At least 17 school principals in Benue State have been sacked by the Governor Gabriel Suswam-led administration for allegedly aiding and abetting examination malpractice in parts of the state.

Gabriel Suswan Benue State governor.

The sacked school principals would also be made to face disciplinary action for their alleged complicity in the act.

The State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Benjamin T. Ashaver disclosed this in an interview with P.M.NEWS in Makurdi to mark his one year in office at the education ministry.

He maintained that the action of government would help to check other heads of institutions in the state who were in the habit of encouraging misconduct and cheating during examinations in the state.

Ashaver also revealed that the Benue State government would soon embark on recruitment of over one thousand teachers to boost teaching in both primary and post primary schools.

He informed that the recruitment exercise which has been approved by the state executive council was intended to permanently address the perceived lapses and shortfall in the number of teachers in the state’s service.

He stated that the state government was determined to meet the Millennium Development Goals target in the education sector, stressing that the present administration was ready to go the extra mile to ensure that the sector was properly repositioned for the good of the generality of Benue people.

The commissioner also added that all educational institutions in the state will soon be rehabilitated and well funded to meet the challenges of providing qualitative education to the Benue public.

He declared that education was a social responsibility the government owed the people of the state and warned that due to the high cost of running the sector in the face of dwindling resources, the people would continue to pay a token as tuition in order to share the burden with the state government.

While also reacting to the claims about the alarming fees being charged by the state owned university, he argued that the tuition charged at the Benue State University remains the lowest in the country.

He disclosed that the state government has directed the management of the institution to make a refund of some excess fees charged students of the university.

According him, “education is not cheap and cannot be free in the face of rising cost of running the sector coupled with competing demands and dwindling resources at the disposal of government. We, however, plead with our people to show some understanding and also cooperate with government in its quest to reposition the sector.”

While also lamenting the exorbitant fees being charged by private primary and secondary schools in the state, Mr. Ashaver implored the proprietors of such schools to have a rethink about their policies, stating that the state government was not comfortable with the trend and could be forced to intervene to check the unpleasant practice.

—Ubong George/Makurdi