The National Examinations Council (NECO) has expressed its readiness to rid the country of exam malpractice in all its ramifications.
Registrar of NECO, Prof. Ibrahim Dantani Wushishi, made this known at a one-day sensitisation workshop on exam malpractice Monday, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, and called for concerted efforts to address the problem.
Speaking on the theme of the workshop, “The Role of Education Stakeholders in Tackling Examination Malpractice in Nigeria,”‘ Prof. Wushishi said there was urgent need to curtail the problem to ensure all-round development of the country.
“One of the biggest challenges bedeviling the conduct of public examinations now is the issue of examination malpractice.
“This workshop is, therefore, both thoughtful and timely, and should address the ways and means that can be adopted to curb the menace and re-orient the minds of the youths concerning this cankerworm, as no nation develops when its youths indulge in sharp practices such as examination malpractice.
“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.
“We must therefore, take collective responsibility to rid them of this bad habit of wanting to cut corners,” he said.
The NECO chief executive further said the council has rolled out several measures to check the problem of malpractice in the conduct of all its examinations.
He listed the measures to include; Effective conduct of accreditation and re-accreditation in schools; biometric data capturing of candidates to check impersonation of candidates registered for examination, and to help identify miracle centres where examination malpractice are perpetrated.
Other measures are the use of officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to provide security at examination centres to prevent miscreants/agents of exam malpractice; provision of covert operations by officers of the Department of State Service (DSS) to guide against compromising exam through the internet, daily distribution of examination question papers and other sensitive materials, monitoring of marking to ensure that best practices are observed, among others.
On his part, Minister of State for Education, Honourable Goodluck Nanah Opiah, praised NECO for organising the workshop, even as he described it as a right step in the right direction.
“Examination is a form of assessing the learners understanding, knowledge, ability and general comprehension of what they have been taught.
“This gives the teachers the feedback on their instructional
processes. Evidence has shown the increasing incidence of examination malpractice by students and learners at all levels and this conflicts with the aim of education.
“The various forms of examination malpractices such as impersonation, smuggling of foreign materials into the exam hall, external assistance, and others in a bid to help students pass their examinations lead to poor quality of learners who cannot defend the certificates obtained.
“This sensitisation programme will help portray the ills of examination malpractices and create awareness on the need to fight against all forms of malpractices.
“All stakeholders such as teachers, parents, even students must show a high level of commitment and honesty. Parents should also periodically check the activities of their children and wards, ensure proper moral training, and support punishment for offenders.
“The government must also put in place a policy to deter such acts and punish offenders,” the minister said.
Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel, represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Idongesit Etiebet, said his government has also declared zero tolerance for examination malpractice.
The governor described exam malpractice as a social plaque and commended NECO for its efforts in rooting out the problem.
“The practice of examination practice has refused to abate. The advent of social media has compounded the menace.
“Akwa Ibom has zero tolerance for examination malpractice and various measures have been put in place to check the menace,” he said.