The National Examinations Council (NECO) has expressed readiness to root out incidents of examination malpractice in all its examinations by deploying officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to examination centres.
In a statement made available to journalists on Monday, the Registrar/Chief Executive of the examination body, Professor Ibrahim Wushishi, was quoted to have made this known at a one-day sensitisation workshop on examination malpractice in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The NECO boss also 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,’ Professor 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 hard work 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.
Speaking further, the NECO boss said the Council had 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 exercise 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.
“Others are use of officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to provide security at examination centres to prevent miscreants/agents of examination malpractice, provision of covert operations by officers of the Department of State Services to guide against compromising examination through the internet, daily distribution of examination question papers and other sensitive materials, monitoring of marking exercise to ensure that best practices are observed, among others.
Also quoted in the statement, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, lauded the council for organising the workshop, even as he described it as a right step in the right direction.
While saying exam malpractice was a major threat to the aim of education, the minister said the workshop would create the desired awareness to eliminate the menace.
“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 obtain.
“This sensitisation programme will help portray the ills of examination malpractice and create awareness on the need to fight against all forms of malpractices.
“All stakeholders such as teachers, parents, and 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.