The spate of examination malpractices in the country involving youthful candidates who participate in the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the National Examinations Council (NECO), etc, has been generating concerns among stakeholders. For any country that desires to build a virile future for the next generation, this is a bleak situation.
In the recently conducted Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, security persons arrested 100 suspects of examination malpractices nationwide ranging from multiple registrations, ghost writing to impersonation. Perhaps, more culprits escaped unseen. These are common offences being perpetrated by Nigerian students, as well as prospective candidates writing prequalification examinations into Universities and other higher education in the country.
According to JAMB bulletin published after the last exercise, “Among those arrested was a candidate who registered 64 times in a bid to take the examination for 64 candidates, since the examination ran for seven days and had an average of three shifts per day per centre. The arrests of the culprits were made possible by the compulsory identity checks conducted on the candidates, with a view to fishing out professional ghost writers.”
Prof Is-haq Oloyede, JAMB Registrar, stated that a syndicate has been involved in promoting examination malpractices in the country. While the board totally abhors all forms of examination malpractices, he added that the board had engaged “cutting edge technology to capture all activities taking place in the Computer-Based Test centres.”
If our children lack the self-confidence to study and pass examinations that qualify them for admission into higher institution, then there is little or nothing to hope for in the future for a country whose place in corruption index has gained the highest global notoriety and ignominy. Where are the Universities and higher institutions going to get quality students to admit?
It is sad that from kindergarten to the higher institutions, our society – which include parents, guardians, friends and associates using financial inducements – corrupts our education system by creating an impression that you can get anything through the back door, depending on the costs and conveniences to the parties involved. It is what has created the raging cult clashes and other forms of criminal and immoral activities involving our youths.
Even our political and leadership system has been inundated with certificate forgery scandals involving politicians and functionaries.
In order to tackle this ugly menace, stakeholders gathered met to look at the best way to deal with this situation in Abuja in 2017, with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) leading the debate. It was reported that the 2016 WAEC reported 20,000 cases of malpractices. Participants in that meeting included JAMB, WAEC, NECO, members of the civil society organisations and media, representatives of security agencies, and the Federal Ministry of Education.
The ICPC then initiated “interventions (as) part of its mandate as stated in Section 6(b-f) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000. The commission has the responsibility of identifying possible gaps that may give rise to corruption in the system and working toward closing such gaps so that corrupt acts do not take place at all”.
We urge relevant anti-corruption and security agencies to partner education sector so as to tackle this menace. We will have no future if we don’t have well groomed, disciplined, patient, intelligent and educated youths.