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Examination theft in Konola

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The NewDawn has independently confirmed that the 2016 examination questionnaires from the Head Offices of the West African Examination Council or WAEC in Monrovia sent to the Konola Mission Academy in Margibi County to be administered to 12th graders have been stolen.

The exams were to be administered to 12th graders across the country, beginning today, Monday, 23 May 23. Margibi County Education Officer or CEO Madam Gorma Mannie, confirmed the theft to this paper, but declined to provide detail on grounds that investigations were ongoing.

The questionnaires were reportedly stolen during the early morning hours (12 to 1 A.M.) on Saturday, 21May after an alleged burglary of the office of the Principal of the Konola Mission Academy, Madam Rebecca G. Yealue.

Principal Yealue popularly known as ‘Grandma’ however told reporters on Sunday morning May 22, 2016 that she has not been authorized by her bosses to speak on the issue because the thievery is still being investigated.

But our Margibi County Correspondent who visited the main campus of the Konola Mission Academy located in Cinta Township, District Number Five, Margibi County, says the alleged criminal(s) burst the ceiling from the 9th grade class passing over approximately six classrooms before getting to the Principal’s office where the exam materials were being kept.

According to our correspondent, footprints were observed all over the wall in the principal’s office and the bag in which the exam materials were being kept was torn opened, but the lock placed on it was still intact.

Both exams completed over the weekend by 9th graders and 12th graders’ examination questionnaires were kept in the same place but nothing from the 9th grade WEAC results was taken away.

This paper was also hinted that the examiner, who is a female, has not been able to eat since the incident occurred. Police in Margibi are currently investigating the crime, but claimed they don’t have any suspect in custody yet.

However, sources from the campus confided in this paper that three persons, including the president of the Konola Mission Academy student council, an alumnus of the school and a security guard had earlier been interrogated by police.

Sources indicated that the security guard assigned on the campus deserted his post after electricity was off for the night. On Sunday, 22 May police toured the main campus of the Konola Mission Academy investigating students (12th graders) one after the other but many of the students were seen in a joyous mood, roaming around the investigation scene.

Meanwhile, for the second time in less than a month the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the West African Examination Council or WAEC has announced the postponement of the WAEC exams, specifically for senior high school students over claims of leakage, nearly 10 years after similar decision was taken by the government in 2007.

The news of the postponement broke out in Monrovia on Sunday, 22 May just after 9th graders wrote their WAEC exams during the weekend, with reports that the Council was investigating claims of school officials collecting money from candidates ahead of the test.

The director of communications at the Ministry of Education J. Maxime Bleetahn, confirmed the postponement of the exams for 12th graders last night to this paper via mobile. The Ministry says the exams have been rescheduled for June 27 to July 1, 2016.

Also on Sunday, state radio ELBC reported that WAEC was investigating claims by some parents that a school in Paynesville outside Monrovia compelled 9th graders to pay money. According to the report, parents claimed their children were asked to pay L$300 each ahead of the exams, but a school official in Paynesville Edmond Reaves, is said to have rejected the allegation.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Jr. in Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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