The Board got involved with the matter when over twenty visibly emotional pupils of the school stormed its offices on Wednesday, February 8 to lodge a complaint against the school authorities for the non-release of their West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results by the West African Examinations Council.
The spokesperson for the group, Umu Hawa Mansaray said they were shocked beyond words to be told by WAEC officials that their results have not been released because they had not paid the examinations fees. ‘We were told we owe twenty-eight million (Le28,000,000) in exam fees,’ Umu Hawa said. ‘We do not owe WAEC a penny.’
The pupils fear they could miss out of gaining admission into the University of Sierra Leone this academic year if the matter is not resolved by Friday, February 10, which is the deadline for the submission of application form.
Following contacts with the school authorities, the Consultant to the Board, Lawyer Francis Gabbidon wrote to WAEC appealing for the release of the results against the deadline of February 10 on humanitarian and compassionate grounds while the Legal Aid Board tries to recover the money from the school authorities.
At the same time, the matter was referred to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters on Pademba Road in Freetown. This resulted in the arrest and detention of the Chair of the Board, the Principal and other senior staff of the school.
This had an instant impact, as the Board with assistance from the Councilor of the Ward covering the school, Samuel Kargbo got the school authorities to pay twenty-one million eight hundred and thirty-five thousand leones (21,835,000) into the WAEC Account. The balance of six million two hundred and forty-five thousand (Le 6,245,000) was paid into the account on Friday, February 10. The Board then brought pressure to bear on WAEC to release the results without any further delay. This resulted in the release of hard copies of the results to CID.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigations Department continues to its investigations into the matter.
Reacting to the release of the results, an emotional Ms. Carlton-Hanciles had this to say: ‘It is heartwarming the mood among the children is totally different from one of doom and gloom we saw a few days ago when they stormed our offices.We are happy to put a smile on their faces and over and above all give them hope.’