The Federal Government and the West African Examination Council have expressed deep concern over the rising incidence of examination malpractice in schools .
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu , indicated this in his address at the opening ceremony of WAEC’ s International Summit on Examination Malpractice held on Thursday in Lagos .
Adamu , who was represented at the event , described examination malpractice as a worrisome challenge to the five member countries of WAEC that had assumed a criminal and dangerous dimension , especially with the arrival of the social media and smart phones .
He said it was surprising how misguided candidates , their adult collaborators , even parents and some school authorities openly engaged in malpractices with the aid of fraudulent website operators .
Also describing education as one of the key priorities of President Muhammadu Buhari ’ s agenda in recognition of its potency for advancement in social , economic , cultural , political and technological development, the minister said , “The Federal Government is worried about the rising incidence of examination malpractice in the country. Our examination halls have become arenas for gross misconduct . Pupils and their collaborators have developed all kinds of dubious ways of cheating in order to pass examinations . ”
Adamu said the government would continue to intensify its efforts to build self – confidence among pupils and to inculcate in them the virtues of hard work.
Also , government , he added , would not relent in its efforts to sensitise the Nigerian society on the dangers of examination malpractice and its negative effect on national development.
Also , speaking at the event , the Chairperson of WAEC, Dr . Evelyn Kandakai , said that WAEC had decided to organise the summit because examination malpractice had been a major source of distraction for the council and other educational institutions in its member countries .
Noting that WAEC had deployed all weapons in its arsenal and utilised every available opportunity to fight and discourage the perpetrators of examination malpractice, she said , “ We have made frantic appeals to all stakeholders in the education sector to partner us in the fight against this scourge that is endangering the quality of academic achievements and human capital development in our sub – region .
“ The persistence of examination malpractice and its devastating effects on educational assessment and evaluation in the sub – region have worsened with the advent of the social media .
“ Some parents have continued to assist their children physically and financially to cheat in public examinations . Misguided candidates desperately seek short cuts to examination success while their depraved adult collaborators carry out their nefarious activities for financial gains . School authorities and teachers have continued to create the conducive environment for this cankerworm to thrive . ”
Also , describing the consequences of examination malpractice on national and sub – regional development as grave and frightening , she warned that its multiplier effect on national economies is overly destructive .
“ It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good . For these reasons and many more, the West African Examinations Council has decided to intensify the fight against examination malpractice . Today , we seek to place the menace of examination malpractice on the agenda for international discourse .
“ I , therefore , urge you individually and collectively to contribute to the prosecution of the war against this malaise. Posterity will judge us harshly if we continue to do otherwise , ” she said .
She urged all stakeholders to join hands together and curb examination malpractice in West Africa .
In his welcome address to the gathering , WAEC’ s Registrar , Dr . Iyi Uwadiae , lamented that perpetrators of examination malpractice sought to violate with impunity all the rules and regulations governing the conduct of an examination.
Over the years , he noted , examination malpractice had manifested in various activities within or outside the examination halls and had remained a thorn in the flesh of examining bodies , just as measures adopted by WAEC, such as cancelation of candidates ’ results , baring of candidates from the examinations and derecognition of schools , had failed deter the perpetrators who have continued to devise new ways of carrying out their fraudulent acts.
“ Over the years , appeals have gone to stakeholders in education to partner WAEC more seriously in the fight against the cankerworm. One of the ways we can do this it to use this summit as a platform to generate ideas and strategies which will set the stage for the eradication of examination malpractice in our sub -region , ” he said .
The summit will end today (Friday ) .