By: Ayo Ajayi
As the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) commences nationwide on Monday, April 8, 2019, stakeholders in education sector last Thursday, gathered in Lagos at a day seminar, to deliberate and proffer lasting solutions to the menace of examination malpractice in the country.
A non-governmental organisation, Fight Against Corruption Organisation (FACO), organised the seminar, titled, “Examination Malpractice: A Major Challenge in Educational System,” which also featured award presentation to the outstanding public and private schools in Lagos State.
The Keynote Speaker and immediate past Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Educational District 6 of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Onadipe, with other stakeholders agreed that it was honourable to fail than to cheat or be involved in examination malpractice.
While speaking to the topic, Onadipe identified various forms of examination malpractice, causes, effects or influence, as well as ways to curb the menace if not totally eradicated.
She called for a robust educational policy that would de-emphasis on the supremacy of certificate over skills and professional competence; attractive remuneration for teachers and other stakeholders connected to the supervision of examination; promotion of public awareness campaign on the evil of exam malpractice by the examination bodies such as WAEC and NECO.
Onadipe also recommended laying more emphasis on reading culture at all levels of educational system; strict penalty for offenders; prohibition of the use of electronic device such as iPADS, Androids or cellular phones at the examination centres and teaching of the consequences of the menace at all levels in order to exposed candidates/students to the damaging effects.
The Keynote Speaker enumerated various forms of examination malpractice which include leakage of examination questions before the exams; establishment of fictitious examination centres, also known as ‘miracle centres;’ deliberate placement of candidate(s) under the supervision of corrupt officials; impersonation; and collusion between candidates and supervisors/invigilators.
Others are copying; assistance from supervisors; smuggling of foreign materials into the examination hall; intimidation of examination officials; destruction of evidence; non-appearance by the candidate; purchase of result; and a subscription to social media for answers questions, among others.
“The following could be advanced as part of the reasons for examination malpractice in our education system; the high premium placed on certificate (paper) qualification; parents inordinate ambition for their children; ineffective supervision of exam centres located in remote areas; inadequate preparation by students.
“Teachers’ inappropriate handling of their lessons; inappropriate security checks of candidates into the examination hall; low remuneration of teachers and exam officials; intimidation/ threats from parents; as well as invigilator’s negligence,” Onadipe explained.
Read Also: Comedian Helen Paul Bags PhD from UNILAG
Onadipe noted that examination malpractice discourages hard work on the part of students as the corrupt ones by their deeds pull the hardworking students to abandon their studies and join them to depend on quick arrangements that rarely fail. She added that exam malpractice decreases job efficiency and lure some students into other social vices like prostitution, drug peddling, armed robbery and gambling among others.
Speaking earlier in his address, the Executive Chairman, FACO, Dr. Francis Shopekan, noted that his organisation put the seminar together as a way of proffering solutions to the hydra-headed menace of examination malpractice.