Awut probes ‘harassment’ against Exams Council team

By William Madouk

A rare drama played out in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State, when members of South Sudan National Examinations Council led by Simon Nyok Deng were reportedly ‘harassed’ and termed as ‘exams stealers’ by police officers in charge of station in Nimule.

It all started when the examinations council received an alert of a breach in their system. In respond, a team led by Secretary General for examinations and security personnel left Juba for inspection of stations in Magwi and Nimule.

While updating the public on the ongoing senior four exams, the Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng Acuil said after the team arrived in Nimule, they were mistreated and abused by police officers.

“Unfortunately, upon arrival at the police station in Nimule, the Secretary General and his team of National Security officers were harassed and called criminals who wanted to steal exams in Nimule by a police officer in charge of the station and his personnel,” Awut lamented.

She regarded the incident as a ‘serious’ violation of exams rules and regulations that cannot be taken lightly, adding secretary general for exams has a mandate to inspect any stations at any time.

“[SG] has right under the law to inspect any station anywhere in the country 24/7, whenever he received an alert of a breach,” Awut added.

Minister of General Education said, investigation into the incident is ongoing, adding that recommendation of findings could likely result to cancellation of results for the county or designated stations.

“I have initiated an investigation into this harassment and intimidation of the secretary general and his team by the management of these stations and there will be consequences,” she disclosed.

“We may end up cancelling examination results for the whole County of Magwi or selected stations depending on recommendations of the investigation,” Awut warned.

The Minister also warned all station officers of ‘stern’ legal suit should they interfere with the work of the council, affirming that the Council is mandated to offer credible and reliable exams nationwide.

“This cannot be achieved if some candidates are given undue advantage over the others by means of examination malpractices,” she added.

Education ministry also recorded an isolated case at Standard Secondary School in Wau where the candidates refused to be invigilated and sadly attacked officers with stones that caused injuries.

“I therefore take this opportunity to warn these candidates to refrain from this breach because if it continues, it can lead to cancellation of their results,” Awut sounded the alarm bell to senior four candidates.

According to her, exams are progressing well countrywide; but they experienced a few cases of sickness, nursing candidates writing exams with infants on their laps as well as imprisoned candidates doing exams in prison cell which were all taken care of.

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