Worried by the increased cases of exam malpractices, the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the National Assembly recently commenced sensitization exercises nationwide on the effects of the menace on the education sector and the society at large.
The stakeholders called for diligent prosecution of exam cheats and their collaborators, noting that cancelling results of exam cheats appear not to be serving as a deterrent.
NECO and the stakeholders stated this at a one-day national sensitization workshop in Lagos on examination malpractices in Nigeria with the theme “The role of education stakeholders in tackling examination malpractices.”
The workshop had in attendance the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), parents, school principals, Federal Ministry of Education, the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education.
In his address, the Registrar of NECO, Prof. Ibrahim Wushishi, observed that when one considers the evil effects of examination malpractices on the society at large, no stone should be left unturned in the fight to tackle it.
He added: “When candidates cut corners to pass an exam and are thereby awarded certificates not merited, whatever such a candidate becomes in the future, he or she is simply a quack. A quack is simply a danger to the society.
“We are taking this exercise across all zones in the country and we are constantly upgrading our efforts and eliminating the menace. We de-recognize schools and we do hand over culprits to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
“It is unfortunate that some parents would even stoop so low as to assist or encourage their children to engage in examination malpractices because we have lost our moral compass. Virtues that distinguish us as noble people have been thrown overboard. We are not relenting and we are surely going to beat the cheats to their game.”
The NECO registrar tasked stakeholders and the media to help preach against the menace and expose those involved; adding people should imbibe the spirit of hard work and merit.
In his speech, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said the need to nip exam malpractices in the bud requires collective action of stakeholders.
“It is a dangerous trend and a major problem affecting the conduct of public examinations. Many people are involved one way or the other. The way to go us to deploy ICT to curb it. Public examination bodies must be creative in adopting measures to curb it. We must demystify examinations too.
“It was in the bid to make the conduct of public examinations more credible and not fraught with malpractices that the Federal Government allowed a little increase in the examination fees charged by WAEC and NECO. The increase is to jerk up the allowances paid invigilators, examiners and supervisors,” Adamu stated.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. David Adejo, observed that the issue of examination malpractices has been a long standing one that necessitated Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike to write a book titled “Expo 77”, decades ago to highlight the extent to which the menace had dealt with public examinations.
Adejo explained that the law prescribed a five-year jail term for offenders but that diligent prosecution is necessary.
He suggested that culprits of exam malpractice be made to face the law to serve as deterrence and added that no one should be spared, both the low and the might, must go to jail if found guilty.
“Examination bodies must synergies and strategies on how to curb exam malpractice in Nigeria. The use of technology may be the way out to assess and curb it,” Adejo stressed.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, Hon. Julius Ihonvnere, stressed that parents aiding and abetting exam malpractices are merely destroying the future of their children.
Senator Akon Eyakenyi also suggested tightening the noose on exam cheats and their collaborators.