Minister tasks exam bodies to tackle malpractices through ICT

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has called on examination and assessment bodies in the country to adopt Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in tackling the menace of examination malpractices by using multi-dimensional approach.

 Adamu made the call in Lagos while declaring open a one-day national sensitisation workshop on exam malpractice in Nigeria jointly organised by the National Examinations Council (NECO) and the National Assembly, Friday, with the theme, “The Role of Education Stakeholders In Tackling Examination Malpractice in Nigeria”.

 Adamu, who was represented by the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, said Nigeria is underdeveloped in tackling examination malpractices, leading to an unfair assessment.

“Examination malpractice is a major problem affecting the conduct of public exams in Nigeria and let me say that Nigeria is underdeveloped in tackling issues of malpractices in our exams.

“ICT is the way to go in curbing this menace.  It has become most critical that we must become creative in adopting ICT  devices to protect the sanctity of our examinations across Nigeria,” the minister said.

Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Andrew Adejo, in his keynote address, called on the National Assembly to enact laws for adequate sanctions on culprits, saying complexities arise following the loss of core values in the Nigerian societies, “because we have forgotten our value system, they have collapsed, and untill we fix this, it may take a long time before the system recovers. We should look for the ways to correct our value system”.

He suggested that offenders of examination malpractices must be made to face the law while calling for conducive learning environment in schools.

Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said the National Assembly frowns at any form of  examination malpractice  and is out to tackle it holistically.

“The Committees on Education (Basic & Secondary) are using this opportunity to appeal to stakeholders, particularly to the parents and teachers to sensitize themselves to ensure the spirit of examination malpractice is thoroughly purged out from their lifestyle before sensitizing their children, wards or students as they are “In pari delicto” (equally at fault) by aiding and abetting these students”

Senator Eyakenyi said to effectively tackle examination malpractices, there is a need for operators to collaborate with professional associations who wield certain levels of influence on their members. Therefore, she called on the government to hold private school operators to account while further challenging stakeholders to rise to the task of speaking out and taking informed decisions when and where the need arises.

“The media community should particularly lend its support to this patriotic fight. It is also my thinking that Monitoring and Evaluation should be taken seriously across board in the education sector. Supervision of both our learners and educators at all levels should be stepped up” She added.

The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Education (Basic & Secondary), Prof.Julius Ihonbere, called for collective responsibility to tackle examination malpractices.

He said stakeholders must work together to produce results that will work for the betterment of the Nigerian education sector, and acknowledged the efforts of JAMB in fighting malpractices in public examinations.

“Unless the nation addresses the issue of infraction in public exams, the nation may not move forward. Exam malpractice is a criminal offence but it is disappointing that children are no longer afraid for indulging in it because there are no longer sanctions.”

 In his welcome address, the Registrar of NECO, Prof. Dantani Ibrahim Wushishi, noted that one of the major challenges facing the conduct of public examinations is exam malpractices.

“No doubt, examination malpractice has the tendency to discourage hardwork among serious students, lowers educational standards, discredit certificates, and lead to the production of quacks, thereby affecting the manpower needs of the nation,” Prof. Wushishi said

The Head of WAEC Nigeria, Patrick Areghan, commended  NECO for taking public exam assessment to greater level, and applauded the role of the National Assembly in tackling the menace.

“WAEC has developed a technology called IDP to detect collisions in the objectives segment of our exams. Other technologies are being currently developed to tackle malpractices in our essay papers,” he said.

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