All is not well presently with the education sector in Cross River State as the West African Examination Council, WAEC is yet to release the May/June 2014 result of all public secondary schools in the state to the State Ministry of Education.
Investigation by CrossRiverWatch revealed that the state government payment of WAEC fees for indigent students in public secondary schools in the state ran into hitches from 2013 but the examination body released the 2013 result on special recognition with a proviso not to release this year’s result should the state default.
Further checks also revealed that the amount owed by the state government was in excess of N300million for 2013 and 2014 WAEC examination fees which the state has been paying since 2008.
CrossRiverWatch had recently reported that Cross River State is broke due to inability of government to pay staff and political office holders imprest now for four months.
Different projects of the government are also suffering due to lack of funds.
A top government official who did not want his name mentioned due to the sensitive nature of the matter said: “The state owes WAEC that is why our children who did the exam in public schools are yet to collect their result.
“I gathered that the WAEC management insists that if the government doesn’t pay it will not release the result because that of 2013 is still pending.
“Cross River State Government as part of its educational development policy pays WAEC examination fees for all the indigent students since 2008.”
CrossRiverWatch checks at WAEC office along the Highway in Calabar also confirmed the debt. A senior staff of the Council who also did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak on the matter told our reporter that: “Cross River State results are ready like results for all other states of the federation. It is true that the Council has not released the results for Cross River because of accumulated debts in excess of N300million. We cannot release the result until the monies are paid. The state defaulted last year with a promise to pay and up till now, they have not paid for last year.
“So we cannot allow any further accumulation of the money and withholding these results is the best option for us to get our payment. But I must assure you that discussions are ongoing with the relevant authorities to see how we get over the impasse because we also understand the anxiety this may be creating for the young students.”
Several calls to the State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Offiong Offiong were not taken and a text message seeking clarification on the matter was also not responded to at the time of filing this report.
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