The fate of 42 candidates of the forthcoming 2018 May/June Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) are hanging in the balance in Bayelsa State following the disappearance of their registration fees.
One of the parents of the affected students lamented that the Principal of the Community Secondary School Akenfa in Yenagoa, failed to remit the registration fees of the candidates.
It was gathered that some of the parents got to know when they visited the state Ministry of Education to get an update of the examination.
A parent, Mr. James Ebiowei, said one of them discovered that something was fishy with the registration of the students.
He accused the principal of the school of collecting the fees but failing to remit them to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC).
He claimed that the principal bolted with the money of the students, who had been preparing for their examination.
He said: "It was one of the parents who saw the school's WAEC candidates list and noticed that the name of his child and 41 others were missing and raised the alarm and when we got to the school we were told that the Principal behind this had just retired.
"This is cruel as the implication is that these innocent children do not know what is happening to them, they will most likely lose a hole academic year due to this unfortunate incident
"My son for instance sat for the last JAMB and got very high scores with bright chances of getting admission offer on merit only to discover that his registration fee was not paid by the School Principal, it is unfortunate.
"The saving grace for me is that the alternative examinations, conducted by National Examinations Council (NECO) is still open, so I will ensure I register him for NECO".
The immediate past principal of the school, Mr. Francis Micah, who was in charge of the registration before his retirement confirmed that some 42 students who paid their WAEC examination fees were not registered.
Describing the development as regrettable, Micah said armed robbers, who boarded the same taxi with him, forcefully took the money total king about N800,000 from him
He said: "The incident is unfortunate and regrettable, it is a big misfortune. I fell into the hands of some cultists and armed boys who collected the examination fees in a taxi I struggled to pay back but it was not possible and the registration deadline passed.
"I have managed to pay back to some of the affected parents so that they can register for NECO, but a lot are still pending and I have been begging them to understand and be patient with me."