As Summit To Tackle Exam Malpractice Kicks-Off
By Okee Sydney-Obiukwu & Chidozie Hanson, in Lagos
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) says it is seriously disturbed with the level that that the sophistication of examination malpractice has assumed, in recent times.
While making an opening speech at the international conference on examination malpractice which began yesterday in Lagos, the registrar of the exam body, Dr. Iyi Uwadiae, said the dimension which this social menace has now assumed in the sub-region, and globally too, called for proactive and decisive action from all stakeholders.
He said the conference had become an urgent need, in view of the fact that the punitive measures such as the cancellation of examination results and barring of exam centers, among others; applied by WAEC to deal with the problem, had failed to deter the culprits who have become more daring and ingenious in the nefarious act.
The WAEC helmsman therefore urged participants in the two-day summit aptly themed, “Examination Malpractice: Contemporary Realities and Antidotes, to endeavor to proffer solutions that would at least reduce the incidences of exam malpractice, if it cannot be eliminated completely.
In her own remark, the Chairperson of the council, Dr. Evelyn Kandakai, reminded participants that exam malpractice has become so endemic, as to be classified as one of the most serious forms of corruption in the education sector.
She lamented that the issue has been a source of serious distraction to WAEC, as huge resources has continued to be expended by the multi-national exam body in addressing the challenges posed by these exam cheats.
Kandakai decried a situation where parents encourage their children to cheat at examination centers, by compromising invigilators, and pleaded with participants at the conference and every stakeholder in the sub-region to, “ kill the scourge of exam malpractice before it kills us. “
The representative of the Honorable Minister of Education, Mohammed Karaji, who read out an address; also sounded an alarm that examination malpractice has assumed a dangerous dimension with the advent of social media and smartpones.
He warned that the menace has assumed the level of a endemic corruption in the sub-region, and that the government was also worried about the festering problem.
Karaji expressed hope that the summit would find a lasting solution to the unfortunate effects which exam malpractice had on the social fabric of the West african Sub-region
In his contribution, the House Committee Chairman on Basic Education and Services, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, said it is the thirst for certificate acquisition that is the major cause of examination malpractice, especially in Nigeria.
Said he, “the desperation to acquire certificates at all cost, is the driving force for exam malpractice, and it will keep recurring except we deal with it.”
“ Factories that manufacture exam malpractice –like ‘miracle centers’ must be dealt with, for us to move forward from here,” the law maker advised WAEC.
His colleague from the upper chamber of the federal legislature, Senator Obinna Ogba, who represented the Committee on Basic Education of the Senate, said that his committee will continue to do its best to make good and education-friendly laws, as well as facilitate the necessary appropriations to aid education at all levels in the country.
Thorough research papers were also presented by noted scholars from the West African sub-region, among whom where Emeritus Professor Pius Obanya, who gave the keynote address; Professor Jonathan Fletcher, spoke on, “ Examination Malpractice: A Threat to National Development , and Professor Jonas Redwood Sawyer, addressed the issue of “ Technology and Examination Malpractice,” among other speakers.
A more comprehensive report of the various academic papers will be served our teeming readers, all-through the month of October. Please keep a date with us.