By Ononye VC
The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has again expressed concern over the persistent cases of examination malpractice in the country despite various measures being deployed against the menace.
The head of the national office of WAEC, Nigeria, Mr Patrick Areghan, expressed this concern in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune, attributing the situation to many factors.
He said apart from the students or candidates, schools, teachers, principals, parents, examination officials, ‘miracle’ centres, rogue website operators are also aiding the menace, particularly during public examinations.
He said WAEC as an organisation is aware of this and always comes up with different strategies to prevent malpractice during its various examinations, such as the May\June school-based West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and the ones for private candidates, but that the candidates and their collaborators are always finding a way to beat the system.
According to him, “the saving grace for WAEC on the matter is that candidates who escaped being caught in the examination halls are always being detected through their answer scripts during markings”.
He frowned at the development and urged all stakeholders to join hands with the examination body to stamp out or reduce to the barest minimum the menace in the country.
Areghan, however, pointed out that examination malpractice is global and not Nigeria’s problem alone, and that is the reason all the five member countries of WAEC, according to him, are concerned about tackling the challenge in their respective countries.
He said the issue was one of the major discussions by the council at its recent 71st annual meeting in Banjul, The Gambia, with each member country charged to intensify the battle against the menace.
He said exam malpractice would hinder genuine development not only in the life of perpetrators but also in the education sector and economy at large.
Areghan also noted that WAEC has a five-year thematic plan to guide each member country to continue to conduct credible examinations, stakeholders’ engagement, employees’ engagement, learning and growth as well as financial sustainability.
He said each WAEC member country is expected to be guided by the thematic plan in its operations year-round.