The webs of examination malpractices in Nigeria

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By AbdulAzeez Abdullahi

Examination malpractices need to be looked at from the web of examination bodies officials, school owners, parents, teachers and students.

It is not news anymore that questions with answers purportedly from the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) are sold online before the date of the examination. You will even get perfect solutions to it all no matter the subject.

There are school owners who purchase questions before the examination is conducted. Some have access to these questions 24 or 48 hours before the time of the examination. Tell me if this is still an exam.

Parents are as well culpable. They do this by registering their wards into “special centres”. They pay for their children to be helped during the examination or find someone to write the examination.

Payment is made per paper. Some parents go as far as rural settings to register their wards for these examinations. They camp in such villages till they are done with the examination.

Students through their smartphones have access to various platforms where answers to examination questions are being sold. It takes recharge cards most times to have answers to questions.

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Teachers get involved in this either directly or indirectly. Directly by helping candidates write the examination and I’m sure we all have come across one person who has done this in the past. Indirectly may arise due to inducements from school owners where they work and they are sometimes paid for this. At times, some are compelled to do so or risk their salary and at times jobs.

We have students who have passed through this studying in one tertiary institution or the other.

We come across them in the university and we wonder how they found their way there. Some can hardly compose a full paragraph during an examination.

We need a serious policy framework to solve this quagmire. This may mean having meaningful examination bodies executive (like was done for JAMB), conducting these examinations through CBT, insisting on schools or examination centres to have CCTV in the examination hall, and handsomely rewarding exam markers who detect malpractices. This last one is in place although the examiners are poorly paid for doing so. Further to this is reviewing admission criteria into tertiary institutions and a whole lot of other important issues. I believe that with these, we can eradicate examination malpractices in our society.

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