The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has wielded the big stick by impounding 93 certificates belonging to candidates who wrote the council’s exams years back but were later found wanting.
The candidates who wrote the May/June and Nov/Dec SSCE or WASSCE were found to have cheated many years ago when they sat for the examinations.
The decision to confiscate the 93 certificates was taken at the Nigeria Examinations Committee (NEC) meeting in Lagos based on evidence such as a confessional statement from such candidates.
A breakdown indicates that four candidates wrote the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), 79 sat for the Nov/Dec WASSCE and 10 wrote the May/June WASSCE.
Two of the certificates were issued 41 years ago (1978), one, 40 years ago (1979) and the three candidates sat for the Nov/Dec SSCE.
Analysis of the 93 certificates revealed that two candidates had three certificates each impounded for different years and two others had two certificates each seized for examination malpractice.
Details of the impounded certificates revealed that 1995 and 2001 has the highest with 14 certificates each, 1994 and 2000 has 11, 1989 and 1990 recorded five each, 1992, 1994, 2002 and 2003 with four each, 1978, 1986, 1991 and 2007 has two and one each for 1979, 1981, 1987, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2013 and 2015.
How WAEC Detected the Fraud
Giving insight into how the council impounds certificates, Head, Public Affairs of WAEC, Mr. Demianus Ojijeogu said it was at the point of collection of the certificates that some of the candidates were caught.
Ojijeogu explained that some of the candidates after years of writing the examination visited their various offices to collect the certificate but when asked by WAEC official to write ‘original copy collected by me’, he said they couldn’t write it even with good grades in some subjects.
Said he:‘’Once a candidate cannot write original copy collected by me, the WAEC official will question him or her. The candidate after being quizzed will confess that he/she cheated during the examination. Such candidates will be made to write a confessional statement and it will be attached to the certificate for NEC deliberation and decision.
‘’Some candidates take time to come forward for their certificates. Those that cheated will think the council has forgotten and after years, they will appear in our office to pick up the certificate and they will be caught and the certificate will be impounded.
‘’It is not possible for WAEC to catch every candidate cheating during an examination. It is at the point of collecting their certificate that some of them are exposed. We have deployed an Item Differential Profile in exam halls, it can detect collusion cases. When every candidate is failing the same question, that is 80 per cent of candidates failing a particular question, it is mass collusion.
‘’We want the various state governments to partner with WAEC to build exam centres; this will help us to monitor candidates during the exam. For the school exam (May/June WASSCE), we have over 1.6million candidates every year writing the exam. We are also thinking of building exam halls for use by private candidates during Nov/Dec WASSCE.’’
According to him, people also come forward to allege they wrote the exam for someone and the council will conduct an investigation into his/her claim, adding ‘’if we don’t have enough evidence to nail the candidate, we allow the candidate go’’.
Source: The Sun