Stakeholders call for stiffer penalty for WAEC, NECO registration fee hike, exams malpractice

Stakeholders in the education sector have called on the federal government to sanction schools involved in hike of registration fees charged for West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) examinations, even as they also recommend stricter punishment for offenders of examination malpractice to stop the further spread of the menace.

The  stakeholders made  the call  in Abuja on Friday at a one-day national sensitisation workshop organised by the National Examinations Council (NECO) in collaboration with the National Assembly to sensitise Nigerians on the effect of examination malpractice. 

The workshop was themed,  “The Role of Education Stakeholders in Tackling Examination Malpractice in Nigeria.”

 In his speech, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Hon. Julius Ihonvbere,  said some schools had hiked WAEC, NECO registration fees to as much as between  N45,000 and N60,00 from the original N18,000 stipulated by the government.

He said the approved fee charged by the examination bodies per candidate was N13,950 as far back as 2017, but the amount was recently raised to N18,000 because of the prevailing inflation in the country.

Ihonvbere, stressed that parents who  aid and abet examination malpractices are only destroying the future of their children, adding that in many schools there is absolutely no control.

“In fact, the school authorities connive with others to carry out these acts. As we speak, in my constituency, schools are collecting between 50 to 60 thousand for those who want to register for WAEC or NECO. For WAEC, the exam fee is N18,000 but they are collecting from N45000 to N6000.

“We need to design how we can bring these institutions down and sanctions must be very severe,” he said.

Deputy chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Senator Akon Eyakenyi lamented that examination malpractice is ruining the education system’s credibility, while calling for collective action to check it before it causes full damage to the system.

“Examination malpractice is one practice that can completely ruin our education system of credibility. We therefore, have a task to ensure that we rescue the soul of our educational system from the stretch hold of examination malpractice.

“It is the responsibility of every stakeholder in the education sub sector of our national economy to rise to the challenge of arresting the monster called examination malpractice before it causes more damage to our educational system.

“Managers of the education subsector should ensure the culprits should be punished and those who did well should also be appreciated to encourage them. Law enforcement and anti-craft agencies should continue to lay their helping hands and step up support for the fight against examination malpractice,” she said.

The Registrar of NECO, Prof. Ibrahim Dantani Wushishi, said one of the biggest challenges bedeviling the conduct of public examinations now is examination malpractice, which has the tendency to discourage hardwork among serious students thereby lowering educational standards and discredit certificates.

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