Exam malpractice: The worst form of corruption
Impersonating a student or candidate in an exam hall, collecting money from students or candidates in order to help them pass exam, copying answers on the chalkboard for students or candidates in an exam hall, dictating answers to students or candidates in an exam hall, writing for students or candidates who are absent in an exam hall, correcting the mistakes of students or candidates in an exam hall, leaking exam questions for monetary gain and so on constitute examination malpractice.
Exam malpractice cuts across all segments of our educational system. Today I am ex-raying the goings-on in the senior school certificate exam which is the gateway to the institutions of higher learning. In spite of the havoc it triggers off and a series of condemnations from concerned citizens, exam malpractice has continued to intensify, taking dangerous dimensions. The reason for this is that the people saddled with the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting it are like the proverbial dog that ate up the bone hung around its neck for protection. How?
WAEC and NECO officials leak questions to the highest bidder before examination commences. The officials are paid to go and monitor the conduct of exam but what do they do? They sacrifice this sacred duty on the altar of collecting bribe from proprietors of private schools and principals of public schools and the result is widespread malpractice. Let us see another way. In those good days, if two students in an exam hall wrote the same answers in a subject especially in English language, their results would be cancelled automatically. It happened in my exam hall then. But what happens nowadays? In an exam hall that comprises about one hundred or more students, all of them will write the same thing in their answer booklets in English language and other subjects. Instead of sanctioning them, WAEC and NECO will commend them with incredible grades “A1, B2, B3, C4, C5, C6. Some people opine that the proprietors of private schools grease the palms of the top officials of these exam bodies. And I agree with them. Is it possible for two or more students to write the same answers in summary and comprehension passages? Is it also possible for such to happen in any of the questions in section A which is essay?
Let us visit the Ministry of Education. Like the officials of the exam bodies, they also collude with heads of schools to perpetrate exam malpractice. At the end of the day they smile home with money. Sometimes some of the heads of schools especially the private ones grease the palms of the Chief Inspectors of Education to send officials that will co- operate with them. Those that will not co-operate with them will either be thrown into dry areas or better still denied the chance of monitoring the conduct of exam. We are now in the realm of the supervisors. They are teachers who are paid their monthly salaries by the government for not going to work throughout the period of the exam. That is not all. The exam bodies also pay them for the duty. But they are not contented with that. As soon as they get to their various destinations, they enter into negotiation with the heads of schools and the fruit of the negotiation ranges from N20,000 to N50,000 for a paper.
The school proprietors are not left out in this shady deal. Like church, school business is lucrative. As the church leaders engage in several techniques to retain their followers in order to make more money, the school proprietors engage in exam malpractice for the same reason. The proprietors are ready to owe their teachers two or three months salaries in order to save for exam malpractice. We are now at the doorstep of the parents. They are not helping matters at all. Many of them compel their children to study courses that are strange and unsuitable to their nature and which they can’t defend. This class of parents can go to any extent to ensure their children tread the path they have carved for them. They can empty their account to carry out all forms of irregularities.
Regrettably, they succeed because, in the face of money, many people can sell themselves in this country. I don’t want to stress myself discussing the nature of the students we have nowadays. Many people are already aware that they are terribly lazy, careless, dull and unintelligent. Let us disembark at the corridors of the officials of the Nigeria security and civil defense corps. The exam bodies especially NECO use them to monitor exam. Like their masters they turn things upside down whenever they see money. Our educational system has fallen abysmally resulting in the production of half-baked graduates and quacks in every sector of our national life engineering, medicine, law, teaching, governance etc.
Reflect on this example. Mr. A wants to study engineering in the higher institution. His O’level papers including practical are done for him by another person. He is eventually admitted into the university and he blocks the lecturers with money and other things. At long last he graduates as an engineer. Can he do well in that field? Another disgusting effect is that some foreign countries don’t attach any recognition to our certificates because they claim they are gotten from backyard. Have you ever engaged any product of exam malpractice in an intellectual conversation? How do you assess his or her performance?
Exam malpractice is corruption. It is high time we put an end to it. President Buhari should therefore, extend his campaign against corruption to this area. He should liaise with some governors who are not products of exam malpractice to put strong machinery in place to checkmate it. This measure will restore the sanctity of our educational system which we and our unborn children will be proud of.
• Ijeoma wrote from Sapele, Delta State. Udodilimlaw@yahoo.com