By Taban Tom Henry
The National Examination Council has on Wednesday warned schools imposing heavy examination charges to candidates preparing to sit for the 2022-2023 examination threatening them with severe punitive measures.
Addressing the media in a joint press briefing, the Secretary General for the National Examination Council Simon Nyok said that schools imposing heavy charges to candidates preparing for 2022-2023 national exams and not following the law will face severe consequences.
“We have to be law abiding citizens, we have to follow what the law says and the consequences can be severe,” he cautioned.
“We hold license of schools and we hold the authorities to grant examinations centers so we have leverage of so many things that we can apply but I am optimistic that they will adhere to this call and refrain from overcharging,” he continued.
Nyok stated that they have received this information’s at different levels and at different states such as Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria about the malpractices.
“I am sure it is also happening in other places of which I also learned that in Malakal because our teams are on the ground and this is a spontaneous thing that is happening all over especially the public schools”
“I know the private schools over charge a lot of money and around last year the ministry had a lot of confrontations with private schools charging the learners a lot of money,” Nyok added.
Last month the national examination council announced the registration of candidates for the National Exams both Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) and South Sudan certificate of Secondary Education (SSCSE).
The council also laid deadline, the ground rules, the conditions for entering the exams and specified fees which are supposed to be collected from the candidates.
In the earlier announcement primary 8 candidates attending public schools and are duly ready to sit for exams are to be charged 5,000SSP only and those attending private schools are to be charged SSP 7,000. Meanwhile secondary a candidate from public schools is to pay SSP 7,000 and SSP 10,000 for those in private schools.
“The statutory fees that have been put as part of the bill of 2022-2023 fiscal year and approved by the National Legislative assembly, it has come to our dismay that schools and states are charging pupils and students high fees which are not in the provisions of the law” said Nyok.
“The exact amount of fees that are stipulated in the fiscal year the parliament has approved certain amount of money but we as the council have decided to implement this gradually as the economic situation improves and things get to change. We understand the situation where our country is in so we have to maintain what is within the law,” he stated.
Nyok directed that those schools which have collected more than what is stipulated in the bill have to refund back the extra money.
He revealed that they learned there are schools which are charging 30,000 and 40,000 SSP respectively arguing that this is out of the law and they have to stop.
“The national government is fully responsible for financing all the examination processes and there is no reason to levy high examination charges. We pay for invigilators, the police and those who are involved in all examination processes so it makes no meaning for someone to raise such charges on learners,” he stated.
Nyok hinted that there is no reason to overcharge candidates when the government is financing all the examination processes so this what the law requires as part of their commitment, they have to pay the money that goes to the national covers.