were conveyed to the Waterloo police station for safety,” Dixon said.

He said that following the violent confrontation more than 40% of the 1,400 candidates did not show up for the WASSCE exams yesterday with the apparent fear that if they did they would be arrested by the police.

When Politico visited the WASSCE Centre on Monday at the Kowama secondary school, candidates of both schools were seen in private attire hanging around the school premises at risk of losing out on a whole academic year.

Police and civil authorities including teachers and WAEC officials are persuading the candidates to continue the exams so long they were not involved in the violent incidents.

“Nobody will be arrested again,” assured a senior police officer.

Although the situation seems under control, many of the 40 invigilators including the injured WAEC officials were absent at the WASSCE Centre.

One of the candidates, Mohamed Kamara of the Tomlinson Secondary School who appears in his private attire, told Politico that he was afraid to go into the exams hall as a result of alleged police brutality. They say they don’t have confidence in the police even if they are keen to write their exams.

Another candidate, Kadiatu Alie Bangura said that she would continue to take the exams as the situation was now under control. She said she was less jittery of the police presence at the school premises because she had no hands in the violent events of Friday.

“I continue taking the exams because I was not at the scene when the violence broke out,” Kadiatu narrated.

A total of 74 people are in custody at the CID headquarters in Freetown. 44 of them were arrested following the Freetown incident, among them 28 students: 13 boys and 15 girls.

© 2019 Politico Online

Kolleh
Reply with quote  #6 
Cheating at public exams was always acceptable and even celebrated under the rule of Ernest Bandele Koroma and his useless APC.  Over the years students have gotten used to this putrid state of affairs and are not prepared for a change.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #7 
Cheating during national exams is not uncommon in third world countries
Check this https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/03/india-school-exam-season-cheating-mafia-
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