Miracle Centre Sealed Off In Abia State
Years ago, the only miracle that are heard of are those performed by God, but things have moved faster than imagined.
Churches no longer even take credit for places where miracles occur or are heard.
Miracles now happen in Nigerian schools to the extent that the West African Examination Council (WEAC) had to raise alarm about a particular school in Abia State before it was shutdown.
St. John’s Secondary School, Umunkere, Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State was shut down after WAEC raised alarm about the high level of malpractice that took place in the school, which it identified as "a miracle centre".
The Abia Commissioner for Education, Professor Ikechi Mgboji, who announced the closure of the school, put the blame on parents, advising them and guardians to be wary of sending their wards to schools indulging in examination malpractice.
Mgboji told the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba on Wednesday that a trend where parents deliberately send their children to schools which engage in malpractice was deplorable.
He then asked parents to send their children to schools where they would learn and be able to defend their certificates.
The commissioner, who vowed that the government would close any school found promoting examination fraud in the state, also indicted teachers for colluding with parents to perpetrate examination malpractice.
“When we talk about examination malpractice, it is something that implicates some parents and implicates society as a whole.
"You are right because it is a systemic problem. It is sad that parents even go as far as paying extra money to have their children in such schools.
"There is this undue emphasis on paper qualification which pushes people to do anything to get that paper qualification and it is just wrong and counter-productive,’’ he said.
"We received a report from WAEC; the documents are there that the school is a miracle centre and I felt that the time to act was long overdue.
"That school will not be the last that we are going to descend heavily upon and it should be a warning for all those who have allowed their schools to be used as centres for examination malpractice.
"Once we receive credible reports, we shall not fail to act.
"Security agencies have been drafted to the school to ensure strict compliance and any disobedience will attract severe sanctions,’’ he said.
He did not say if the sanction was for life or for a specific period, but Nigeria’s law on examination malpractice as it concerns a corporate body stipulates that if a corporate body is proved to have committed the offence on the “instigation or with the connivance of; or be attributable to any neglect on the part of, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate, or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as well as the body corporate, where practicable, shall be deemed to have committed that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly”.
The law further stipulates that the examination body has the power to withdraw recognition, suspend, ban or blacklist or place on probation a school or an examination centre if it is satisfied that the school or examination centre is involved in any form of examination malpractice.
Closing the school is one thing and punishing the offender(s) is another.