As the issue of the 2024 WASSCE still posed challenge over many pupils name rendered ineligible to take the exams, the Acting Speaker of Parliament Segepoh Solomon Thomas has on the 11th April, 2024 said that the salaries of Principals and school authorities will be seized if it is proven that they are responsible for the act.

Politico News reported that, the proclamation came following a heated debate in parliament over the number of students who will not be taking their WASSCE.

He stated thus ‘if the Minister comes here and tells us that the Principals, headmasters, or the board members are those to be blamed, we will ensure that their salaries are seized. We will tell the Minister to give us the list of these heads”.

According to reports, he ordered the clerk to invite the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) Conrad Sackey on an adjourned date slated for 16th April 2024.

In his statement, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition All Peoples Congress Party, Daniel Koroma agreed maintained that the pupils are innocent but are now the victims and revealed that, they will support the Speaker in a bid for the pupils to take their examination as Members of Parliament.

The decision to punish school authorities if they are found wanting came after the Chairman of the Basic Secondary Education Committee in Parliament Alpha Fode Jabbie said that Chief Whip of the Opposition Abdul Karim Kamara made ‘false accusations’ relating to the education sector.

According to Jabbie, the Chief Whip had said that in the whole of Kambia District, no candidate will be taking the 2024 WASSCE, adding that 80% of schools in Bombali will not be taking the examination and that the Minister has not made efforts to salvage the situation. “These statements are hundred percent false and baseless” Jabbie stressed.

He explained that he has records which state that four thousand six hundred and sixty-eight (4,668) candidates have been registered to take the examination from thirty-six (36) schools in Kambia District this year.

He claimed that about 80% of schools in Bombali District will not be taking the examination, adding that the District has eighty-three (83) senior secondary schools and stated that eighty percent (80%) of that amount is sixty- seven (67) schools, stressing that MBSSE and the West African Examinations Council have records that indicate that sixty-five (65) schools will be taking the exams with twelve thousand two hundred and eighty candidates (12,280) from the district.

He however did not mention the number of candidates that will not be eligible for the examination. The Chairman also emphasized that the Minister has been making efforts to ensure that students are registered, explaining that he had pleaded and ensured that the portal was reopened on several occasions even after stated deadlines.

It was revealed that, the Deputy Whip was not present in parliament to respond to the issues 1 raised by Jabbie and that, the MP on the 2nd April 2024 posted a video on his Facebook page saying “Over fifty percent (50%) of pupils that are supposed to take the texamination this year which is around one hundred and fifty to sixty thousand have been omitted from the examination”. Kamara said at a time like this when the country is trying to discourage the youths from taking the drug Kush, those who have been omitted will be frustrated by the system.

Speaking on why he decided to bring the issue on social and mainstream media, Kamara said he wanted to reach the President. The Leader said that according to the students who have reached out to him, the Ministry is naware of the situation. “The reason they gave is that WAEC failed to submit the Continuous Assessment Score (CAS), Mr. President one hundred and sixty thousand is not a small number, I was astonished that the majority of these kids are from schools in the North and Western Area,” he said in the f f widely circulated video.

It was stated that, the Acting Speaker promised to give the Deputy Whip time to respond.